To me, Pump Up the Volume represents a clash between counter-culturalism and formulaic drama. It's a movie with that tries a little too hard to be cool, but somehow manages some great moments by inclusion of a fantastic soundtrack and some witty dialog. In short, it's a movie that I both love and hate, and thus is irresistible viewing.
One of the ironic things about this movie that was cutting edge back in 1990 is that it has become technologically obsolete in the 21st century because of the development of the Internet. Blogging and MySpace accounts have rendered the need to find an outlet or place to get questions answered by listening to pirate radio seem quaint. I can only imagine showing this film to a teenager now, and have them baffled at the concept.
In any event, it was worth the $7.50 to add to my collection.