Pump Up the Volume

Pump Up the Volume ★★★★★

I can't believe this film is from 1990. Such a perfect representation of 90s angst and culture should not have occurred this early on. From Slater's madcap, lovable performance to the awesome soundtrack, I loved the hell out of this. While watching this, I kept thinking that this was what Empire Records wanted to be but failed at being (at least from my point of view). I was surprised to see that this was from the same director. Pump Up the Volume balances angst and entertainment like it's the easiest thing in the world. It jumps from masturbation gags to teen suicide and makes it seem tonally sound. Characters who should be irritating and pretentious are believable yet larger than life, like Samantha Mathis who dominates every scene she's in. This is an angry, goofy, ballsy film that, in this age of paper-result driven education, is relevant in its message yet charmingly dated in its pirate radio technology. It is at once a time capsule and a worthwhile piece of social commentary. It can also simply be viewed as wild, trashy fun. I want to watch this again. Now.

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