THE ATTACK OF THE PHANTOMS
US, 1978, 96 minutes, Colour.
Kiss, Anthony Zerbe.
Directed by Gordon Hessler.
A telemovie designed to exploit the popularity of the group 'Kiss'. Direction is by Gordon Hessler, who directed Vincent Price horror films as The Cry of the Banshee and The Oblong Box and several other horror telemovies including Scream Pretty Peggy with Bette Davis. Anthony Zerbe is the recognised star in the film. Kiss have an opportunity to sing popular songs and show their particular style - bizarre make-up and one of their members with his tongue gesticulations. There is an element of plot which retains some interest in the narrative flow of the film.
1. A vehicle for the group KISS? Their popularity, style? Singing ability, their music, sound and lyrics? Their mannerisms? A telemovie vehicle to promote them? For fans? for non-fans?
2. The basic plot of the fair ground, the Frankenstein-like plot of the mad inventor and his Frankenstein-like inventions - to destroy the true singers and to wreak his revenge? how well was this transferred to the American scene, the fairground, the preparations for the KISS concert? The fight of the robot singers with the real singers? The happy ending? Sufficient plot to engage audience interest?
3. The telemovie techniques - colour photography, the presentation of the fairground, the special effects with the inventions? The roller coaster etc.?
4. The importance of the music, the songs, lyrics, theatrical presentation?
5. The personalities of the group - as individuals, as a group working together? Their robot counterparts? The special effects of the fight with the false group? How important was it to present the characters or just present the group for audience admiration?
6. The mad scientist, his background, inventions, his laboratory and the intricacies of entering, his inventions, the rejection by the committee, his revenge and the false group? His death and his aging? A characterisation to give strength to the plot?
7. The hero and his assistance of the scientist, his being made a robot, carrying out the evil orders, his being returned to his normal state? The heroine and her love, being trapped in the laboratory, being instrumental in rectifying the situation and recovering her boy friend?
8. The presentation of the fairground personnel, their greed for the success of the concert, their harsh attitude towards the scientist?
9. The fairground sequences, the presentation of people enjoying themselves, the fans and the preparation for the concert, the delay and ,the disappointment, the reaction to the fight?
10. An enjoyable piece of escapism, promotion of KISS? Why the popularity of such groups in the 70's?