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The 100




KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
(1978)
Reviewed by Brendan McBride
Rating: 7 Beans

wanna rock and roll all night
and party every day . . ."

Ah yes, music that defined a whole generation. In the age of "Glam Rock" KISS was king. For those of you too young to remember, KISS was a heavy metal band whose gimmick was dressing up in "superhero" type cosumes with tons of stage makeup. I guess they did some reunion work together recently so many of you may know them. But my understanding is that the reunion was "san-costumes" which is to say, if you only know them from the reunion album and tour, you don't know them. The four members were:

"The Demon", Gene Simmons ( a respectable bad guy to Tom Selleck's cop in "Runaway") his stage persona had a tongue like a roto-rooter and spit blood;

"The Spaceman", Ace Frehley (who, I vaguely remember, released a solo album, but other than that has maintained his rightful place in obscurity);

"The Cat", Peter Criss; and

"The Star-Child" (?!), Paul Stanley (the group apparently could only come up with three good character ideas).

As much as their music sucked (imagine "RATT" or "Twisted Sister" trying to sell to the disco crowd) it has nothing on this made for TV movie. The plot is thus: KISS is preparing for a big show at the amusement park but little do they know that evil genius Anthony Zerbe, "the Gary Oldman of 1970's TV movies," (who, incidentally has been in some terrific films including "Cool Hand Luke", and "Rooster Cogburn") is planning to sabotage the park, and the show, in order to settle a grudge with the park's owners. It's up to KISS, with their superhuman powers, to make the world safe for Glam Rock once more.

It's actually much more bizarre than it sounds (If you can believe that). Before it's done we're treated to an army of white-furred apeman creatures (obviously miniatures) that emit lasers from their eyes, a robotic "Evil-Kiss" built to do battle with our heroes, and some of the worst dialogue and acting this reviewer has ever been privy to.

This movie used to get played about once a month on WTBS which, coincidentally, used to showcase another of my all-time favorite baddies: "Night of the Lepus."

But that's a different review . . .


Other reviews for this movie:

Jeff DeLuzio




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