1978 was a big year for Kiss. Not only were they working on their Solo albums, they were also making their first movie. Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was released on October 28, 1978. It was a made for TV movie in the U.S. if that tells you anything about it before we even start talking about it. I actually remember all the hype this was getting and for me it was Event TV. I was going to watch this when it came out and I actually did. I was just shy of 10 years old and I remember this vividly. I even had it on VHS when it was released (or my brother had it), but we don’t have it anymore.
I think there was a plot so I will see if I can piece it together for you. The movie takes place at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California and the Park is having some money troubles. The evil scientist man, Abner Devereaux played by Anthony Zerba, is spending too much on his robots. He is close to developing the most realistic robots ever, but before he can finish, he is fired. This sets him off to destroy the park and Kiss as they were there to perform 3 shows over the weekend. The funny thing is that after being fired, he wasn’t escorted out of the park like any normal firing. Stupid mistake on their part.
There is Sam and Melisse, two young kids in love. Sam works for Devereaux who takes Sam hostage using a micro chip in his neck to control him and basically turn him in to a human robot. All the while, Sam’s girlfriend, Melissa, is trying to find him. She meets Kiss and tries to get their help. Kiss is happy to oblige a pretty young lady and she was that. Kiss had special powers, they were superheroes basically. They had these Talisman that gave them their powers and Devereaux uses Sam to steal those Talisman.
Will Kiss beat the bad guy and save Sam? Will Kiss fight their own robotic selves and come out on top? Will the acting and story be so bad that it is laughable? The answer to all these 3 questions is a resounding…YES!! The synopsis of the plot is overly simplified just as much as the bad storyline itself.
Even Kiss knew this movie was bad. It was so bad, that when Peter talks, it is someone else’s voice as Peter wouldn’t do the overdubs or wasn’t available. Ace barely uttered a word as it was mostly “Acks” and had the nerve to complain about it later so a couple lines were inserted to make him happy. Ace had so many problems even showing up to the set.
The budget was so low and the special effects were horrible, the dialogue, Gene’s atrocious growl and Paul’s face he made when the so called laser shot from his eye was down right pathetic. Hell, even Ace’s stunt double was not right as they used a black man who looked nothing like him and let me tell you it was so noticeable that it wasn’t Ace. Now the movie was produced by Joseph Barbera of the cartoon world and so the fight scenes even had the cartoon sound effects…Ugh!. The band hated it so much, their employees and road crew were never to mention the movie to them AT ALL!!
Seriously, this thing actually was made and released. I know I should go in to more detail on the cast and the plot, but do we really need to do that? I don’t think so. I don’t even think those actors keep this on their resume it is that bad.
One cool thing that came out of it was the Kiss Meets the Phantom magazine with tons of band pictures. My brother had this magazine and I remember it like it was yesterday. Sadly, we no longer have the magazine either, but if I did, I would’ve written a post on it long, long ago.
Now, you can’t get this on DVD, but if you get Kissology 2, you can get the European version called Attack of the Phantom which is actually a better cut of the film. You get rid of the corny cartoon music and Kiss songs were replaced in the fight scenes. The overall cut, is just plain better.
The only real highlight of the movie was we actually got to see Kiss and hear their music and it was all front and center on national television. Which was also its downfall as this train wreck was on National Television. The Kiss juggernaut was coming undone. How bad was this movie, I would rate it around a 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars. Yes, it is that bad. I actually watched it again for this review, but I did choose the European version and I ended up still falling asleep watching it.
Next Up: Kiss – ‘Dynasty’ (1979)
Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!
The Kiss Review Series:
- Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
- Kiss – Kiss (1974)
- Kiss – Hotter Than Hell (1974)
- Kiss – Dressed to Kill (1975)
- Kiss – Alive! (1975)
- Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
- Kiss – “Flaming Youth” 45 Promo Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
- Kiss – Special Kiss Album For Their Summer Tour (1976)
- Kiss – The Originals (1976)
- Kiss – Rock & Roll Over (1976)
- Kiss – Love Gun (1977)
- Kiss – Alive II (1977)
- Kiss – Double Platinum (1978)
- Kiss – Paul Stanley (1978)
- Kiss – Gene Simmons (1978)
- Kiss – Peter Criss (1978)
- Kiss – Ace Frehley (1978)
- Kiss – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978) Movie
The Bootleg Series:
- Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
- Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
- Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
- Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
- Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
- Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
- Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
- Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
- Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
- Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
- Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
- Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
- Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
- Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
- Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
Kiss – The Box Set:
- The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Three 1976-1982 (Part 4 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Four 1983-1989 (Part 5 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Five 1992-1999 (Part 6 of 6)
Gene Simmons – The Vault:
- Part 1 – The Grand Opening
- Part 2 – Disk 1
- Part 3 – Disk 2
- Part 4 – Disk 3
- Part 5 – Disk 4
- Part 6 – Disk 5
- Part 7 – Disk 6
- Part 8 – Disk 7
- Part 9 – Disk 8
- Part 10 – Disk 9
- Part 11 – Disk 10
- Part 12 – The Bonus Disk
- Part 13 – The Best Songs of the Vault
- Part 14 – The Worst Songs of the Vault
- Part 15 – The Final Verdict