Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 3rd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1978
Director: Gordon Hessler
Writers: Jan Michael Sherman and Don Buday
Cast: Kiss, Anthony Zerbe, Carmine Caridi, Deborah Ryan
DVD Released: October 27th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Cheesy Flicks
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
“You’re looking for someone, but it’s not KISS.” – Star Child
Abner Devereaux is the master mind behind all the rides and exhibits at the amusement park. When he and the parks owner don’t see eye to eye he is let go. Devereaux refuse to leave the park and he continues to work on his human robot clones. When Devereaux learns that Kiss will be playing at the park he plans on replacing the real Kiss with his clones in his quest for world domination. Will Kiss withy the aide of their super human powers be able to stop Devereaux before he unleashes his diabolical plan on the world?
Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is quite possibly one of the worst films ever made. The story is incomprehensible and unbelievable as everything in the film almost looks like it was made up on the spot. It has been reported that most of the dialog that Kiss spoke in the film was made up right before each take and that the band didn’t even known how the film was going to end. There is just so much about this production that screams that this film was made quickly to cash in on Kiss’s skyrocketing popularity. The end product is a mess and it is not a surprise that all four members of Kiss hate this film.
To further prove just how out of control this project was Peter Criss had to have all of his lines dubbed and Ace Frehley stunt man during fight scenes was Afro American which leads to a serious continuity problem. The best part of the film is the live concert clips with Kiss doing what they do best playing music. They should have left the acting to professionals.
While watching Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park one gets the feeling of Déjà Vu that they are watching something straight out of a Scooby Doo mystery. This kind of makes sense since the executive producer of Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was Joseph Barbera the man behind the Scooby Doo series. Also the incidental music in the film was composed Hoyt S. Curtin who also has ties to the Scooby Doo series.
The film starts off slowly that is until Kiss arrives about thirty or so minutes into the film. Even as bad as Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is there is something about it kind of like a train wreck were you know you should look away but you can’t. If you like bad cinema then Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is the lost gem you have been looking for.
Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is presented in a full frame aspect ratio of about 1.33:1 and since this was shot for television this aspect ratio looks correct. The source used for this transfer most likely a VHS tape is free of any print damage or tape defects. The colors look strong, but there is definitely room for improvement. The image looks reasonably sharp and for a budget DVD label release the overall quality is slightly above average.
This release comes with only one audio option the films original English language audio track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The audio despite sounding pretty clean is a tad too thin at times as dialog gets lost in the rest of the mix. The music and effects sound distorted a few times during the film. No subtitle options have been included for this release.
Extras for this release if you could even call them extras are a brief text bio about Cheesy Flicks. The menu is a static photo of Gene and Paul and Rock and Roll All Night plays in the background. There are nine chapter stops and a DVD insert which comes with this release lists all the chapters. The extras are pathetic and they add nothing to this release.
Cheesy Flicks drops the ball with their sub par release of Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park and even though the film is pretty awful it has a large cult following that hopefully one day it will led to this film getting the proper special edition release it deserves.