The most underrated film of all-time, truly. Often forgotten… even 31 years later, many people have never heard of it. I cannot believe I never wrote about it, on this site. It is a life-changing film.
Without a doubt, this is Christian Slater’s best film. No doubt. Heathers doesn’t even come close. Also, Samantha Mathis’ first film. She is superb as “Nora”.
Absolutely essential viewing. Timeless and will forever hold up.
Today, I know… everyone has a youtube channel. A blog. Their own podcast. Everyone says “fuck” and “shit” and it’s free speech, everywhere.
But I do remember a time when no one had a voice. I didn’t, either. 1990? Shit. Forget about it. Granted, our voices are now buried, because everyone’s got a voice. But… the bright side is…. we have a voice.
I saw Pump Up The Volume five years late. 1995, to be exact. I worked in the video rental / music section of a department store called Phar-Mor (a store which was liquidated, about 6 months after I started working there). I was 18 at the time, going on 19. I saw this movie for the first time… it was one of the first videos I took home as a free rental, since my $4.25/hour job afforded me such luxuries.
And it changed my life, for the better, obviously. Because of Pump Up The Volume, I felt like I finally had purpose in my life, for the first time.
I started a punk ‘zine later that year called Meanwhile… (I’ll eventually scan the three issues and put them up as a free PDF, sometime). I felt empowered, even in a small way.
Side note—- about six months before seeing Pump Up The Volume, I bought Henry Rollins‘ spoken-word CD Get In The Van, about his life in Black Flag. That blew my mind and made me want to play music, forever. The same day, I bought a cassette of Blake Babies (Juliana Hatfield’s old band), and the compilation Innocence and Experience. I immediately connected with that music, deeply.
Speaking of Rollins, I also read my first Henry Rollins book, Now Watch Him Die. Some guy Mike that I met through my friend Adam hooked me up and let me borrow the book. Those two things set my world and life in motion (and how could I forget Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, which I bought and read in full, November 1994). I consider these five things the five tems that truly put my life into motion.
I wanted to scream from mountaintops, after seeing this film, especially. I wanted desperately for my voice to be heard. It set my life’s objective into motion– music education, passion for all forms of creative endeavors, and never censoring myself, or holding back my thoughts.
In a lot of ways, it’s been a positive thing. In some ways, I shared too much (with people I shouldn’t have shared anything with). But overall, I’m glad I have lived this “so be it / talk hard” life, my whole life.
It is June, 2021 as I write this. Everyone is a Hard Harry or Hard Harriet, these days. Everyone. Podcasters. Youtubers. Twitterers. Social media influencers. Your social media friends that are the most outspoken.
Keep it up. Keep going. Share your story. CONNECT.
“Keep the air alive!”
#talkhard #hardharry #pumpupthevolume #90s #nineties #the90s #90sinfilm #underratedfilms #underratedmovies #happyharryhardon
Oh and hey! Watch/stream it in its entirety, right here for free at Archive.org: