Pump Up the Volume Reviews
Pump Up the Volume is the tale of teen pirate radio host Happy Harry Hard-on, broadcasting his intensely rebellious, radical, anti-authority message. The popularity of his radio persona and influence over his classmates eventually lands him in the ring with the FCC. It stars Christian Slater with as much charismatic angst as you could possibly hope for.
This movie was part of a series of screenings for New Line Cinema class. I felt like taking a moment to write on Pump Up the Volume, because it really irks me to see people of my age constantly laughing at movies like this. I concede that it is a little outdated and a little extreme in its message, but it isn't stupid. I'm not trying to come off as if I take this movie 100% seriously, but I did find something worthwhile in it. It is relentlessly entertaining, and while I don't plan to go set fire to something or vandalize my school, the message is a positive one if not taken so literally.
The people who make fun of this movie and others like it are shutting themselves off from finding anything to take away from it. Pointing out every detail of 1990 outrageousness is a profound waste of time. Movies like this are great and absolutely deserve our time, because they give us a wonderful view into the past. I'm not sure why this film gets less attention than Brat Pack and John Hughes canon, but it's definitely worth noting. It's far edgier and angrier than its 1980s counterparts.
I don't see anything delirious or exasperating about Pump Up the Volume. The performances certainly weren't dreadful-- I thought they were quite good. It's very funny, but it isn't laughable in the way that modern audiences feel the need to make it. For all movies we find dated, Let it be what it was meant be.
90% -- Give it a chance.
Slater is fantastic as the shy kid that barely speaks by day, the most important voice on radio by night. I'm not sure this film will be for everyone, as much of the film is just Slater ranting for awhile to his radio audience.
But as a teenager growing up, I remember dealing with a lot of these problems and my school was no different in that nearly all the adults didn't care about you. They just wanted you to pass their classes and get out of their sites, never offering to give a listening ear or some much needed guidance.
The music in the film is stuff I hated growing up, but have come to enjoy more as an adult.
I just wish the ending would have been stronger. Like I wanted another ten minutes to see what happened.
And Samantha Mathis in her first role is very good as well. She not only nails her part, but is not above throwing her clothes off either! :)
And Buffy fans, look for very early roles from Juliet Landau and Seth Green; Green's hair is so awful.