Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six (Visual) Points-of-Interest in KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

Today is the 34th anniversary of when KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park first aired for the KISS Army – 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 28, 1978 on the NBC Network .  Although I spend a whole chapter in my KISS FAQ book discussing the filming and results of that film, there are a few things I didn’t get to throw due to visual limitations.  So, in honor of the film, here are six things of note that commonly don’t get mentioned about KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park! 
1)      The framing of the picture is different in the various versions of the movie fans have seen over the years.

Here’s what the title credit looked like during the original NBC showing: 
Now here’s what it looked like in the version sold through WorldVision (WV) in 1982 & 1986 and later by Goodtimes Video in 1988:
Note how the title has been moved up in the frame in the WV version so that the top of the Rock and Roll Over cover has been cut off, while the original NBC version has the cover framed properly in the center of the screen. 
This doesn’t affect much of the picture for the most part, except in the opening credits where the band members appear.  Take a look at a comparison of Paul from the NBC version to the WV one: in the NBC version, Paul’s feet are out of view and thus give his figure a sense of gravity in comparison to his background, while in the WV one, he appears to just be floating above it all. 
But the worst offender is how it typically cuts off Paul's head in the WV version – as seen here:

Saying all that – the theatrical version that appears on the KISSology set opens up the picture on the left and right, but forfeiting a good bottom third of the picture in the process!

2)      Gordon Hessler directed the Vincent Price – Christopher Lee - Peter Cushing movie Scream and Scream Again, which featured movie poster artwork by an artist named Ken Kelly.  Whatever became of that guy?
3)     I found this picture a while back as part of an auction of an Italian poster for the movie.  There was no way it could fit into the book, but it’s of significance to fans thanks to a rare chance to see how the “Beth” scene was originally supposed to be filmed – with Peter playing guitar!
4)      Why is Gene being menaced by the guy who always played Koreans on M*A*S*H?
5)      So, what kind of advertising did NBC think would work for their airing?  Here’s a sampling:

6)      Finally, as I mention in KISS FAQ, how did the guy flipping off the camera makes his way into the NBC, WV and theatrical versions of the movie?!  Or is this simply a sign that I’ve seen this thing WAYYY too many times?
      Happy Birthday, KTMP!  You may not be the best movie in the world, but everyone can agree that you're the best KISS movie ever made!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.