Pump Up the Volume

PUMP UP THE VOLUME. 1990

Director: Allan Moyle

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



When I saw Pump Up the Volume the first time, well over a decade ago, I fell in love with Chris Slater. After I see a performance like that I will follow an actor's work for years, being very slow to give up on him. Slater has never given a better performance since, & by now it's hard to preserve that initial enthusiasm for his acting.

But for that first film to make me aware he even existed, gosh, I thought then, & still think, that writer/director Allan Moyle must've been a genius, though alas his films since haven't necessarily reflected as much intelligence (i.e. the unthrilling sci-fi thriller Xchange, 2000; or junk like Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story, 2005).

Slater plays a witty but alienated school kid who sets up a pirate radio station in his bedroom, disguising all his equipment so his folks don't find out, & from the anonymity of the airwaves (& with Lenny Bruce as his role model) overcomes his introversion in order to tell the world exactly what he thinks of it.

The wattage is too low to reach much beyond his own highschool, but that's enough to become a local legend, with everyone wondering who it could be, this sexy-voiced Hard Harry telling it like it is. To the adult world he's no legend, but a delinquent, one whom the Law wants very badly wants to track down & shut down.

It's a very adult film about teenage alienation, which will appeal to anyone of any age who hasn't forgotten the very good & solid reasons kids have for feeling alienated from a world full of injustice, petty power mongering, & stupidity.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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