The best thing that can be said about
Kiss vs. the Ghost in the Park
is that it's so bad you can't stop watching it.
Her greatest achievement is that she offers such a crazy show that it is precisely for this reason that people continue to talk about her today.
Surely the most intentional dialogue in the film is the following.
Someone has lost sight of the four members of Kiss.
One guy says shrewdly, "Maybe they've gone for a swim."
Another answers, totally serious: "No, rockers don't bathe."
The specialized film and television publication
called it “the best worst movie ever”, and
he called it "the worst rock movie ever made".
Is it so horrible?
One of the protagonists of it, Paul Stanley, guitar and voice of Kiss, writes in his memoir
Of him Give the face.
A life laid bare:
"When filming started, it didn't take an expert to realize that we were in deep shit and there was no way out of it."
It was 1978 and Kiss was on top.
After three albums of good rock and roll but poor sales, the group was about to throw in the towel.
Then, his manager, the conspicuous Bill Aucoin, proposed to record a live album, a fashionable formula at that time.
(1975) was the rocket where the quartet rose.
Rock and Roll Over
(1977) made Kiss millionaire rock stars.
It was four grotesquely costumed guys practicing good rock to shake their butts.
For some they were geniuses, for others puppets.
Paul Stanley (Kiss), at the top of rock despite everything
At the end of the seventies there was no show more insane and irresistible than his, with fire-throwers, blood, flying drums, pyrotechnics to set New York on fire and good hard rock songs.
And the movie came.
The dysfunction in the heart of the group was seething at that moment.
They choked on success.
The group split into two factions that did not speak to each other: on the one hand Paul Stanley (guitar and vocals) and Gene Simmons (bass and vocals), tireless businessmen;
On the side of the party and drugs, Ace Frehley (guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) rear their heads.
A moment from a movie.
When it was filmed, the members of the group did not speak to each other.
Pop culture was dominated in the late 1970s by a rock group that wore platforms, bras and makeup;
and for a film that narrated a galactic civil war and whose protagonists were two robots and a furry warrior.
A mix of Kiss with
It was an idea of Bill Aucoin, the manager, who thought big: if the Beatles had their
What a night that day!,
we couldn't be less.
After all, the two groups were a quartet and composed music for the youth.
Kiss against the ghost of the park
The plot could augur for a fun B-movie: a deranged scientist traps people on rides in a park designed by him to turn them into androids.
The man is furious that they want to terminate his contract and plans revenge.
What does Kiss paint here?
The group, which has scheduled performances in the park, will be the one to unmask the disturbed man.
Paul, Gene, Ace and Chris have powers thanks to some talismans.
Directed by Gordon Hessler, a good professional of almost always television movies, the most important name in the cast (except for the four rockers, of course) was that of Anthony Zerbe, a specialist in evil roles and who plays the crazy scientist.
Gene Simmons (foreground), Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley (back to back) at a 1979 concert. NBC NewsWire (NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Ge)
It is surprising to see such crappy special effects in a movie with such large figures.
There are moments for the history of cinematographic nonsense: in full drunkenness, Frehley leaves the shoot and nobody realizes that the one who replaces him is a black man.
Conclusion: in the momentous fight in the chamber of horrors, the Kiss guitarist is black.
The musicians were supposed to show up at six in the morning to undergo a two-hour make-up session.
None had patience.
In addition, they exhibited a null capacity for interpretation.
They didn't even read the script.
This is how Stanley describes it: “An off-camera person acted as prompter for us.
When the camera started to roll, I was yelling, 'Sentence!' and the prompter was like, 'Jo, Ace, it's time to go.'
And I repeated it.
It was horrifying… Nothing remotely to do with dramatic art”.
The argument is nonsense and the development appears full of disconcerting sequences: why does Simmons silence the policemen with a growl?, what are Kiss doing playing
next to the girl
Have they tried to pay homage to Sam Peckinpah with those slow-motion fight scenes? Why haven't they erased the cables that lift the musicians in that levitation scene?... And so on...
Carlos Palencia is the director of Cutrecon, Madrid International Cutre Film Festival, where the film was screened: “It is a full-fledged conceptual disaster, and it is not understood what the producers thought or what kind of audience it is aimed at .
To fans of the group?
It does not satisfy one or the other.
The former will be bored by its obvious lack of rhythm.
And the second I doubt very much that, in the cinematographic debut of Kiss, they expected to see their idols in a semi-children's film set in an amusement park.
Raúl Calvo, head of the film blog El Cinéfago de la Laguna Negra, defines it as follows: “It's a clumsy film that, taken seriously, is ridiculous, but seen from a junk cinema perspective it provides a lot of fun.
The comic plot, the
It all adds up to make it enjoyable.
The whole thing has the feel of a psychedelic
episode , which isn't surprising considering it was a Hanna-Barbera production."
One of the movie posters, which was titled two ways: 'Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park' and 'Kiss in Attack Of The Phantoms'.
In the Latin American market, 'Kiss against the ghost of the park' was chosen.
The best thing about the film is seeing the live images of the group playing cannon shots like
Rock and roll All Nite
Shout It Out Loud
The film premiered on television and then in some cinema.
It was a failure and the trigger for the group's worst moment.
“When the group's records and t-shirts are selling and girls want to sleep with you, you don't tend to be too analytical.
There were problems: that's easy to say after decades, but not easy to understand at the time," Simmons told
The result of the film muddied the group's career.
Once again manager Bill Aucoin to the rescue, he decided that each of the members would release a solo album.
They were published on the same day, in September 1978. It was such a surreal game that it didn't go wrong.
At least he had the fans entertained: which was the best of the four?
In the following years Peter Criss and Ace Frehley left the group (they would return in the nineties and then leave again) and it can be said that Kiss did not record a better album than those they made in the seventies.
But the machine has not stopped rolling and billing dollars.
These days they perform in Spain with their usual incendiary (literal) show: effects similar to those of that infamous film, but this time executed without fudge.
And the last words of the film will surely also serve to say goodbye to the concerts: “We Love You.
Rock and roooool!”
Kiss perform on July 2 at the
Rock Fest festival in Barcelona
and on July 3 at the