Funnily enough I just watched “Pump up the Volume” again after many years and being even further from being the kid who loved Happy Harry Hardon; I found it EMBARRASSING to watch.
1) There were no popular kids who menaced our hero; nor where there obvious cliques that he did or did not inhabit. His entire struggle was with shyness. That’s his entire conflict. He adopted HHH so that he could express the (often pointless) things that crossed his mind while bragging about his sexual prowess? Sound familiar? Yep, just check out those earnest anonymous videos on YouTube or those anonymous assholes who run “Internet Radio Stations” They are there, getting out of their shells, bless them.
2) He turns into batman half-way through the movie (after spending the first half playing Spider-man, oh will he give up his pirate radio station, NO HE IS THE HERO!) being Batman he is one step ahead of the police. who couldn’t get a warrant to search every house in 1000 yards of the house they magically located the wireless phone station at (more like 50 yards at most, but I digress)
3) The one and ONLY nod to his angst with other people is when he makes that weak attempt at looking hard at the “stuck up” girl (who was anything but uptight or stuckup, she seemed like a sympathetic character throughout, everyone did save for that kid who wanted SO HARD to be Billy Idol, who was kind of a massive dork)
4) White kids! White kids! White Kids! I know the demographic in some Arizona Communities skews to the pale, but jeezie kreezie, that whole movie was a shitty dancing, white people problems -palooza. No one was struggling with drugs or poverty or crime or really anything. Beyond a vague sense of menace from the principal, coach and possible child molester guidance counsellor, it didn’t seem that anyone was particularly trod upon. So what the hell were they all so worked up about?
5) Probably their crappy dancing.
6) It was the dancing.
So yeah, I watched it tonight was embarrassed about how much I liked it when I was younger, especially by how inspired I was by it.
It’s still a good movie; but when watching it with someone young I have to keep saying “at the time” and that makes me cringe (since we could watch “Clueless” without making so many caveats)