Paul Stanley Now Embraces the Critically Panned ‘KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park’
In a recent interview, KISS' 1978 made-for-TV movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park was brought up to KISS guitarist-vocalist Paul Stanley, seeing as how another rock band's theatrical vehicle, Foo Fighters' Studio 666, just opened over the weekend.
But while Studio 666 may have underperformed at the box office, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park was essentially disowned by KISS after the Hanna-Barbera-produced feature aired once on NBC in October 1978. The movie turns KISS into superheroes who battle a villain trying to destroy a California amusement park. Due to its poor quality, it was subsequently labeled a dud, though it's since attained cult status for some KISS diehards.
These days, Stanley's come around to accept it, warts and all.
"I embrace it like an ugly child," Stanley now tells The Hollywood Reporter (Feb. 25) of the film, released under the alternate titles Attack of the Phantoms and KISS Phantoms in parts of Europe.
"You have to realize that we were like these imbeciles who got to take over the school," the rocker says. "We knew nothing about acting, nothing about filmmaking. We were sold the idea of the film in a sentence that was virtually, 'A Hard Day's Night meets Star Wars.' Well, it was far from either." (via Ultimate Classic Rock)
Stanley continues, "I guess you would have to define it as kitsch, although it wasn't supposed to be that in the beginning. But you had four guys who never read the script, who were clueless about even the fundamentals of acting, basically allowed to do whatever we wanted to. And a take was considered anything where we didn't flub our lines."
He adds, "Look, we were idiots, and we were suddenly put into a position where the Marx Brothers were being taken seriously. … I just remember at one point being on set at Magic Mountain and turning to my manager at the time, Bill Aucoin, and saying, 'I think this is going to be horrible.' And he said, 'Don't worry.' You should never hear anybody say, 'Don't worry.' You know?"
Watch the original trailer for KISS Meets the Phantom below.