Where on the Shelf Is...Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park
Welcome to "Where on the Shelf Is..." In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, WHY?! of these non-releases.
Up this week is...KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK
What Is It?:
Despite the fact you can only name two of their songs, Kiss is frequently listed as one of the greatest hard rock/metal groups ever. At the height of their popularity, they had a slew of gold/platinum records, a string of successful concert tours and a made-for-TV special.
On October 28th, 1978, NBC aired KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK, a product of Hanna-Barbera. It remains, despite the fact that the studio was responsible for THE GARY COLEMAN SHOW, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY IN THE ARMY and PARTRIDGE FAMILY 2200 A.D., the silliest thing they ever involved themselves with.
KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK found Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley using their superpowers (breathing fire, shooting lasers, etc.) to battle with a mad amusement park engineer, whose budget has been cut to fund a Kiss concert.
There were also robot doppelgangers of the band.
Where Is It?:
Unlike the majority of titles we've covered in this column, KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK is technically available on DVD. It's included in KISSOLOGY VOLUME II, a four-disc set which also houses concerts and a CNN interview with the one in cat makeup.
However, that set only contains the "European Theatrical Cut" of KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK, which removes many of Ace Frehley's lines (which may or may not be a bad thing (depending on your admiration of Ace Frehley). Therefore, the original version that aired on NBC is missing from shelves.
In the end, the band was so "disgusted" with the movie that they wouldn't acknowledge anyone who mentioned the title in their presence. Simmons went on record saying, "I donít think itís a very good movie." Stanley openly admitted that he and Criss were "half in the bag" during production. Frehley was so uncooperative during the production that, when he stormed off set, the director simply replaced him with his stunt double...who was black.
When Will We See It?:
With no clear support from the original Kiss members, it's not likely that KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK will get a standalone DVD or Blu-ray. At the same time, the copyright owners don't seem to think they can make any money off of it.
But who are they kidding?
If the film were titled DAN FOGELBERG MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK that would be one thing. But this is Kiss. They're as famous for their music as they are their merchandise, which ranges from action figures and pinball machines to condoms and coffins. (Legend holds that America's very own Betsy Ross was buried in one). They even launched a cruise in 2011.
And yet no one wants to bank on turning profit from their only movie.
Where Can We See It?:
For starters, there is the aforementioned KISSOLOGY VOLUME II. But for those who don't want the embarrassment of a Kiss box set on their shelves, there are other options.
Is one of your favorite movies or TV shows not available on DVD or Blu-ray? Leave your suggestions below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.