Jon Mikl Thor was a bodybuilding, steel-bending, brick-smashing metal star in the 70s and 80s whose band never quite made it big. Years later, in this funny and endearing doco, he attempts a comeback that nearly kills him.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Forget about that coiffed-up hammer dude from the Marvel Universe. The real Thor was a 70s Canadian competitive bodybuilder who moonlighted as a naked lounge lizard with a Vegas-style cabaret show, singing standards, blowing up hot water bottles, fronting an incredible heavy metal band and starring in mesmerising, cheesy horror movies (Rock & Roll Nightmare). Filmmaker Ryan Wise knew he was onto something pretty special as he began recording the roller-coaster life of perpetual dreamer Jon Mikl Thor after he discovered him making pizzas in the early 2000s. Wise follows Thor’s comeback, documenting his subject’s real-life Spinal Tap existence with hundreds of hours of intimate and revealing footage that will leave you crying with laughter. This truly affectionate doco showcases the world’s most sincere, self-deprecating narcissistic underdog. Watching Thor’s undying fame-quest for world domination is both heartbreaking and inspirational. — AT
“Like another Canuck headbanger portrait, 2008’s sleeper success Anvil! The Story of Anvil, this mix of real-life Spinal Tap antics and underdog rooting value should attract a cult following.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety