Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park

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“The dynamic rock group makes their film debut battling a demented genius inventor!”

Travel back in time to an era when one of the world’s most popular rock bands would agree to make their film debut starring in a legendarily bad, made-for-TV schlock-o-rama aimed at kids in which they’re given super powers and forced to battle robots, perform in an amusement park and not die of embarrassment. Yes, the Beatles had A Hard Day’s Night, and Kiss had … Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park! Created by the prolific (and obviously stoned) ‘70s Saturday morning TV producers Hannah-Barbera (the geniuses behind such kiddie classics as Hong Kong Phooey and The Banana Splits), Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park finds everyone’s favorite costumed hard rock band Kiss (who, for some reason, sort of play themselves, only with added super powers, such the ability to shoot lasers from their eyeballs and breath fire), being hired to perform a series of sold-out shows at a California amusement park. This irks the park’s head engineer (and creator of the park’s not-very-lifelike robot mascots), who feels that all this rock-and-roll business is just a lot of noise that’s going to take the park in a new direction and put him out of a job. So naturally, he creates an evil robot Kiss army and sends them off to destroy the real Kiss before they can perform their big show, leading to a real hot mess as Kiss battles Kiss while also performing such classic tunes as ‘Beth,’ ‘Shout it out Loud’ and ‘Rock & Roll All Night.’ See Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss embarrass themselves as they struggle to bring life to their “characters” Demon, Starchild, Space Ace and Catman (for some strange reason, the band refused to discuss the film for years after its initial airing on NBC TV in 1978). Marvel as the rockers kung fu fight themselves (sort of), fly through the park on magic bumper cars and try to appear interested in whatever the hell is going on at any given moment. Simultaneously goofy and glorious, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is a bona-fide trash classic of epic proportions. (Dir. by Gordon Hessler, 1978, USA, 96 mins., Not Rated) Digital