"Feeling screwed up at a screwed up time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up."
— Mark Hunter
A 1990 movie starring Christian Slater
, Pump Up The Volume
features the exploits of Mark Hunter, a recent transfer to Hubert Humphrey High in Arizona, where he spends his days as a moping teenager and spends his nights running a pirate radio
station under the moniker Happy Harry Hard-on.
While entertaining the locals, his show becomes more political as he takes on the local school over injustices done toward the local student body. He goes from an underground favorite to a controversial figure overnight, however, when one of his call-in guests claims to be contemplating suicide... and then actually does it after hanging up on Harry.
The film underperformed at the box office, but has become a cult favorite since its release. In the long term, it's perhaps most notable for featuring the debut of Samantha Mathis (Broken Arrow (1996)
, Little Women
, American Psycho
) and its soundtrack, as well as an early performance by Seth Green
This film contains examples of:
- Buccaneer Broadcaster
- Burn Baby Burn
- Censorship Bureau
- Clark Kenting: Mark needs glasses and seemingly can't speak above a mutter, which initially convinces Nora that he can't be Harry.
- Eating Lunch Alone.
- Fun with Acronyms / We Care: BIONIC (Believe It Or Not, I Care)
- Also in universe, it's Hubery Humphrey High, and Happy Harry Hardon.
- The Grunting Orgasm: Parodied by the main character.
- Large Ham Radio
- Made Myself Sad: Mark, but thankfully, he was too depressed to kill himself.
- No Dead Body Poops: After the call-in guest kills himself, Harry talks about suicide during the following broadcast, citing being found after the inverse of this trope kicks in as one of the reasons suicide is bad.
- Open Minded Parent: Mark's parents are such stereotypical baby boomers that it's vaguely ridiculous, but they're absolutely delighted at the idea that Mark has been sneaking Nora into the house under their noses. Of course, it does beat the alternative.
- Playful Hacker: Happy Harry is a pirate radio equivalent.
- Smoking Is Cool: Slater smoked so many cigarettes while making the movie, mostly while filming Mark's rants, that he made himself physically ill.
- Spoonerism: Charles "Chuck" U. Farley
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: One of the earliest examples.