Thor: An-Thor-Logy (1976)

Genres - Music, Theater  |   Sub-Genres - Vocal Music, Performance Art  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

The awkwardly titled Thor: An-Thor-Logy covers the career of hard rock singer and Mr. U.S.A./Mr. Canada finalist Jon Mikl Thor, who earned fame for a bombastic live show that included feats of strength performed on-stage to the tune of riff-heavy metal anthems. From his humble beginnings as a Las Vegas stripper/singer to international cult success during the 1980s and up to his recent comeback recordings, over 25 years' worth of Thor's activities are documented here. Musically, Thor favors a brutish, simplistic thud that sophisticated rock palates might reject, but songs like "Let the Blood Run Red," "Keep the Dogs Away," and "Knock 'Em Down" are imbued with cartoonish good humor that targets the same pleasure centers in the brain that professional wrestling and Santo movies can satisfy. The quality of the individual clips varies from hand-held fan-shot videotape to professional-grade television production, but the rarity of each segment trumps any technical shortcomings. Highlights include a 1973 appearance on The Merv Griffin Show, a supremely tacky sci-fi music video for "Knock 'Em Down," and unedited footage of Thor doing multiple takes of a TV promo spot for a heavy metal radio program. Throughout the succession of concert clips, live TV appearances, and interviews, Thor performs his big three stunts -- bending a steel bar with his teeth, enduring a concrete block smashed on his chest, and blowing up a hot water bottle until it explodes. The sheer volume of content included in Thor: An-Thor-Logy leads to inevitable repetition, but fans of this mighty "Rock Warrior" will find only transcendence.