Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park – Schlocky Made For TV Fodder

By Steve D. Stones Even if you’re a die-hard Kiss fan, Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park really stinks! I remember seeing this made for TV programmer Halloween night in 1978 at the age of six. I was scared by the presence of Kiss band members on TV in their costumes and make-up, but greatly bored by the movie. Gene Simmons in particular left an impression on me with his long tongue and demon headed boots. Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park greatly suffers from a thoughtful script and production values. Hanna-Barbara Studios, creators of Scooby Doo, produced the film. Guitarist Ace Frehley had a hard time showing up for work in make-up at 7 a.m. from partying the night before, and drummer Peter Criss had his lines dubbed by another actor because his dialogue was difficult to decipher. A stunt double was used for Frehley’s action sequences because he was so unreliable on the set. The entire film was a complete mess. The band was in a meltdown at the time the film was made, and it shows in their performances. Frehley would soon leave the band. Criss followed shortly. The film was marketed as a Hard Day’s Night meets Star Wars and Phantom of The Opera. The only similarity is to Phantom of The Opera. A mad, reclusive scientist, who controls the rides and attractions of a fun park, wants to make sure a Kiss concert does not happen at the park. He kidnaps the quartet and places automated clones in their place to disappoint their fans. The Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula monsters also make an appearance in the film with greater acting abilities than the band, unfortunately. Kiss became a pop-culture marketing machine in the late 1970s. They even produced a Kiss comic book with blood from the band members used as printing ink for the comic. Kiss dolls, action figures, puzzles, posters, trading cards and pin ball games flooded the American market. This is what made Kiss a fun and entertaining rock band that no other band could come close to competing with. VHS video copies of Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park are difficult to find on E-bay and other internet sites. If you own a copy of the film, you may want to hold on to it as a valuable collector’s item. Happy viewing.


Anonymous said...

I remember this! It really stank! Now that is some classic bad horror flick

Anonymous said...

I saw Kiss the last 2 times they came around the East Coast..they put on a great show and play all the old classic songs!! For the price of Kiss tickets they are always at good prices at