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Would Critics View KISS More Favorably If 'Phantom' Were A Blockbuster Hit Film?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by S. P. Honeybunch, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    California, USA
    There's somewhat of a "Geraldo Rivera Meets Al Capone" type of disappointment surrounding Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. It was a made for TV movie, with all of the lesser respect associated with that format. With a less campy artistic approach, a wide cinema release throughout KISS' home country, and a successful box office take, however, KISS would not have the one true albatross that has dogged them for forty years. Like the Sgt. Pepper's film has hurt Bee Gees' critical standing, KISS has never quite recovered with the critics, despite continuing to make new music that their fans appreciate. Would you have suggested a different approach for a KISS film forty years ago?
  2. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

  3. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Do you really believe anyone's opinion of Kiss was formed by a 40 yr old TV movie?
  4. Platterpus

    Platterpus Forum Resident

    No, I don't think so. Some movies between 1978 and 1982 were kind of cheesy and campy. I don't mind them. I like some of them. KISS, IMO would still be about the same whether that movie had been more successful or not.
    longdist01 and Detroit Music Fan like this.
  5. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Mobile, AL USA
    Doubtful. They were never going to get critical respect. The record buying public didn’t care.
  6. Scourge

    Scourge The Contagion in Nine Steps

    1) It was Al Capone's vaults Geraldo was looking for, not Al Capone.

    2) KISS' "legacy" was unchanged by Phantom

    3) The Bee Gees' legacy was not harmed by Sgt. Pepper's

    4) Star Wars' legacy was not harmed by The Holiday Special
  7. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    It was 1970s TV. Think Threes Company, The Love Boat, Charlie's Angels. TV wasn't what it is today. You didn't even have cable with a set top box then. Cable got you a few extra channels and better delivery than an antenna. There were very few great TV moments back then. Besides that movie wasn't that bad. It certainly wasn't great. But every kid either had a Kiss lunchbox, or they were jealous of the kid that did. As a kid back then, the plot line was familiar. It was the typical Scooby Doo plot. Of coarse it was, it was produced by Hanna-Barbera.
  8. Celebrated Summer

    Celebrated Summer Forum Resident

    This movie was terrible. Its theme was childish and what KISS didn't need at the time was to be further associated with children -- who had taken to them in droves by 1978 and started to make them seem more of a novelty than they actually were.

    Critics didn't much like KISS anyway. They also didn't like Humble Pie, Ted Nugent, Grand Funk, and scads of others who played riff-oriented hard rock for the masses (i.e. the people who didn't go to college or went to mere state schools -- the horror!!!). I think that's a different issue. And it's a bigger one having to do with critics and elitism.

    But the dislike of "Phantom" went well beyond critics. I was in middle school then and even kids didn't like this movie. They did like "The Rutles," but not this. Kids can tell bad from good. Decades later, Gene started to act professionally and Paul did well in musical theater. But as of 1978, no one in the band had the acting chops to carry even a TV movie.
  9. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    All of this. Yes.

    I watched that movie. It was horrible. TV in the late 70s was not a high point. But this movie was a low point even against stuff like Battle of the Network Stars. It was really bad.

    It hasn’t mattered at all. It’s a colorful and humorous part of both 70s culture and the KISS legacy.

    But, boy, it’s a stinker...
    longdist01 likes this.
  10. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Yes TV was mostly crap then. I mean, this was the time of BJ and the Bear - a show about a guy that drives around with a chimp...and people watched it!

    But I will also agree that KMTP was pretty awful. Even at the time as a KISS obsessed kid I knew that it was. But I still loved it.
  11. audiotom

    audiotom Ground Control to Major Tom

    New Orleans La USA
    This is a question?
  12. AirJordanFan93

    AirJordanFan93 Forum Resident

  13. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    California, USA
    Christgau ignored new Bee Gees and KISS material after 1979. It wasn't a coincidence that the two groups film choices hampered their visibility afterwards. They were poor career choices that degraded their ability to promote their subsequent albums. Critics and media promotion people viewed them as has-beens.
  14. AirJordanFan93

    AirJordanFan93 Forum Resident

    KISS made a lot of poor decisions post-1978. The musical direction didn't help how they were viewed among rock fans which lets face it they didn't exactly have a high standing with a lot of rock fans in the 70s, to begin with.
    JohnCarter17 and Comet01 like this.
  15. TwentySmallCigars

    TwentySmallCigars Forum Resident

    For me, the movie, the comic book and the disco tune were where it became clear that it was all about the marketing and much less about the music. I quit listening years before Eric Carr joined and have never heard anything to make me regret this decision. The drumming actually had very little to do with it, I wouldn't have cared if Neil Peart joined.

    There's a lot of us of a certain age that feel the same way.
  16. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA

    So the drummer - not the lead singer or the main songwriter, but the drummer - would've made Kiss the most beloved band of all-time.

    I get that you're a Carr fan, but c'mon. Peter Criss isn't the reason the band is viewed the way they are, and Carr would've changed absolutely nothing...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  17. If Gene and Paul had not slept with their moms, perspective wives, or future daughters then maybe.
    Terrapin Station and Bingo Bongo like this.
  18. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    4 out of 4 hurls for this film - luckily the visual effects were realistic.
    Comet01 likes this.
  19. Even as a preadolescent I thought the movie blew, but I liked it anyway because how many other opportunities were there for a kid living in a Canadian secondary market to see Kiss in action in the late ‘70s? Also, the movie was followed by a concert film from the ‘76 tour, so that made up for it.

    In any event, by the time the movie came out Kiss’s reputation was too firmly established for the movie to affect anyone's opinion of them.
    Comet01, eddiel and mark winstanley like this.
  20. Drugs are bad, m’kay?
  21. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    Weren’t the critics very down on KISS for releasing four solo albums at the same time, designed to get as much money as possible from their fans?
    carrick doone likes this.
  22. Electric Sydney

    Electric Sydney All Change!

    Scarsdale, NY
    Absolutely! And they should have each put more of their blood in to the ink of the comic book.
  23. colgems1966

    colgems1966 PhD in Les Pauls and Telecasters

    The only movie they should have ever made was a concert film. KMTPOTP was one of many miscues made 1978 and after. Solo albums, toys, disco....how could any band expect to get respect with those activities.
    Comet01 likes this.
  24. Cachiva

    Cachiva Forum Resident

    Houston, Texas

    I would add that of the three constant negatives KISS bashers foist upon
    the group's fans (the TV movie, "I Was Made for Loving You" and The
    ) it is the TV movie that has had the least impact on their legacy.

    The Bee Gees album that came out after the Sgt. Pepper's movie had
    three #1 singles! It was Peter Frampton who never recovered.




  25. punkmusick

    punkmusick Formerly 4011021

    A better movie wouldn't magically make them write good songs.

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