Produced by the infamous mockbuster powerhouse that is The Asylum (the company responsible for Alien vs. Hunter, The Day The Earth Stopped and Transmorphers), Sunday School Musical takes the basic themes from the similarly named High School Musical franchise, but changes the story to a state competition for school choirs. Our hero Zach belongs to the hippest choir in the neighbourhood, but when his mother reveals that she lost her job, he is forced to transfer to rival school Crossroads Christian, whose choir leaves much to be desired. With his spunky never-give-up attitude, Zach manages to pull Crossroads Choir from obscurity and, against all odds, manages to forge a compromise with his moral integrity despite apparently betraying his old friends.
Considering the budget, the film appears well-made. This, of course, is where the compliments end. The filmmakers may have had their heart in the right place, but the whole experience is a nauseating wreck. Attempts to discreetly work Christian values into the ethos of coolness are embarrassingly noticeable, and subsequently little effort is made to generate realistic chemistry between any of the characters. Chris Chatman gives an admirable stab as lead character Zach, but there is almost nothing believable about him – that someone with apparent musical invincibility could be wowed by a guy playing Amazing Grace on harmonica says a lot for the film’s priorities. Candise Lakota, who plays Zach’s love interest Savannah, is completely devoid of charm, passion or even signs of life. Not so much moralistic as emetic.