Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

PUMP UP THE VOLUME (1990)


Directed by Allan Moyle

Mark is an intelligent but shy teenager who has just moved to Arizona from the East Coast. His parents give him a short-wave radio so he can talk to his pals, but instead he sets up shop as pirate DJ Hard Harry, who becomes a hero to his peers while inspiring the wrath of the local high school principal. When one of Harry’s listeners commits suicide and Harry- inspired chaos breaks out at the school, the authorities are called in to put a stop to Harry’s broadcasts.

Lately I´ve been reading a few reviews on Christian Slater films.

I also have been watching some of his more recent films, to see what he `s up to these days. Sadly he isn`t cast any more in big budget films, or at least that`s a rare occasion lately.

But this happened to a looot of good actors in the last ten years or so. There are new faces who take their places, just the way it is. Christian Slater however had a lot of great films in the 80s and well into the 90s.

Today it`s PUMP UP THE VOLUME, a teen drama, that I deem a must-watch.

If you don`t like Christian Slater, ok…but I do love that guy, there is nobody I could compare him to, he is unique.

I love his way of talking, his gestures and his kind of comedy and drama delivery.

Written and directed by Allan Moyle—-I must applaud you. You have created a teen drama that I haven`t forgotten, 20 years later. Comedy and drama are  well-balanced.(Actually, the comdy bits are mostly the Hard Harry things in here, the rest is pretty much straight drama).

Most teenager issues are touched on, being a teenager is tough, everybody has had their share of things during that period, one way or another. The transition from kid to adult is anything but easy. And of course, the adult world doesn`t always handle them and their issues properly.

The film may not have the ultimate answer..does anybody? –But the message is-don`t give up..high school isn`t the end…it gets better, you will survive…(I think).

These days  there is a lot of talk about bullies and such, it may have gotten even worse, with internet and cellphones everywhere…the humiliation, that once was confined to the school and maybe your neighbourhood, is now available at the touch of a button, on youtube or your cellphone. The problems of teenagers haven`t changed, it hasn`t gotten better, only worse. In that regard, I´m happy I lived in the times of audio cassettes and walkmen, record-players and vhs . I can only imagine the hell some ppl go through these days. But ok, I don`t wanna turn this into a psycho-society stuff class.

Especially good in here, of course Slater as Hard Harry and Samatha Mathis as Nora Diniro.

I think she is hot. I was happy to see them back together in BROKEN ARROW in 1996.

I remembered her well and thought it was a nice déjà-vu.

Important to me also was the music. In fact, this film introduced me to Leonard Cohen. It made me buy his records and I was lucky enough to see him in concert in 2008. I can only recommend this guy to anyone…in my opinion this man is a magician.What a great concert that was, man. I was pissed when his song” Everybody knows” wasn`t on the soundtrack, only a cover version. But I have his original records, so hey..no biggie. Judging from my experience, most soundtracks are missing a song or two that you felt should`ve been on there.

Nowadays it is easier to find them, should that be the case still.

Some of the best songs in movies never even made it onto a record and got destroyed or lost, cuz they were merely demo tapes from unsigned bands. I still agonize over a song playing in the beginning of THE CLASS OF 1999-the substitute….impossible to find! Argh!!

Back to the film…I know, I haven`t talked much about what´s going on in there, just watch it, it´s one of the cornerstones in my mind and collection. It´s magic…just my humble opinion. It was very relevant to me when I first watched it…and thats more than 20 years ago.—urgh! A film worth seeing ….feels like they dont make them like that anymore or somethin..it`s cool, it`s raw, it`s funny.

I´m glad i´ve seen this, it spoke to me and felt like I have seen something that matters.

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3 responses

  1. Great movie and great review. Watched this years ago and have been trying to track down a cheap copy. Slater was awesome in this film.

    The director Moyle also did Empire Records – another great teen flick.

    August 3, 2012 at 11:27 AM

  2. My absolute favorite Slater movie.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

  3. Man, I haven’t seen this one in forever. I remember liking it very much though. I think I’d hold this and Heathers as my favorite Slater teen flicks. Fuck Kuffs. lol.

    I’m with you, I wish he would be given the opportunity to do more big budget films. All I see him now are in these DTV flicks and failed television shows. I think he’s 2 for 2 now on the shows. Bummer. Someone just needs to have faith in him again and put him back on the big screen. Him and Lou Diamond Phillips. 🙂

    Great review man. Makes me want to push this up on my ‘must see’ list.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM

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