Electric Jesus | Filmology With Spoken Nerd

Decades before Kanye West took a stand for Jesus with his albums, there was a movement of Christian music that provided a parent-approved soundscape crafted for the kids of the 1980s.  Youth pastors across the U.S. would push bands like Petra and Degarmo & Key as an alternative to the “Satanic” sounds of Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica.  Although this subgenre was often perceived as the Sam’s Choice version of the canon of popular rock and metal music, it had some great moments and holds a place in the hearts of many of us who were exposed to those tunes.     

Electric Jesus is a brilliant romantic comedy that centers around a fictional Christain hair metal band called 3:16.  The band is promised the opportunity to go on the tour of a lifetime by a promoter named Skip (played by Brian Baumgartner) who discovers them at a church talent show.  The summer tour is made extra magical as Sarah (Shannon Hutchinson), the 16-year-old daughter of a superstar pastor played by Judd Nelson, sneaks into the band’s RV and joins the band for the tour.  Sarah is charismatic and talented and quickly becomes the band’s muse as she not only steals the show as an opener but also steals the heart of the band’s soundman and spiritual rock, Erik (Andrew Eakle).  The chemistry between these actors is golden as they remind me of exactly how much I love romantic comedies.     

The soundtrack to this flick, which was crafted by Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile, is absolutely infectious!  I found myself singing “Commando for Christ” for days.  This provides an authentic and hilarious backdrop for a story that is as thoughtful as it is entertaining.  The tour experience even stands as a realistic depiction of the balance of those glory moments and disappointment.       

Electric Jesus is a smart film.  I wish that more comedies were this honest and expressive.  This story is told to us in a way that is unbiased despite being set in an uber-religious environment.  The overall feel of Electric Jesus is like driving through the cornfields of the midwest with the windows down and your stereo blasting all of your favorite hair metal songs as you sing along.  It’s fun!  

About Nathan Conrad:

He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, singing and/or rapping, juxtaposing his style with real-life situations and subject matter. Occasionally Spoken Nerd will find inspiration in films and will put it into song. With seven full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.

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