A new film by Chris White. Produced by Blue Tape Records, LLC.
In 1986 hair metal was king. Bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Motley Crüe, and Ratt ruled the airwaves...and spawned a thousand copycat bands and millions of head-banging teenage fans.
At the same time, evangelical Christians—in an attempt to distance themselves from the hedonistic subculture of metal and preach the Gospel—promoted a cottage industry of Christian metal bands. 1986 was the peak of this push.
While super-group Stryper found fame outside of Evangelical circles, dozens of “white metal” bands thrived within the wholesome Christian youth group culture of sprawling suburban America.
TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL is a rock and roll road movie about how, during the summer of 1986, a devout teenager’s dream comes true when he becomes a roadie for an up-and-coming Christian hair metal band.
The film is framed as a flashback. 45 year-old Erik looking back and remembering the summer that changed his life forever.
Erik and his buddies are playing at an Evangelical youth camp when they are discovered by a down-on-his-luck Christian band promoter named Skip Wick.
Skip’s delusions of grandeur see this young band spreading God’s word all the way to the big time—sold out amphitheaters and records deals.
And so Erik and his friends—Michael, Jamie, Cliff, and Scotty—begin the road trip of a lifetime as “316.”
But things get complicated when a Pentecostal preacher’s daughter, 15 year-old Sarah, stows away with the band.
Sarah is a true artist, desperate to flee her small town in search of rock and roll stardom.
And, like 316’s lead guitarist Jamie, the girl has real talent...not just church camp talent.
Skip nearly has a heart attack when he finds out a girl has run away with his band, but a deal is struck with her woebegone father, and Sarah stays with the tour as opening act.
It works. Crowds of Holy Spirit-filled teenagers start to take notice of this godly crew.
316 is good, tight, better than you’d expect. There is a passion to their music that goes deeper than mere religious fervor.
Still, as 316 and Skip close in on their dreams of Gospel glory, rifts start to form in the band...
Faith and friendship is put to the test...
The business side of Jesus troubles these young idealists.
How can they stay true to their rigorous faith when there are songs to write and record, groupies to fend off, and the promise of bigger stages, larger payouts?
These conflicts begin to eat away at the boys’ devotion to each other and to God.
And when Erik falls in love with Sarah, and they begin to date, we see through the romantic haze. We know how this is going to end long before he does.
Then, a godsend!
316 is offered a shot at opening for Stryper and Motley Crue’s legendary “Heaven and Hell” show in L.A.
It’s their big shot! But there’s a test. They have to play a killer show at Dallas’ infamous Purgatorio Ballroom...a raw and raunchy rock-and-roll club.
But they blow it.
Erik ends up losing his friends, his girl, his music, and ultimately, his faith.
Now, after years of hurt and bitterness, Erik comes back to himself...at the untimely funeral of one of his old friends. And it might be too late.
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