Pump Up The Volume

Pump Up The Volume, 1990 film starring Christian SlaterSamantha Mathis and Anthony Lucero.  Pirate radio meets teen issues.

Mark (Slater) is in a new town, he is shy and can’t talk to girls.  Mark also has an alter ego, Hard Harry, a pirate DJ that goes on the air every night to play music, be obscene and read letters from fellow students.  He soon gets a huge following at the school and becomes popular because he is honest and speaks about the issues affecting all teens.  Unfortunately, one follower calls in and says he will kill himself but Hard Harry thinks it’s just another joke until the boy actually does it.  Now the school is involved because he is slowly spilling the news of their corrupt ways. Then the FCC is brought in to nab him.

I wish I would have thought of doing this when I was a teen, would have been funny!  This is a film that brings out the issues teens faced in the early 90’s and the fact that adults didn’t see any.  It focuses on the not so popular kids in school and what troubles them which can be very serious problems.  It also showed that the kids were tired of being ignored and did something about it.  If you go beyond the obscenities that Mark throws out (he is just having fun) you see his concerns, concerns that are the same as the other kids and the radio becomes the medium which makes it all public.  Slater’s acting in this was fantastic and so was the supporting cast.  The story was great and the message it conveyed was powerful. This has always been a ‘Watch Again’ film for me since I first saw it. It’s a film which every teenager … and parent should watch.