Pump Up the Volume

August 22nd, 1990


Pump Up the Volume

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Still of Samantha Mathis in Pump Up the VolumeStill of Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis in Pump Up the VolumeStill of Christian Slater in Pump Up the VolumeStill of Samantha Mathis in Pump Up the VolumeStill of Samantha Mathis in Pump Up the VolumePump Up the Volume

Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 7.0/10 (13,647 voted)

Critic's Score: 77/100

Director: Allan Moyle

Stars: Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Annie Ross

Mark is an intelligent but shy teenager who has just moved to Arizona from the East Coast. His parents give him a short-wave radio so he can talk to his pals, but instead he sets up shop as pirate deejay Hard Harry, who becomes a hero to his peers while inspiring the wrath of the local high school principal. When one of Harry's listeners commits suicide and Harry- inspired chaos breaks out at the school, the authorities are called in to put a stop to Harry's broadcasts.

Christian Slater - Mark Hunter (Hard Harry)
Annie Ross - Loretta Creswood
Andy Romano - Murdock
Scott Paulin - Brian Hunter
Mimi Kennedy - Marla Hunter
Anthony Lucero - Malcolm Kaiser
Billy Morrissette - Mazz Mazzilli
Robert Schenkkan - David Deaver
Cheryl Pollak - Paige Woodward
Ellen Greene - Jan Emerson
Samantha Mathis - Nora Diniro
Keith Stuart Thayer - Luis Chavez
Jeff Chamberlain - Mr. Woodward
Lala Sloatman - Janie
Holly Sampson - Cheryl Biggs

Taglines: Steal the Air.

Release Date: 22 August 1990

Filming Locations: Saugus High School, Saugus, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $1,601,489 (USA) (26 August 1990) (799 Screens)

Gross: $11,541,758 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Christian Slater became physically ill several times during filming due to all the cigarette smoking he had to do.

Factual errors: At the beginning of the movie, Hard Harry plays Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" from a record with a Motown label, but all of Cohen's studio albums to date have been released by Columbia. Also, though he is shown playing the first track on the record, "Everybody Knows" is actually the third track on the album 'I'm Your Man' on which the song originally appears.

[first lines]
Mark: Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?

User Review

Slaters teen master class . . .

Rating: 10/10

I loved this film

When I was 17 I first saw the second half of this movie on TV, the next day I scoured my local video shops to buy the film so that I could watch the first half.

I know that sounds a little sad but I really felt that at the time this film was spot on. Parents do seem to hate you, it is incredibly hard to talk to a girl that you want to ask out and school is the last place you ever want to be. This film had the emotions just about right.

I now see its faults but I still feel that it is an excellent movie to its targeted age group, everyone who ever wanted to "rise up in the cafeteria and stab them (teachers) with your plastic fork".

I could fill this review with quotes, the speech on why teen suicide is a bad idea is up there with the "Am I funny?" scene in goodfella's.

Christian Slater is excellent, apparently it's his favourite movie and you can see that he enjoyed making it. He does dark-teen like no one else, this is Nicholson at 16! In my humble opinion this film is at the top of the teen-flick chart alongside Heathers.

Samantha Mathis makes an intriguing leading lady, she really gets her character spot on. Miss Mathis also provides one of the best sexual tension scenes ever in this genre. (it's all in the music)

A young Seth Green also makes an appearance that I am sure he would rather forget, his acting is fine it's how he looks thats the problem !!

This film is dark, funny and brutaly honest. If you are under 20 and still hate the world this will kill a couple of those boring 'too old to play to young to drink' hours.

Highly recommended.


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