HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Alien Covenant
Puppe, Die
Song to Song
Lady Macbeth
Pecking Order
Straight Story, The
Monster Calls, A
Red Turtle, The
Fire Down Below
Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins
Cold Moon
Split
Pirates, The
Life is Sweet
Ladybird Ladybird
Mephisto Waltz, The
Raining Stones
Black Widow
Villainess, The
Burroughs
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Suntan
Heal the Living
Riff-Raff
Midwife, The
Mirage
Lady Bloodfight
Property is No Longer a Theft
Dick Spanner, P.I.
Cooley High
   
 
Newest Articles
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
Creatively Speaking: James Scott's Art Films on DVD
Computer Love: WarGames vs Electric Dreams
Dream Big: Elm Street vs Dreamscape
Whicker's Slicker: Whicker's World Vols 3&4 on DVD
Ladies First: Girls on Film 2 on DVD
Rock Back: 3 Cult Millennium Music Movies
Possession Obsession: Exorcist vs Amityville
   
 
  KISS meets the Phantom of the Park KISSed OffBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Anthony Zerbe, Carmine Caridi, Deborah Ryan, John Dennis Johnston, John Lisbon Wood, Lisa Jane Persky, John Chappell, Terry Lester, Don Steele, Richard Hein, Brion James
Genre: Musical, Science Fiction, Adventure, TV Movie
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: The rock band KISS are to play three nights at an amusement park, and the concerts are already sold out. However, the head of the park isn't happy with the work being done by his chief technician, Abner Devereaux (Anthony Zerbe), a scientific genius who hasn't learned not to try out his latest devices on the paying public. Meanwhile, Devereaux's assistant Sam (Terry Lester) tells his girlfriend Melissa (Deborah Ryan) that he will be back in an hour as he has to check something with his boss - he's suspicious about the work going on. When Sam disappears, Melissa can't find anyone who will believe her when she tells them something is wrong... nobody but KISS, that is!

KISS meets the Phantom of the Park is one of those relics from the seventies that you can imagine the band concerned, and perhaps some of the others involved too, would rather forget. It has the appearance of being thrown together at short notice for the purposes of pure publicity, never mind how shoddy the final product looks; it played as a TV movie in North America, but was a theatrical release elsewhere in the world. Taking the form of pulp science fiction that was popular at the time thanks to Star Wars, the script, by Jan Michael Sherman and Don Buday, dresses up KISS (as if they needed any more dressing up), as superhumans with out-of-this-world powers.

As the title would have it, this is a variation on The Phantom of the Opera with Zerbe as the villain, although nobody refers to him as such, but it's really that old standby of sci-fi television, the evil double plot. Devereaux, you see, is a master at creating androids which look uncannily like actors moving jerkily, and his handiwork is displayed around the park. But he has big plans for these robots, which include a Chamber of Horrors (any excuse to bring in the Frankenstein Monster, eh?) and, even scarier, a barber shop quartet, and the luckless Sam has been rendered under Deveraux's command by a small device on his shoulder.

Presumably Devereaux has dreams of taking over the world - he does mention "Armageddon" at one point - but the bigger picture remains unclear. After half an hour of this, you may be getting restless for the appearance of KISS, but they do eventually show up. Now you'd have thought that it would be difficult to make the band look more ridiculous than they already have done themselves, but hold on there, because the massed forces of Hanna-Barbera set to work, ensuring that our heroes are never seen out of costume, have a talisman each to allow them magic powers such as laser beams from their eyes, and occasionaly play a song or two.

Tongue-waggling Gene Simmons is the most curious here as his voice has been electronically treated to go all echoey, he breathes fire and frequently growls and roars like a lion. You'll notice that when KISS eventually embark on their rescue mission, they do so very slowly because they're still wearing their platform boots and can't run in them, but no matter as they give way to their stuntmen at every possible opportunity (Ace Frehley's stuntman is obviously black, bizarrely). The whole plot culminates in a concert by the KISS androids, who it should be pointed out sound exactly the same and are impossible to tell apart from the real thing; naturally, nobody notices. As a promotional tool, it probably set the band's cause back to the prehistoric era, but with time has grown into a camp favourite, even if the KISS Army have mixed feelings.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3256 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
  Vikki Sanderson
Darren Jones
Tom Le Surf-hall
Mark Le Surf-hall
  Michael Joy
   

 

Last Updated: