KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

Genres - Science Fiction, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This made-for-television film, an unusual collaboration between hard rock group Kiss and children's television kings Hanna Barbera, became one of NBC's highest-rated programs of 1978. The plot, reminiscent of the average episode of Scooby-Doo, begins with crazed inventor Abner Devereaux (Anthony Zerbe) getting fired from his job at California's Magic Mountain amusement park for ignoring safety standards in his quest to create bigger and better attractions. Devereaux retreats to his underground lab and plots a revenge scenario that coincides with the arrival of rock group Kiss (playing themselves) to perform a concert at the park. Using his knowledge of animatronics, Devereaux creates android duplicates of Kiss and uses them to create havoc. However, he soon discovers he's in for a fight because the group has secret talisman amulets that give them special powers. Thus, the stage is set for a superhero-style showdown between Kiss and Devereaux's squad of animatronic henchmen. Although it is a live-action effort, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is cartoonish in the extreme as it dishes out plenty of bad jokes and low-budget special effects. It was a considerable ratings success, but also unfortunately branded Kiss with a "kiddie group" image that took years to shake. As a result, the members of the group consider Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park an embarrassment. Nevertheless, it remains a cult favorite with the group's fans and aficionados of odd television.



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