KieraMaloney's Rating of Pump Up the Volume

Kiera's Review of Pump Up the Volume

3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
Pump Up the Volume

Pump Up the Volume(1990)

My first review in over a year... that freaks me out a little. I have written on movies during that time period of course, but maybe not in Rotten Tomatoes fashion, so they stay within the confines of my Documents folder. My disclaimer is that I have a pretty strong affection for somewhat dated teen movies. I think they are a hell of a lot of fun-- not something totally corny for us "superior" generations to laugh at.

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 I concede that it is a little outdated and a little extreme in its message, but it isn't stupid.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.