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A Tribute to the Pirate-Radio Cult Film PUMP UP THE VOLUME on “The Freak Power Ticket” (Monday, April 23)

Christian Slater in PUMP UP THE VOLUME

On the next edition of “The Freak Power Ticket,” producer/host Ted Coe writes:

“From 11am-12noon I’ll be paying tribute to Allan Moyle’s cult pirate-radio film, Pump Up the Volume (1990).

In Pump Up the Volume, Christian Slater plays Mark, an intelligent but shy teenager in suburban Arizona who secretly sets up shop as a provocative pirate-radio host (a cementing of Slater’s trademark Jack Nicholsonesque-delivery). Inspired by Lenny Bruce’s infamous book, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, Mark’s illegal and illicit broadcasts as ‘DJ Happy Harry Hard-On’ blend defiant, frank, and even indecent monologues with an eclectic mix of punk, grunge, hip hop, and alternative-rock music. He eventually becomes a hero to his high-school peers while inciting the wrath of local officials.

Brushing up against a number of the cliches of youth-rebellion movies, Pump Up the Volume nevertheless transcends moments of teen-angst corniness to hold up over twenty years later as a funny and entertaining ‘guilty pleasure’ ( and arguably one of the ‘best high school movies ever’ (USA Today). Samantha Mathis plays Mark’s gothy love interest, Nora.

Today’s broadcast incorporates a playlist inspired by the film’s complete soundtrack (featuring songs not included on its successful tie-in album), the official theatrical trailer, another dialogue segment, and my own Top Ten List of Reasons I Really Like This Film!”

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the spring from 11am-12noon.