I was out a Record Show and I found a table that had a lot of Kiss memorabilia but nothing much I really wanted as I generally stick to the music. I did find something I didn’t realize existed and that was Kiss Blu-Ray Bootlegs. This guy was selling a lot of them. I came back to the table and looked again and decided, you know, I want to try it out. When he then offered that I could get two for $15, I jumped at the chance. $15 was worth the risk. So I grabbed one from the End of the Road tour and one from the MonsterTour as I saw at least the End of the Road Tour, just not that show.
So, first up we was the End of the Road Tour and it was filmed at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA on February 4th, 2020 just a month before COVID shut the whole touring scene down. Kiss was a full year in to the tour at this point and in fine form. Check out that review. This Bootleg is from the Monster Tour from the show on August 13, 2013 at the Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC.
I have to say the video quality is much better than I expected and even better than the other bootleg that I had. There wasn’t as much washout from the lights and the angles were even better. The shots from the front of the stage were perfectly clear and killer. The explosions were so freaking loud it was like you were there. The vocals on a couple songs were a little low at times, but overall everything was crystal clear. The problems with the show were not from the video. But for $7.50 a piece, pretty darn acceptable.
We have come to the part of the Kiss timeline in which I believe Kiss would like to completely forget. The Kiss ‘Exposed’ VHS tape that was released on May 18, 1987. In an MTV world and the 80’s rock screaming of women and excess, Kiss decided to put together a collection of their 80’s music videos that they had so far. But no, that wasn’t enough. Gene and Paul wanted to give you so much more. Some exclusive interviews, some vintage videos and a lot of women (and we will get to that in a minute).
In what can be described simply as a train wreck, we get a semi-scripted, badly acted performance of Kiss doing little sketches and some actually real and great interviews. The set for this fantasmic masterpiece is what is supposed to be Paul’s mansion…guess what…it wasn’t. They rented it for this video shoot and brought a lot of Kiss memorabilia in to make you think it was Paul’s actual bachelor pad. The set up was supposed to be some sort of documentary where this clumsy, nerdy news-type guy and a horny cameraman follow Gene and Paul around and do interviews. The sketches are horribly bad, Paul is not funny…and I mean groaningly not funny and Gene is well…Gene.
On top of that the house and every scene is covered with half-naked, and in some cases, very naked women lying around being horribly objectified and they are being misogynistic towards. In today’s world, it is completely and utterly unacceptable. However, when you are 17-18 years old in 1987, it is totally AWESOME!! I got to see Boobies!!! Because at 17/18, that was not something I was getting to see on a regular basis. I had this on VHS at the time and can’t believe my parents let me watch it. Thankfully they never saw it or I wouldn’t get to see it again. When I watched this a couple weeks ago, it was suddenly very painful to watch.
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.
I will admit that I hadn’t read the book (yet) and I was apprehensive about watching the movie because the trailer looked like a bad Lifetime Movie. But being it was on Netflix and it wouldn’t cost anymore than I am paying now for the service, I finally broke down and watched it. What did I think? Well, that is the whole point of this review, to let you know what I thought about the movie.
The movie is very graphic. It doesn’t shy away from the drug use or any of the sex…at all!! The opening scene where they are partying doesn’t hold back and pretty much sums up the whole band in 1 minute. When I was a kid, this scene would have been epic, but as a 50 year old male, with two daughters, I now found it disturbing and sad…damn how perspective changes with age and life experiences.
Without having read the book, I can’t speak to how accurate the movie stuck to it, but then again we can’t speak to the accuracy of the book based on how drugged out these guys were all the time. I can speak to the performances overall. The actors portraying the band are as follows:
Nikki Sixx – Douglas Booth
Tommy Lee – Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)
Mick Mars – Iwan Rheon
Vince Neil – Daniel Webber
The movie started off too crazy and too outlandish which left me not really caring about these guys a whole lot. As the movie progressed, the acting progressed and the movie actually got better. As far as Razzle’s death (of Hanoi Rocks) by the drunk driving of Vince, I didn’t feel the proper tension build up it needed. It felt flat. But later when Vince lost his little girl to cancer, I felt that. That was way sadder and more believable (plus it could be I have girls and I could relate to how awful that would be to lose one).
I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it. I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic? Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well? Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?
All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it. It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile. And the rest you can say is history.
The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life. And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history. How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.
For some reason, my youngest daughter has been fascinated by the band KISS. I am sure it stems from all the KISS albums and videos I have. When she was younger, we would joke that her tongue was like Gene Simmons, so the Demon became the character she liked best.
My youngest also loves Scooby-Doo. So when KISS and Scooby-Doo joined forces for a video, naturally she had to have it. And being the great father and Kisss fan that I am, I made sure she had it.
Instead of me trying to be creative and explain this hard to explain movie, I will let the editors of Amazon.com do it for me…
Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World – the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang’s cunning and Kiss’s power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!