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The "Citizen Kane" of Generation X
7 March 2003
I'm going to assume that you, the reader, have already been privileged enough to view this masterpiece. Most likely, like most of the world's population, you have seen it multiple times and probably own your own copy, as I do. I will also go out on a limb and assume that you are aware of Gene Simmons' acting chops. They speak for themselves. Here we see a master thespian at the peak of his craft, eliciting emotions and feelings as only one as trained and skilled as he can do. Assuming you already know these things, I will spare you intricate plot details and my hypothesis on all of the metaphors and double-entendres that exist in this cinematic celluloid achievement. What we've got here is a cultural landmark the likes of which may not be fully understood for centuries to come. Like "Riding With Death" and Steven Speilberg's "2001: A Space Odyssey" before it, "KISS Meets a Phantom in a Park (1978) (TV)" asks questions of the mind, heart, body and soul. Where Speilberg failed, George Lucas succeeds with this film, his directorial debut. And what a stellar debut it is. Originally titled "KISS in Attack of the Phantom", Lucas wisely retitled the film due to his imminent release 20 years later of the similarly titled films "Attack of the Clones" and "The Phantom Menace". Whatever title he chose, "KISS Meets the Phantom in a Park (1978) (TV)" surpasses those two films by leaps and bounds, and indeed is even vastly superior to the 1982 original "Star Wars". Though released in (1978) for (TV), the special effects and brilliant stunt work were far ahead of their time and truly belonged on the big screen. Only with `The Star Wars Holiday Special' and perhaps "Corvette Summer" would Lucas come close to the greatness he ultimately captured in "KISS in KISS Meets a Phantom in a Park Who Attacks Them (1978) (TV)". Sadly, he would never approach that level of mastery again, though some (myself included) would argue that his Executive Producer credit on "Glitter" should have earned him an Oscar. To sum up, an overall brilliant film, utterly bereft of flaws. A timeless and intriguing piece of work that to this day does not fail to frighten, educate, thrill, and provoke thought. This is the quintessential Rock and/or Roll film that writer/director/star Kevin Costner tried to bring to fruition in his half-baked, ill-fated, ill-received 1984 film `Pink Floyd: The Wall'. Costner failed, and failed miserably. Of course he would go on to make some of the best short films of all time, including `Waterworld' and `The Postman', but neither he, nor anyone else would ever attempt again to match the glory, mystique and power of the film that is `KISS Star in a Phantom Meeting In The Park (TV) (1978)'.
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Reindeer Crap
9 July 2002
Then one foggy Christmas eve, Frankenheimer came to say, "Affleck with your eyes so bright, won't you star in this turd tonight?" Then how the plot holes followed, as critics shouted out with glee, "Everybody in this movie: your career is hissssstooooooryyyy!!!!"
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