Friday, November 6, 2009

my Kisstory

believe it or not, I did not like Kiss for a long time.  I know exactly where I was when I heard my first KISS album, at Dale Oldfield's house.  it was KISS: Alive! and it must have been on the turntable.  I thought I would hate it, but after listening to side 3, I believe, I quite liked it.  so blame ALL this on Dale.

and Marvel Comics, as they had also just put out "Super Special" #1, featuring KISS as superheroes.

two years and one comic book later, KISS is on tv as rocking superheroes in "KIss Meets the Phantom of the Park".  I'd never seen my musical heroes in action, and as one might expect, I was pretty excited.

at the time, I thought the movie was pretty darn good.  started off a little slow- we don't see the band until about 30 minutes after the opening credits, but once all that useless exposition was done, there they are in full force, singing and fighting various robots- wolf-apes, monsters, samurai, you name it, they are fighting KISS.  in fact, mirroring what was going on behind the scenes, they end up fighting themselves at the end!

I know now it's no great piece of cinematic history, but I still like it.  knowing more of the back story helps.  the pictures here come from the "international" version, which runs about 20 minutes shorter than our TV version does, and it helps the movie quite a bit.  there are more KISS songs added to it as well, and that really helps, since it takes out the rather overused Hanna-Barbera stock fight music present.

the movie was directed by Gordon Hessler, who had done many other tv shows such as Kolchak, the Night Stalker, Wonder Woman and Kung Fu.  not a bad resume, but nothing that says this movie was some kind of letdown from his previous or future work.

when our fearless foursome (or rather, their stunt doubles) are fighting the various robots Abner Devereaux is throwing at them, they use kicks and chops and wild acrobatics to defeat them.  it reminds me (now) of both sentai and Kamen Rider shows.

anyway, it's nice to see it out on DVD.  despite it's many shortcomings, it's a lot of fun.  you get to hear a lot of great songs and see Magic Mountain in the 70s, before it was bought out by 6 Flags.  I think some of the rollercoasters are still there!

so thanks Dale!

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