Director: Allan Moyle
Stars: Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Mimi Kennedy, Scott Hunter
Lesson Learned: There aren't many things in life more empowering than gangsta rap, especially for suburban kids.

In some ways, Pump Up The Volume supplants the classic superhero motif into a high school setting, though there aren't any goofy costumes or choreographed fight sequences. But there is a preeminent supervillain: The Man. And the heroic avenger is Mark Hunter (Christian Slater, in one of his best performances), a nebbish Clark Kent-type by day who slinks around his high school's crowded hallways in pure anonymity. At night, though, he becomes Hard Harry, a renegade disc jockey who chastises authority figures and blasts hardcore hip-hop and rebellious punk rock jams.

Drenched with teen angst, Pump Up The Volume is a rallying cry for young outcasts to speak their piece or get lost in the neverending shuffle of high school politics and societal neglect. It also has a ballsy, anti-Hollywood ending that doesn't let Slater's character off the hook, but it doesn't condemn his minor teenage revolution, either.