Pump up the Volume

( 4 )

Overview

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 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 ...
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Overview

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 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.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Writer/director Allan Moyle updates the ideals of the 1960s and 1970s in this story of a would-be revolutionary (Christian Slater) who incites teen revolt with his basement pirate radio station. Slater's "Hard Harry" on-air persona is equal parts Lenny Bruce and Jack Kerouac, and the film's first half cruises by on his bawdy, inflammatory dispatches. Harry's song choices as a DJ are stellar as well: underground angst anthems from Sonic Youth, Peter Murphy, and The Pixies mingle with a few classic picks from the Leonard Cohen songbook. Though Moyle resorts to typical, anti-authoritarian plot contrivances in the latter half, Slater and romantic interest Samantha Mathis coax convincing emotion out of the script's more leaden moments. The film's righteous, us-versus-them feel has more in common with 1950s high school pictures like Rebel Without a Cause than with Slater's previous teen effort, the ironic Heathers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/1994
  • UPC: 794043409738
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christian Slater Mark Hunter
Samantha Mathis Nora Diniro
Ellen Greene Jan Emerson
Scott Paulin Brian Hunter
Cheryl Pollak Paige
Andy Romano Murdock
Annie Ross Mrs. Loretta Creswood
Mimi Kennedy Martha Hunter
Mark Ballou Eric
Jill Jarres
Lala
Ahmet Zappa Jamie
Dan Eisenstein Donald
Nigel Gibbs Marshall
Seth Green Joey
James Hampton Watts
Clayton Landey Shep Sheppard
Steve Archer Harry Video
Tony Auer Police Officer
Gary Dubin TV Announcer #2
David C. Glasser Jack
Robert Harvey Detective Denny
Judith Holstra
Allan Kolman Postal Clerk
Juliet Landau Teri
Jonathan Mazer Jonathan
Matt McGrath Chris
David McKnight Detective #1
Billy Morrissette Mazz Mazzilli
Robert Schenkkan David Deaver
Roger Scott TV Announcer #1 / Crispin
Lin Shaye PTA Parent #3
Marc Siegler Teacher Stern
Lala Sloatman Janie
Technical Credits
Allan Moyle Director, Screenwriter
Michael Abbott Costumes/Costume Designer
Larry Bock Editor
Bruce Bolander Production Designer
Wendy Greene Bricmont Editor
John H. Burrows Production Designer
Syd Cappe Executive Producer
Nicole Freegard Musical Direction/Supervision
Janet Grillo Associate Producer
Janice Hampton Editor
Rubert Harvey Co-producer
Kurt Hathaway Editor
Judith Holstra Casting
Ric Keeley Editor
Robb Wilson King Production Designer
Walt Lloyd Cinematographer
Cliff Martinez Score Composer
Sara Risher Executive Producer
Sandy Stern Co-producer
Nicolas Stiliadis Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Real Cool Movie

    i enjoyed also purchased it from Barnes & Noble wow Christian was so cute in this film he played the part of both Mark and Hard Harry very well wow really cool movie! Love It!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Over The Airwaves, It's Mystery Student Vs. The High School Principal.

    I first caught this movie on My Network TV a few months ago. It was/is so great that I just had to order, buy and own a copy of this eventually. A high school student named Mark Hunter, who is mostly diffident, quiet and withdrawn, suddenly showcases a more confident, outspoken and outgoing side when he gets behind the mic as his radio D.J. alter-ego, under the alias Hard Harry. But nobody would learn the truth as to who Hard Harry is until later. The radio was used as Mark's only means for him to boost his self-confidence and he'd later learn that after the truth comes out, he doesn't need to get his message across through that anymore. Because he actually had it in him the whole time. It's his duty as the announcer to convey to his schoolmates advice when any of them are having problems and that he plans to take a stand against the principal when a conspiracy that's been made takes place. This has since become one of my favorite early '90s movies that I discovered, coming across it on the air (regular/network t.v. or cable). And it's one of the best stories (Fiction or non-fiction) ever brought from script to screen. There is such a strong lesson in this for the aforementioned reasons that I already covered. And they're why no one should skip this at all. If anyone reading this is also diffident, then after seeing this movie, you just may find the self-assurance in yourself too. If you could just dig deep enough. Recommended and not to be skipped.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pump up the Volume

    This is the BEST movie I have EVER seen. It is truely amazing, no matter who you are, you will love it!!! Watch it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews