‘”Maybe they’re taking a swim.” “Rock and Rollers don’t bathe.”
Abner Devereaux (Anthony Zerbe) is an engineer who creates rides for an amusement park. His specialty is animatronics. Abner is slightly off center. He is not happy that his creations are being under appreciated because of an upcoming 3 day concert event by the rock group Kiss. Plus the money needed to advertise the concert is money he doesn’t have for his pet robots. The park’s owner Calvin Richards (Carmine Caridi) is not happy that Abner’s robots are costing so much money. He believes the concert will generate some needed cash.
What Calvin doesn’t know is that Abner has found a way to turn people into robots and has been using some of the park’s visitors as experiments. Abner’s assistant Sam Ferrell (Terry Lester) gets a little nosy and Abner turns him into a cyborg. Sam’s girlfriend Melissa (Deborah Ryan) begins to get worried when Sam disappears. She begins a search for her boyfriend and enlists the members of Kiss to help her.
When Abner gets fired he totally snaps and swears vengeance against Calvin, the park, and Kiss. Apparently Kiss has these talismans that protects them and gives them cosmic powers. Abner tries to steal them. When that doesn’t work he creates a cyborg of Gene Simmons and has it wreak havoc all over the park and beat up the security guards.
Abner makes another attempt to steal the talismans and succeeds. Kiss sneak into the park to confront Abner. Abner sends robotic creatures to battle the group. I think they are suppose to be white apes but they look more like white werewolves wearing silver lame. When the werewolves are defeated Abner then sends some Samurai type robots after the boys.
Abner finally neutralizes Kiss with a ray gun and imprisons them in his secret lair. Abner then sends Kiss cyborgs to their next concert with instructions to start a riot and ruin the concert. All is lost unless Kiss can retrieve their talismans regain their powers and save the concert.
“Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park” AKA “Attack of the Phantoms” AKA “Kiss Meets the Phantom” was released in 1978 and was directed by Gordon Hessler. It is a TV movie produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. Outside of the beginning credits it takes about a half hour before Kiss shows up. That’s when the real stupid starts. And it’s just funny as hell. Reportedly this hot mess contributed to the down fall of the group.
Anthony Zerbe knows he’s in a crappy movie so he plays the evil mad scientist routine to the hilt. And he is wonderful.
When the movie was pitched to Kiss it was described as "A Hard Day's Night (1964) meets Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)". It didn’t quite make it there.
The filming was plagued with rock star type problems. Ace Frehley was often a no show during shooting. Ace blames it on battling alcoholism during filming. Most of his fight scenes and some of his acting scenes were reportedly done by a stunt double. Apparently the stunt double's voice was overdubbed to sound like Ace. Whether it actually Ace or someone sounding like Ace that did the dubbing is in question.
Peter Criss was also dubbed due to him refusing to do looping. His voice was dubbed by voiceover artist Michael Bell. Another reason his voice was dubbed was because his thick Italian/New York accent was hard to understand. Criss claims in his autobiography that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made fun of him because he had trouble pronouncing the word "talismans," and he stormed off the set in a fit of anger.
The members of Kiss and their superpowers are; Cat Man (Peter Criss) who has cat-like strength and agility, Space Ace (Ace Frehley) can teleport, The Demon (Gene Simmons) breathes fire and Star Child (Paul Stanley) shoots lasers from his eye.
It's a really dumb movie, but it was funny as hell.