Thirtysomething viewers may remember that brief moment in time in 1990 when it looked like Christian Slater was going to be the next Jack Nicholson. He brooded in Heathers and gave a terrific turn as a shy teen with a ruder, cruder radio alter ego in this cool drama. By day, Mark (Slater) is just another student, but at night he broadcasts on pirate radio and teens in their droves listen and call in to talk about sex, teen suicide, loneliness and fitting in. Unfortunately, Mark runs foul of the law when one listener commits suicide and the cops try to figure out who the mysterious DJ is.
Backed by a terrific soundtrack that’s just as cool now as it was two decades ago (Concrete Blonde, The Pixies, Cowboy Junkies etc), this is strictly for teenagers whose parents don’t mind them watching a film littered with swearing and (shock horror) teen rebellion. It’s intense, funny and enjoyable though, and a good look at teen angst that never gets preachy.
Is Pump Up The Volume suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...