Pump Up the Volume – 7/10

Pirate DJ named Harry Hard On becomes an inspiration to local kids. No actually.


Empire Records director Allan Moyle writes and directs and like that movie Pump Up The Volume is full of interesting characters, a funny script, a great soundtrack (Pixies, Beastie Boys, Leonard Cohen etc) and a lot of heart. It also has that great late eighties early nineties feel to it in the vein of other classics Dazed and Confused, Wayne’s World and indeed Empire Records.

Christian Slater is brilliant as the irrepressible, revered DJ displaying both confidence and vulnerability whilst being asked to carry the film pretty much exclusively by himself. It is difficult to inject gravitas into a film who’s main character goes by Harry Hard On but Pump Up the Volume tackles the subjects of teenage suicide, alienation and freedom of speech whilst still maintaining a sense of humour. One of the more underrated films of the early nineties.

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