2020 / USA / 107 Minutes / Chris White
It’s the summer of 1986. Erik (Andrew Eakle) is the shy, quiet type—but far more passionate than most teenagers when it comes to God and rock-n-roll. His dream comes true when he is asked to run sound for his favorite band, 316—a Christian hair metal band made up of older kids from his church.
After a blistering performance at a church camp talent show, 316 is introduced to a flashy Christian Rock promoter with a plan. Glad-handing, Lord-loving Skip Wick (Brian Baumgartner) wants to take the band on the road—promising the boys a jam-packed summer of paid Christian rock gigs and a shot at making a real record in Nashville. But most importantly, Skip’s offer represents the ultimate chance to “make Jesus famous.”
Complications arise when a woebegone pastor’s (Judd Nelson) daughter, 16 year-old Sarah (Shannon Hutchinson), stows herself away in the band’s RV after a church performance in Alabama. Once discovered, Skip must keep recalcitrant Sarah along for the next couple of weeks on the road—which turns out to be plenty of time for the talented girl to emerge as the band’s muse, head-turning opening act, and Erik’s first love.
ELECTRIC JESUS is a wistful coming-of-age music-comedy reminiscent of THE COMMITMENTS, THAT THING YOU DO, and SING STREET—a rock-and-roll movie about a band that never quite makes it. While the screen band’s music is a weird mash-up of 80’s hair metal and Sunday school, ELECTRIC JESUS wears its heart on its sleeve, ala THE BREAKFAST CLUB, LADY BIRD, and ALMOST FAMOUS.