I don’t remember how this movie did in the box office when it came out I only remember that it was a high point in Christian Slater’s career. This not to say anything negative about Slather’s career. It’s more to say back in the day, girls would be like Christian Slater’s hot, did you see him in Pump up the Volume?
Though he’s been in enough teen movies to establish himself as a heartthrob, Pump up the Volume is the only film I think that he was the actual leading man. He plays a timid high school kid who finds an outlet to be rebellious as the DJ on a pirate raidio station.
Its funny how the movie reflects a modern day trend with this guy Hard Harry being a dude who easily says anything he wants behind a closed door and a microphone. Things that he does not have the courage to say in public.
One diffrence that is not overshadowed by the overwhelming bombardment that is the internet is that sometimes concealment can help. As Harry becomes the mask DJ everyone ironically trust, he also gives other kids the same courage in concealment to talk openly about things they could never talk about.
From a contemporary retrospective looking back on the 90s Pump up the Volume feels like it’s being to hip and cool in order to fix in a story on the subject of the first amendment. It’s a lot like the movie Singles which is about a bunch of Generation Xers trying to find love and romance under the cultural backdrop of the grunge music scene (but in all fairness to Singles I did love that Alice and Chains cameo).
Pump up the Volume seems horribly dated in a very timeless theme of pervillged white kids rebeling against a system that perfectly works to their advantage. It is a slightly unfair diagnostic as I know pretty white kids can have problems, as a story arch in the film revolves around a troubled youth who commits suicide after DJ Harry responded to a letter he sent to him, but it is a movie and as such it’s hard to see that crack in these kids 1st world problems.
Think im being too harsh on the film? Maybe. Then again this movie does not seem that good It’s not as raw and engergentic as the music the DJ plays, and in that dullness it’s far to easy to see what this movie is not, rather what it’s trying to be.
Doesnt hurt to raise my negative eyebrow than the idea that this DJ was some underground thing that all the kids know about until a brief scene where the kids are indirectly introduced to Hip Hop by him and suddenly the adults see a problem( but once again in fairness it’s more bothersome that the hip hop song used really stinks).
Pump up the Volume is not all that bad but it does suffer from that 90s time table in which sometimes the message was delivered with this coolness that only fits the moment.