Back in the day – “the day” being the late ’80s to early ’90s – Christian Slater was king. He surpassed John Cusack and the two Corys in cuteness and coolness. Yes, before the grown-up actor/father/upstanding citizen, there was Christian the young hellcat, running around, getting arrested, and making movies about prom-queen killers and pirate-radio kings. With his mischievous grin and Jack Nicholson voice, he made girls in the 12 to 25 demographic swoon. Oh yes, those were the days.
For no particular reason, maybe it’s time to fire up the VCR and relive some of those old movie moments. So, sit back, grab some Wild Cherry Pepsi and Black Jack gum, and enjoy a Christian Slater double feature.
This is the movie where impressionable young girls probably started figuring out that Christian was a force to be reckoned with. As smartass loner J.D., he quips and sneers his way into our hearts as he plots to bring down the clique-iest of high school cliquesters.
The story can be summarized as follows: Heathers Chandler, McNamara and Duke rule the school with an iron fist. They are blond and bitchy, and everybody would probably like to see them dead. Also a part of this clique is Veronica (Winona Ryder). She would also sometimes like to see them dead – especially her best friend, Heather Chandler, or Heather #1.
After Veronica meets J.D., people start dying. Heather #1 drinks Dr퀌�no, and the school’s star football players die in a gay suicide pact. Turns out, it’s all J.D.’s doing, and Veronica unwittingly helped. In an effort not to give away the ending, we’ll just say that mayhem ensues.
“Pump up the Volume” (1990)
In this fine flick we see Christian’s bare chest. But more importantly, we see him play Happy Harry Hard-on, a pirate-radio DJ who disses his school hardcore, much to the chagrin of the administration. Soon this cigarette-smoking, Leonard-Cohen-listening hottie is running from the FCC with hot alterna-girlfriend Nora by his side. So romantic. As he urges fellow teens to “talk hard, steal the air,” it’s hard not to choke back a tear. The Christian we see here is more mature. He’s edgier, sexier, and he doesn’t give in to those pesky murderous urges. This is Christian at his peak.
Of course there are many other Christian Slater movies – more than 40 in all. And some of them are pretty okay. Movies like “True Romance” and “Very Bad Things.” But none of them capture Christian like these back-in-the-day gems.