Teenage angst finds a new voice in this drama. By day, Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a quiet, studious student at an ordinary suburban high school in Arizona. But at night, Mark creeps down into his basement, fires up his pirate radio transmitter, and broadcasts to the community as Hard Harry, a sexually obsessed social commentator who passes ...Read MoreTeenage angst finds a new voice in this drama. By day, Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a quiet, studious student at an ordinary suburban high school in Arizona. But at night, Mark creeps down into his basement, fires up his pirate radio transmitter, and broadcasts to the community as Hard Harry, a sexually obsessed social commentator who passes along angry philosophy about the state of teenage life when not blasting punk rock or gangsta rap cuts. Hard Harry's sworn nemesis is high school principal Mrs. Cresswood (Annie Ross), who keeps SAT scores up at the expense of her students' dignity and individuality by eliminating "troublemakers" from the student body. Hard Harry's broadcasts, however, have become a rallying point for the school's misfit underclass, and Mrs. Cresswood is determined to track down the mystery student and bring him to justice (broadcasting without a license, he's not merely an annoyance, but a criminal). The war against Hard Harry intensifies when he broadcasts data from confidential school board reports; Mark's father is a school commissioner, but he has no idea what his son is doing in the basement. Meanwhile, Mark gains the attentions of Nora (Samantha Mathis), who has figured out who he becomes at night. More serious and intelligent than the average teen film, Pump Up the Volume was written and directed by Allan Moyle, who previously dealt with disaffected, music-obsessed teens in Times Square and would return to them with Empire Records. Mark Deming, RoviRead Less
Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Ellen Greene, Scott Paulin, Cheryl Pollak. Very good in good packaging. Language: English. Run time: 105 mins. Originally released: 1990. 1995 release. From personal collection, NOT a rental. Has a little damage on very top flap of cover (not on front), but otherwise looks great. Mark works as a disc jockey in his own pirate radio station, set up in his basement. He plays very cool music and rants about consumer culture, the danger of complacency, uncaring adults, and high school. He also takes calls from other lonely teens, but fails to prevent one depressed caller from committing suicide. However, Mark hangs in there and broadcasts a call-to-arms that galvanizes the town's youth to demonstrate their unity. "Pump Up The Volume" could be subtitled "Rebel with a Cause" in that a shy, intelligent teenager tries to use his anger for the higher good. It is perhaps one of the best films made about contemporary suburban teenagers and their feelings of alienation and boredom.