Pump Up The Volume (1990)
The dirty thoughts of a teenagers mind. That time in our lives when everything was just a sunrise away and within the reach of our optimistic hands. When your free time was with friends, sneaking around and getting tastes of adult vices and adolescent kicks. All the promises you’d make and times to be had. Together forever; never forget; it’s just the beginning. Those moments when you felt that your wave had arrived. Until you stood on that crest and saw that the horizon was farther than you expected from the sunshine.
1990’s Pump Up The Volume – directed by Allan Moyle and starring Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. Co-starring: Scott Paulin, Mimi Kennedy, Cheryl Pollak, Annie Ross, Billy Morrissette, Ahmet Zappa, Ellen Green, Seth Green.
Mark Hunter is an introverted teenager living in Phoenix, Arizona dealing with the day in day out struggles of being an awkward teenager. He has no friends, can’t talk to girls and has no interest in sports or extra-curricular activity. He is, in metaphor, an island secluded onto himself. He has no confidence in himself during the day but, at night is able to express his thoughts to whoever is lost and listening via his pirate FM radio station as the unfiltered “Hard Harry”.
Happy-Hard Harry as he is known by the student body of his community tells the in & outs of teenage life in suburban Phoenix and what is happening in his school. These things eventually don’t sit well with the faculty of his High School and after the suicide of a student who listens to his show, the school and the adults begin to crack down on Hard Harry and stop his broadcasts.
Samantha Matthis plays a fellow High Schooler and fan of Harry's; often sending fan mail to him under the pen mane "Meet Me-Beat Me Lady". Matthis' character is the only one to solve the mystery and become the only real life connection Harry has.
Dealing with themes of political correctness, censorship, ignorance, local corruption, free speech, and feelings of detachment from modern life. The film presents the dreary disillusionment and confusion of our western society through the microcosm of High School.
Pump Up The Volume wasn’t a success at all in theaters but like many other films in the retro library has become a beloved cult classic. Some of us might have started to do what we do because of this movie. Harry’s room is cluttered and messy and littered with albums by Jesus & Mary Chain, Bad Brains, Primal Scream and all sorts of smut and random pop culture paraphernalia. He was crass and scathing and blunt (often poignant) in his broadcasts and, to tell you the truth, with the happenings going on this past week and all the bandwagon jumping, knee-jerking, likes & dislikes, blocking, foot stomping, soap box’ sermons on social media, perhaps this is the best movie from the Retro Library to showcase this month. “So be it”. So be it; let it fly and say what you mean or just let loose and fapp’ out the tunes. Don’t just copy/paste a rainbow, fuck it. Let your insecurities about life flow out between your fingers and flick them away. If it’s rare then eat it. If it’s green then fry it. You’re scared bout what’s all around you then move. Nothing is taboo and the dirtier the sentiment the better cleanup.
Maybe I’ve just lost it. Maybe I’ve had it. Maybe I figured things out and just threw away the formula – So be it. The girl you wanted is out of reach – So be it. Your job is draining you – So be it. Life isn’t what you wanted – So be it. You miss all the things from your childhood – So be it. And so what.
Keep swimming for the horizon retro lovers, like dirty thoughts on a nice clean mind. Keep it up. Keep it real. Keep your fingers on the rewind button. And Talk Hard.