Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 84 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
On Digital Download, Blu-ray, and DVD January 19, 2016
Who knew having a smaller wiener than your co-worker might be a blessing in disguise? For Jon Mikl Thor, nature’s short givings put him in a position to follow his dream. And follow his dream he has.
You see, early in the documentary “I Am Thor” we learn that Jon lost his job as a naked waiter because his wiener wasn’t long enough. He was doing well as a naked waiter, or so it seemed, but then the new guy came, longer schlong and all, and suddenly Jon was back to his quest of music domination, a quest that never left the man who would be Thor.
Now, my appreciation for metal music didn’t start until later in life, maybe sometime in college, so by the time Thor retired the first time in 1987 I didn’t have had any idea who he was then, nor when the reunion tour kicked in come 1997. It’s kind of too bad because back when I heavily covered concerts in the mid to late 1990’s, I have a feeling Thor would have gotten two big thumbs up. With solid, metal music mixed with theatrics as the fictional character Thor, Thor was one of those bands that just never had that “hit” that would take them to mainstream. There was metal music, bending steel, breaking cement blocks, exploding hot water bottles, and saving the universe concerts, but no super-stardom, and “I Am Thor” follows it all.
As the documentary flows we see the early days of Thor, his interest in bodybuilding and becoming champion, as well as his interest in rock music. There is the flashback to his first metal band, Body Rock, how his music and Thor, the band, started to grow, then weird music shenanigans derailed the awesomeness. In the United States the band couldn’t take hold, but then, just as things started to grow in Europe the band fell apart, and Thor decided to head for the movies, even supposedly set to be Thor in “Adventures in Babysitting,” sadly replaced by Vincent D’Onofrio. The trajectory of Thor was derailed again.
What do you do when your movie career doesn’t take off, your band is pretty much done, and you wander the streets with thoughts in your head that lead you to a suicide attempt and nervous breakdown? You retire, of course, and for a spell from 1987 to 1997 that’s exactly what Thor did, settling down with his wife, Rusty Hamilton. But Thor had the music in him, and the music had to get out, so it was time to try to get the band back together, or for Thor, a lot of getting anyone who wanted to be in his band back to together, and hit the road for the reunion tour.
Battling small crowds, recruiting a new band just about overnight when his band couldn’t get their work visas straight, and still being the spectacle, Thor pressed on, always finding a reason to play, entertain his fans, and you just can’t help but root for the guy as the documentary continues because through it all he just wants to entertain.
The documentary culminates with Thor bringing the old boys from the band to Europe for “one last” blast, most of the time just searching for the “Yea, people like us, remember us, and we’ve touched their lives with our music” moment, and touchingly for the band they find that metal fans don’t care if you’ve become old and pudgy, all that matters is that you rock. And Thor still rocked.
Many a person would have given up on their dream years earlier and settled being a “normal human being,” but not Jon Mikl Thor. Through it all he is a bodybuilder, a rocker, and an entertainer. “I Am Thor” shows it all.
I was surprised at the amount of footage that was available to really give a full picture of the story of Thor, especially since his band’s rise was back in the days of camcorders and bad TV tape, but “I Am Thor” was put together nicely by director Ryan Wise to give a great look into the man who is Thor. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for this one, and if you want to see a documentary about a man who won’t let his dream of rock stardom die, this is a fun one, just don’t ask me how “Crunch, Crunch, Yum, Yum” fits into it all.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!