4.8/10
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Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

KISS, a rock band made up of superheroes, battles an evil inventor who has plans for destruction at a California amusement park.

Director:

Gordon Hessler

Writers:

Jan Michael Sherman (as Jan-Michael Sherman), Don Buday
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Criss ... Cat Man
Ace Frehley ... Space Ace
Gene Simmons ... The Demon
Paul Stanley ... Star Child
Anthony Zerbe ... Abner Devereaux
Carmine Caridi ... Calvin Richards
Deborah Ryan ... Melissa
John Dennis Johnston ... Chopper
John Lisbon Wood John Lisbon Wood ... Slime
Lisa Jane Persky ... Dirty Dee
John Chappell John Chappell ... Snede
Terry Lester ... Sam
Don Steele ... Self
Richard Hein Richard Hein ... Guard
Brion James ... Guard
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Storyline

The tale of rock band KISS and their efforts to thwart a diabolical plan by mad scientist Abner Devereaux. Devereaux has found a way to clone humans into robots in his laboratory at an amusement park. It just so happens that he plans to uses the KISS concert as a platform to unleash his plan on the world. KISS must use their special powers to stop him. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First movie starring KISS! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cartoon-style music during the fight sequences was added after the production team realized that the film needed a lower rating to enable younger KISS fans to see the film. See more »

Goofs

In several scenes, Ace Frehley's black male stunt double is clearly visible from the front. In some fight scenes Ace goes from white to black and vice-versa. See more »

Quotes

Guard: It was him!
Guard: Or his twin.
Cat Man: Gene's brother was an only child.
Star Child: Easy, Catman, they are serious.
Space Ace: And they've got guns!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Spanish version of "KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park" (usually known as "Attack of the Phantoms") has totally different editing. Many various scenes/elements not in the US version (while many in the US version are not in the Spanish version). Among of the differences are:
  • Devereaux's Civil War robots are seen attacking the security guard's office.
  • Calvin and Devereaux have a discussion on the Magic Mountain monorail and continue it as they get off the ride.
  • There are additional live shots of KISS, including some from overhead, including one where you can clearly see a cameraman on stage.
  • KISS' promotional videos from 1979, "I Was Made For Loving You" and "Sure Know Something," from their "Dynasty" album, are inserted in the movie as live concert performances, despite the completely different costumes and staging from the previous shot before the songs begin.
  • The entire movie uses different music, especially a lot of KISS solo album music, and even a little bit of an instrumental of KISS' "Almost Human."
  • Paul Stanley shoots Sam's remote control with his eye laser. In the US version, he simply takes it out of Sam's skin with his hand.
  • There are additional shots during most of the KISS fight scenes, as well as many quick scenes throughout the film. Just one example of many, the guy staring at Melissa at the snack bar wipes the table with his hand, while in the US version he does not.
  • This version ends with a shot of Devereaux walking in the park (the scene after Calvin fired him) and then going into the credits which scroll, while the US version ends with KISS performing "God of Thunder."
See more »


Soundtracks

Mr. Make Believe
Composed by Gene Simmons
See more »

User Reviews

Uh, maybe this wasn't the best career move guys...
7 July 2001 | by Mr. PulseSee all my reviews

I'm no KISS lover, nor am I a KISS hater; I suppose I'm a bit of a casual fan. I am however, a lover of movies of the genre that is sometimes called "Inexplicable." KISS Meets The Phantom (Of the Park) is such a movie. A real head-scratcher. You'll be scratching your head so damn much your scalp will start to flake. I think this movie keeps Head and Shoulders in business.

KISS star as themselves (Sort of, they are the band KISS, but they only refer to themselves as "The Demon" or "Space Ace" and so on), in a, well, really, a TV movie, but even then, that doesn't explain how poor the quality is. TV movies look better than this, heck, most after school specials have this beat. Anyway, KISS is playing 3 days of concerts at an unamed amusement park (In reality, Magic Mountain in California), and in between their 2-song concerts (That's as much as we see anyway), they fight the evil shenanigans of an evil inventor who works in a secret lab underneath the park.

Although I can't recall him ever being referred to in the film as "The Phantom" I have to assume he is the titular character. He certainly doesn't wear pink tights and fire pistols; though that probably would have pepped up the plot, which is droll and inane to say the least.

Here's the main problem. Amongst the opening credits you will prominently see displayed as Executive Producer one Joseph Barberra, famous for the Hanna Barberra cartoons. You will also notice a lot of musical cues and story elements that seem plucked right out of bad episodes of Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, Josie and the Pussycats and others. I'm not reaching here, a lot of sounds and music are exactly the same. Basically, the film is a live action Hanna Barberra cartoon, complete with terrible laser beam eye blasts and fire breath (One time you can see the physical edges of the effect, not a proud moment for Gene). This movie could have worked as a cartoon, or as a KISS movie about, I dunno, a concert. Instead its A Hard Days Scooby, and a poor one at that.

KISS certainly don't help their cause, Gene is really the only one who seems comfortable in his non-performance scenes, and he's hindered by a weird reverb effect on his voice that makes him almost impossible to understand. Ace and Paul are both more wooden than George Washington's teeth, and "The Cat" sounds an awful lot like Duke from GI Joe (His voice having been redubbed in post because, well, it was bad). In one scene, Ace is also clearly a stunt double, who's...well, black. In another, he's Asian. Oops.

I know I've made it sound awful but...well, okay so it's awful. But KISS Meets The Phantom often achieves that rare goofy quality of a movie that isn't so much bad, as it is completely insane and way off base. It's not as funny as a Plan 9, or a Gymkata, but it is worthy of at least one viewing with a big crowd of rowdy friends.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kiss Meets the Phantom See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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