Watch: Electric Jesus 2020 123movies, Full Movie Online – Alabama preacher’s daughter runs off with a touring Christian hair metal band during the summer of 1986..
Plot: Alabama preacher’s daughter runs off with a touring Xian hair metal band during the summer of 1986.
Smart Tags: #youth #jesus_in_title #timeframe_1980s
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I had the joy of seeing this film with a live audience at the Nashville Film Festival. This movie is a fun, humorous and charming coming of stage story that follows the tropes of “the muse and artist” like Almost Famous (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181875/) with pointed and clever satire on Christian popular culture, in the vein of “Saved!” ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332375/ ).
The cast are mostly relative newcomers to acting, but create strong and believable performances, while also making room from appearances from veteran actors such as Brian Baumgartner (The Office) and Judd Nelson (Breakfast Club, and others). The dialogue is fun, sharp witty, and the soundtrack music is what the 80s sounds like at it’s best, and the lyrics will cause you likely to laugh out loud, if you pay attention.
Great story, heartfelt, fun and touching – you will love it.
’80s era movie-making legend John Hughes would be proud. Ironically set in the same neon rainbow decade as Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, Electric Jesus could be the next coming of age flick for a new generation (and old). It’s a teenage comedy that’ll be easy to watch over and over again. It takes a group of rag-tag teenagers, sets them on an adventure with mishaps galore, and they discover a little bit of who they are and what the world is like along the way.
“In the summer of 1986, I ran sound for a Christian heavy metal band.”
The main character, Erik (played by Andrew Eakle), narrates the movie for us, which starts with a frightening deer-in-the-headlights moment for 316 – a Christian heavy metal band caught playing in front of a “secular” audience that doesn’t want any part of their message music. This is a hilarious but cringe-worthy moment for any band that wilted in such an environment.
The story then quickly unrolls from the beginning. Erik is a Christian rock music geek that found a way to join this local Christian metal band, 316, as a audio engineer.
Cameron Crowe is another producer that could also be proud of this film. Not only does it give a believable glimpse of what it was like to grow up in America, but the authenticity of the background is impeccable. All the scenery is familiar to us – from the posters all over the garage-turned-rehearsal-room wall, the band names and music snippets dropped, to the “us versus them” mentality of trying to make Jesus famous in our subculture and world.
The film jumps back ten weeks to a talent show at some Christian camp (Camp Harmony), where 316 cranks out the Stryper classic, “Makes Me Wanna Sing.” The elementary and middle school kids in the audience are jumping, the band is fully into it, and the jam is on. It’s so fun to see little details, like one of the camp counselors focus his attention squarely on the lead guitarist during the solo section. The drummer is doing his best “visual timekeeper” moves and smiles are flowing all around.
Enter Skip Wick, an overweight middle-aged manager dressed like a ’70s-era used car salesman – complete with the bad toupee. He schmoozes the bands’ parents with a dazzling pitch about the summer tour he wants to take them on, adding sizzle with the potential for a record contract … all in the name of ministry, of course.
So begins the adventure of a summer-long lifetime for these teens, complete with cheesy youth group shows in skating rinks and church sanctuaries to halfway-amused audiences and the token pizza dinners and sleeping on floors. Call it the most unglamorous summer rock tour ever. Ask your favorite Christian rock band if they have any memories like this. They will.
“We’re doing this to make Jesus famous.”
There’s a stowaway teenage girl incident, which happens when the band is already too far away from her home and much too close to their next showtime to turn the painted RV around and take her back home to her pastor daddy (played by Judd Nelson). It turns out she’s got talent, so an opening act and a love interest with Sarah and Erik is born.
This film answers a lot of questions about the Christian subculture, especially in the context of those troublesome teenage years.
Many of the clichés and accurate criticisms of Christian rock are rubbed in your face with a tongue firmly planted in cheek.
I’ve seen it four times now and I can’t wait to see it again (and again).
Sweet Jesus, this film rocks
This is little long, but bear with me here because this film’s worth it:
“Electric Jesus” is so many things … and it’s not: a) A comedy as much as it is a dramedy; b) A roman-à-clef as it is an ode to the soundtrack of youth; c) Strictly a teen love story, but an overarching love song to music itself.
Writer/director/co-producer Chris White deftly blends those into a cohesive story about a hair-metal band. Not just any hair-metal band, but a Christian hair-metal band, whose members emerge from a South Carolina high school circa 1986.
Southern Evangelical Christianity makes an easy target, of course, for cheap, shopworn laughs. “Electric Jesus,” though, threads an expert needle between needling Bible thumpers while threading its characters together with durable strands of, uh, Christian compassion.
Set in heavy metal’s heyday, the story is told through our narrator, Eric, the ultimate music nerd who lands a gig as the sound guy for the band, 316. Next thing we know, Eric and the boys go on tour, taking their music to churches, skating rinks, fellowship halls and other temptation-free establishments.
Eric and the band clearly are high on Christ. Then Sarah, a pretty young thing, stows away on 316’s ratty RV whose former owner, a band, of course, graffitied “Joy Explosion.” Sarah, of course, becomes Eric’s love interest and she also happens to have plenty of musical talent and an agenda of her own
“Electric Jesus” undoubtedly gets plenty of John Hughes ’80s teen-amour comparisons, but this film makes considerably more of that dead-on verisimilitude. (Disclaimer: I ran a concert hall for 20 years, and, I mean, I got a little PTSD watching the movie. White absolutely nails the crappy reality of bottom-tier bands’ touring lives.)
The real story in “Electric Jesus” is heartbreak. Great songs that set out to break your heart do a fine job of it without coming off as self-conscious. In much the same way, this story doesn’t set out to break your heart, either, but the film delights in doing exactly what good songs do.
A remarkable coming-of-age-through-music film
Films that mention Jesus tend to fall into two categories. Some reek of a religious agenda and are idolized among the faithful while being dismissed as propaganda by everyone else. Others are satisfied with criticizing the behavior of religious people: often fairly, but sometimes to the point of ridicule.
Electric Jesus does neither, which makes it a simply wonderful film.
Set in the summer of 1986, Electric Jesus invites the audience into a piece of American culture that many have experienced, even if in isolated bursts that we never really learn how to talk about. We are invited to the intersection of adolescence and Christianity through a world of Bible camps, church youth group skating parties, and an aspiring hair metal band who are heaven-bent on making Jesus famous.
The story portrays the earnestness and innocence of teenagers surrounded by religion as they discover who they are in this world. The evangelical subculture that the story emerges from is neither mocked nor glorified; instead we are invited into witness the characters as they come of age. There are moments of giddiness, of youthful idealism, of stupidity, of awkwardness, and everything that comes with adolescent friendships that are as intense as they are short-lived because life has other plans. There are also moments that simply take my breath away because they are so very human that they seem to come out of nowhere in a comedy.
Electric Jesus allows teenage characters to carry the story with the same dignity that John Hughes perfected during the same decade that the story is set in. It is also a deeply satisfying film about music, telling the story of a fictional band that never makes it. The original music captures both the rollicking humor of the film while demanding to be taken seriously. Additionally, the Christian youth subculture of 1986–the music, the clothing, and the people–is captured with a meticulous eye for detail that provides pure delight to anyone who lived through it and an accurate glimpse for those who never found themselves being asked to commit their life to Jesus while sitting on the floor of a roller skating rink during a heavy metal altar call.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 47 min (107 min)
Genre Comedy, Drama, Music
Director Chris White
Writer Chris White
Actors Judd Nelson, Brian Baumgartner, Rhoda Griffis
Country United States
Awards 1 win & 1 nomination
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix N/A
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Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A