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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Thor at the Bus Stop'

Dennis King Published: April 23, 2012

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Thor at the Bus Stop”

The weirdly titled “Thor at the Bus Stop” (due out on DVD Tuesday) is a hipster hash of Monty Python-esque skits, offbeat street denizens, existential philosophizing and low-low-budget ingenuity that shows some promise from filmmaking brothers Jerry and Mike Thompson.

Shot on a proverbial shoestring and freighted with all the usual flaws of DIY filmmaking – bad acting, cheesy production values, self-consciously jaded dialogue – “Thor” is nevertheless a pretty cool calling-card work for the obviously clever and inventive Thompson brothers. In this, their first feature-length collaboration, the writer-director-actor siblings display a strong penchant for quirky humor (of the Python kind) and world-weary nihilism (they’ve obviously watched a lot of Tarantino).

“Thor” is a comedy-fantasy that takes place in a glum, unnamed urban neighborhood populated by rigorously oddball characters. They include Ultra Stan the Everyman (who delivers pizzas), Bernard Barnard (a moronic TV reporter), Big Zed and Little Fred (they steal lunchboxes from school children), Passenger Seat Pete (a blandly submissive dupe), Beat Nick (a poet), White Trash Chuck (a wannabe hipster), One-Way Walter (a cool dude who highjacks cars), Detective Mergatroy (a TV camera hog) and, of course, the Norse god of lightning, Thor (passing through the neighborhood on the day he dies).

The slow-paced story unfolds mostly in short, loosely interwoven sketches and is weighted down with loads of philosophizing – some of it silly, some of it vaguely cool. In fact, the whole tone of this silly-smart flick might best be summed up by this observation from one street denizen, “There’s only two ways to act. Just two ways, Either be cool. Or not.”

“Thor at the Bus Stop” is not rated and runs 100 minutes. It’s being released by VCI Entertainment.

- Dennis King


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