“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’ (filmcritic.com) 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.