The Return of The Thunderhawk (and the perils of Kickstarter)

Kickstarter is a pretty magnificent development in creative democratisation. It both empowers creators and enables consumers to put their money where their mouth is, providing tangible support for niche projects and allowing end user feedback throughout the creative/development process. But for every Shenmue 3 there is a ‘Thor Tour 2016.

Full disclosure- I love Jon Mikl THOR. His 1978 LP ‘Keep the Dogs Away’ is a lost glam era classic and his 80’s output on both record and film is the pungent cheese apex of codpiece metal fun. It was truly one of the highlights of my journalistic career when I got to interview him prior to the release of the goofy hit doco ‘I AM THOR’ which spun the tale of his meteoric ascent, fraught plateau, inevitable breakdown and eventual dogged comeback.

Audiences worldwide responded to this never-say-die paean to the underdog with his bed sheet capes and his belt of rubber skulls. A hit on the festival circuit, the film generated more press and excitement than Jon had seen in years, which is perhaps why he is keen to light up the silver screen yet again, flexing his dream and hoping lightning strikes twice (sorry) with ‘Return of the Thunderhawk’.

With the previous film taking a staggering fifteen years to complete, and without the assistance of masterminds Al Higbee and Ryan Wise at the helm, the new project seems an ambitious one even for a Nordic god, so THOR has turned to kickstarter to perhaps reap some hot stinky cash from the good will the previous film generated and thus complete this second opus. The only problem is he’s kinda cocked it up.

The project is currently sitting on six backers and $515 of its modest $7,000 goal and repeated checks of the page over the past week has seen tumbleweeds in abundance as that figure remains alarmingly static. A cursory glance at the page might help explain why. This campaign is a mess.

When I interviewed Thor in 2015 he stated that he was “fascinated by technology”, which I took to mean that he was ‘bad with computers’ and this Kickstarter page bears that out.

The pitch is thus : “THOR-Lightning Strikes (Return of the Thunderhawk) Tour 2016” is an incredible documentary that follows THOR as he tours the USA, Canada and Europe to promote the award winning film “I am THOR” and the acclaimed album “Metal Avenger”.  See the Lightning and Hear the Thunder as THOR Rocks one City after another”.

It also assures us that a copy of this film on DVD will make a great Christmas gift and seals the deal with this powerfully erotic festive bon-bon:


“We have live footage of powerful performances from New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Alvesta, Sweden, Montreal, Quebec and more. Now we are in post production and need your help to finish this movie. We want to add some more dramatic scenes between the live footage to give it that extra fantasy look. We have a great crew ready to edit this film and a distributor that will release the movie in 2017 to coincide with the upcoming THOR World tour. With your help we can complete this movie. Be part of THOR history. If you saw the movies “I am THOR” or “Rock n Roll Nightmare” , listened to albums like “Unchained”, “Only The Strong” or witnessed a highly entertaining LIVE THOR show then you know this will be an epic and classic movie!”

The promo clip doesn’t look particularly epic or classic, cobbled together as it is from phone camera quality footage, old audio culled from the aforementioned ‘Dogs’ LP and the best seizure inducing strobe effect Windows Movie Maker can muster.

Backing tiers are plentiful, ranging from the modest $35CA ‘Lightning Strikes’ package which will net you a CD, Shirt, Sticker and Patch all signed by THOR, all the way up to the lofty ultra-premium $5000CA ‘I am Thunderhawk Platinum’ package which will see one lucky punter with deep pockets hanging out with Thor in Hollywood on the day of the film’s premiere, a romantic dinner for two  with the man (god?) himself, attendance at the sure-to-be-wild post screening after party and presumably also the keys to Thor’s house.


Bafflingly, in order to obtain a DVD copy of the actual movie that’s being funded, the minimum donation is a staggering $500CA, however any tier of pledge will see your name immortalised in the film’s credits. At time of writing the $50 ‘Thunder on the Tundra’ Tier seems to be the most popular with three backers each eagerly signing up for their chance to be a part of cinematic history.

And you know what? Fuck it, I’m in.

I enjoyed the ever-loving shit out of THOR’s last documentary, his outstanding 80’s B-reel horror films and his legendary film clips like the sci-fi masterpiece that is ‘Knock Them Down’. So I’m gonna dig deep. And you should too.

Does the world really need another Thor movie? Shit no. Would the world be a better place if it came true? Absolutely.

Raise your wallets like Mjolnir.



-Andi Lennon

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