Pump Up The Volume 1990 ***


Canadian writer/director Allan Moyle scored his only real mainstream success with Pump Up The Volume, in which maverick pirate-radio DJ Mark Hunter aka Hard Harry (Christian Slater) rocks the airwaves with his unconventional taste in music and his anarchic ideas; his instruction to listeners to microwave their own jewellery ends in disaster. As well as a role for singer Annie Ross, there’s a well-chosen selection of music, from the Pixies’ Wave of Mutilation to Leonard Cohen, and tracks like MC5’s Kick Out The Jams capture the anything-goes flavour of Mark’s anti-authority tendencies. Pump Up The Volume is a tale of teenage rebellion from a time when there seemed to be a lot to rebel against; pre-internet East Coast America clearly needed pirate radio to lubricate the tubes.


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