Dec 28, 2012

Cult Flick Review: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park - 1978

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park
Aka: Attack of the Phantoms
Director: Gordon Hessler

Kiss is the largest music attraction in the world and they’ve come to play in this theme park. Meanwhile Abner Devereaux, the parks developer, gets even stranger ideas than usual and is ultimately fired by his old friend who happens to also be the owner. He plans his gruesome revenge! His plan to replace the famous rock group with his own creatures and use them to start a riot begins…

According to legend – haven’t you always wanted to start a review with those words? – Kiss themselves hates the movie. I don’t know if this is the truth or not; or if Ace and Peter should be involved in the hatred. It seems to me that Gene and Paul are the ones who always made all the decisions anyway; even when the classic lineup was a reality. But I understand them; this is a real piece of crap really! But on the other hand – I like it as hell! It poorly acted, the effects are really bad and the storyline is almost nonexistent. But still it’s very entertaining and the bands mythology – the demon, the star child, space Ace and the cat man. Each of them has their unique power which is brought to them via a certain talisman, is very amusing.

The band themselves are really poor actors! Gene is somewhat better and has in fact made a few parts since then. Runaway and Wanted Dead or Alive comes to mind. He is far better as a terrorist in those movies than as himself here though. How odd does that sound? Anthony Zerbe, who plays the main villain Abner Devereaux is pretty decent though. I mean that his character might be poorly written but I think he does what can be done with the part.

But it doesn’t really matter that the production is dull. There are entertainment values in this turkey beyond belief. Plus that all the music is top notch! There are even a scene where some androids (yes, it’s a long story) sings some barber shop. Well, maybe it isn’t such a long story after all. When this Abdner dude gets fired he uses his creations to attack the band and replace them with his own duplicates. He then plans to wreck the park by rewriting the lyrics to titles like Hotter than Hell, making it into Rip and Destroy and hope that Kiss’ fans will take it literally. Come to think of it, there is also a great acoustic guitar version of Beth!

If you can get hold of this I suggest you get it! It’s really bad but as I said it’s very entertaining! I once used a rating system where a U represented the grade. The right part was all the good aspects, the real quality stuff, and the left part was all entertaining. It was used as guidance to weather it was a really good film or just a bad but entertaining one. I’m not sure why this grading system was lost but I guess there was a problem visualizing it. Anyway, this would render a high rating on the left side of the U!