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ELECTRIC JESUS

What You Need To Know:

ELECTRIC JESUS is a confused, dismal account of a 1986 Christian hair metal band’s summer tour. The band is an underage group of six musicians, who are originally on fire for Jesus, and saving people’s eternal souls. As they grow in popularity, however, they lose their morality and their focus on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When they have a chance to make it big, their manager flakes out, and the band completely falls apart.

Some of the songs in ELECTRIC JESUS are entertaining, with some inspiring lyrics. Since metal music targets a narrow audience, other songs come across as too overpowering and protracted. For some viewers, however, the music may create nostalgia for a bygone era. Brian Baumgartner gives an excellent performance as the band’s manager. The movie’s story drags a bit, and the viewer may never really understand what the movie’s narrator is trying to say. Sadly, he’s a Christian who loses his faith, zeal and purpose in life. ELECTRIC JESUS also has some crude language, lewd behavior, rude humor, and substance abuse. Media-wise moviegoers will find the movie unacceptable.

Content:

(RoRo, C, AB, LL, V, S, AA, DD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Romantic worldview concludes that musically talented people should just be happy and play music for themselves with some light Christian elements such as the main characters claim to love the Lord but eventually act immorally, a central message is that Salvation comes from Jesus Christ, but there’s a lot of mockery and sarcasm along the way, so this message gets lost, and the quest for eternal salvation is replaced with the goal of enjoying music and being personally happy rather than finding joy in the Lord

Foul Language:
Ten obscenities, two light profanities, a homosexual slur is used, and there’s some crude language to describe a band manager’s one night stand with a woman

Violence:
Bar related fight, band is assaulted when audience throws things at them, and main character is attacked by a bar patron

Sex:
Sex related dialogue and crude and profane description of the manager’s one night stand, plus a few kisses

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Excessive drunkenness in a few scenes, plus band manager is an alcoholic

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking but drugs are displayed next to a passed out patron at a bar;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Strong miscellaneous immorality includes undertones of mocking Christians, dysfunctional family, girl runs away from home, father doesn’t listen to his daughter.

More Detail:

ELECTRIC JESUS is a discouraging comedy about a 1986 summer tour of a Christian hair metal band, 316. Led by “Skip,” their manager, the band includes four male musicians, a sound guy, Erik, and a runaway, Sarah. The band members are all underage.

They set out at Christians on fire to “make Jesus famous.” Their zeal fades, however. Good morals slowly fall by the wayside as their desire to have a good time and become famous increases. They not only fail in their mission. The band also ends up humiliated, washed up and disillusioned about Christianity, and everything else.

There are very funny moments about Christian worship, but there are so many of these moments, the movie sometimes feels like full-on mockery of Christians. Ultimately, the movie fails to share the Christian message of Jesus and His promise to give us all a more abundant life. The movie contains lewd dialogue, rude and crude humor, scenes with excessive drinking and drug use, and some foul language. MOVIEGUIDE® finds ELECTRIC JESUS excessive.

ELECTRIC JESUS is narrated by Erik, a talented teenage sound guy who joins a touring Christian metal band in the summer of 1986. Initially, he refuses to go with them so he can focus entirely on his spiritual development. However, his mother persuades him to go. She believes he has a gift and could help lead many young people to Christ. Erik accepts.

Named “316” after the famous verse in the Gospel of John, the band spends some time at their investor’s home, a widowed missionary preacher. The preacher’s eldest daughter, Sarah, dreams of a singing career. She stows herself away on the all-boy band’s bus. Skip plans to send her back home, until he sees she’s a talented musician and singer. The band sets out to “make Jesus famous.” They use tag lines such as, “to Hell with the Devil” and “Jesus Christ will love the hell out of you.” Performing in church sanctuaries, youth group venues and roller rinks, the big hair, spandex and makeup wearing band gains popularity.

However, there are increasingly noticeable changes in behavior as the band makes its way through the Southeast. For example, Skip is an alcoholic who owes money for some past mistakes. Sarah and some of the guys loosen their moral standards and get involved in unchaste activities. The entire band also becomes more ambitious. Skip negotiates a deal for the group to play with secular death metal bands at a well-known venue in Nashville called Purgatorio. It’s the band’s next step toward fame, but the catch is they have to cancel their scheduled dates for church groups.

Erik convinces the band members to accept the gig at the secular venue with “Satan’s Clutch” by arguing they have only been “preaching to the choir.” If they go out, they can save the lost. All agree. The prized venue is a drunken, drug-riddled bar, saturated in a culture of death. To make matters worse, Skip is a “no-show.” The lead singer gives an altar call after the last song. The crowd assaults them. A brawl ensues. The band is humiliated and breaks up.

Sarah decides Jesus doesn’t need her to be famous. He wants her to be happy and enjoy playing music. Before her father can pick her up, she runs away. Erik convinces the band to play one last time together just for themselves, not for Jesus. He says the moment is the best set they ever played together.

The idea that Jesus wants us to be happy may be valid and true. However, true happiness doesn’t equate to doing whatever is enjoyable and makes us happy. Happiness is a byproduct of a life well lived. Also, the deepest level of love is sacrifice. There is no greater sacrifice than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. The movie grasps this message initially, though weakly, and abandons it entirely in the end, disproving its own premise. True lasting joy can only be found in the Kingdom of Heaven, which begins here on earth, if we choose to trust in Jesus and persevere to the end.

Some of the songs in ELECTRIC JESUS are entertaining, with some inspiring lyrics. Since metal music targets a narrow audience, other songs come across as too overpowering and protracted. For some viewers, however, the music may create nostalgia for a bygone era. Brian Baumgartner gives an excellent performance as the band’s manager. The movie’s story drags a bit, however, and the viewer may never really understand what the movie’s narrator is trying to say. Sadly, he’s a Christian who loses his faith, zeal and purpose in life. ELECTRIC JESUS also has some crude language, lewd behavior, rude humor, and substance abuse. Media-wise moviegoers will find the movie unacceptable.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.