Yes, Gene Simmons made an even bigger contribution to pop culture than Kiss. He starred in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, Never Too Young to Die, and even Michael Crichton’s Runaway!
KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK (1978)
Back in the 1970s when the likes of The Carpenters and Donna Summer were doing television specials featuring all their hits, Kiss made the full-length feature Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. But really, Gene is the star in the role of “Demon,” who never talks, just growls. The plot is essentially the fembots with Kiss fighting them instead of Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin. And it takes place in Magic Mountain, the same amusement park where the film Rollercoaster was shot.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll get in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park:
– Gene, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, and Paul Stanley with super powers.
– The guys often superimposed over footage of the park as if they’re floating and much bigger.
– Kiss concert footage.
– Hits like “Rock n’ Roll All Night” and “Beth.”
– A Genezilla monster that breathes fire.
– A dirtbag (played by Blanche’s prison pen pal Merrill from The Golden Girls) making a gay joke with an animatronic gorilla.
– Brion James from The Horror Show in a small role as a cop.
– Kiss fighting white werewolves in silver suits.
– Kiss fighting Frankenstein and other animatronic monsters in a haunted dungeon attraction.
– Kiss fighting Samurai with lightsaber swords.
– Kiss fighting the animatronic versions of themselves on stage.
You can get Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park in its extended European cut on the DVD Kissology Volume 2.
NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE (1986)
I cannot understand how Never Too Young to Die has not become a cult classic with gay and drag crowds. It has John Stamos and Vanity trying to keep a computer disc that holds the key to contaminating the water supply out of the hands of drag queen hermaphrodite Gene Simmons and his gang of Mad Max bike riders. WTF? I just have to say, Gene Simmons is phenomenal in this film. He shows no inhibitions about totally queening out.
Here’s just a taste of what you get in Never Too Young to Die:
– John Stamos’s luscious feathered locks.
– Vanity facing off against a muscle metal gladiator dude and swinging through a secret revolving wall in a barn and coming back out with guns blazing.
– Gene doing a night club act in big pink feathers and giving Tim Curry a run for his money.
– A drag queen waitress flirting with John Stamos.
– Vanity bitch slapping John.
– Gene flirting with John and asking for a kiss.
– A Mad Max car/motorcycle/mac truck chase.
– John getting his ass whipped by two leather dudes.
– John fighting the leather dudes with martial arts gymnastics.
– Robert Englund in like a two second cameo as Gene’s assistant.
– Vanity hosing herself down topless.
– Gene doing some serious Karen Black eyes.
– Gene fricking deep-tonguing Vanity’s mouth.
– John taunting the muscle metal gladiator dude about his bottom status.
– John biting Gene’s hermaphrodite tit.
– Gene playing the woman card so John won’t hit him.
– John playing the “you’re beautiful” card so Gene won’t throw him off a ledge.
– John making Gene’s tongue get a woody.
Seriously. Never Too Young to Die needs to be on DVD and needs to become a gay cult classic. If you want to see it, get it while it’s hot on YouTube.
The crazy thing is, before going drag in Never Too Young To Die, Gene made it big time in a Michael Crichton flick, starring opposite superstar Tom Selleck! Runaway was a cable favorite back in the day because it was so futuristic and prophetic. Fricking robots do all our dirty work—until they start to turn against us (all thanks to an evil Gene-ius).
Also starring in the film is Kirstie Alley, having grown back all her hair post-Star Trek II. Plus, if you watch closely, you’ll spot Wendy from Prom Night in a very brief role as a prostitute.
And then there’s Cynthia Rhodes as Tom Selleck’s partner. Cynthia was an 80s queen! She’s the “Manhunt” dancer in Flashdance who was probably thinking, “Why the hell does that Beals bitch get the lead role when she can’t even dance?” But Cynthia went on to appear a few years later in Dirty Dancing, where she played…the dancer who wasn’t able to go on because she was pregnant. Shit. Well, you can always turn to Staying Alive, in which Cynthia is a chorus dancer…who John Travolta screws over for the lead dancer in a Broadway show. WTF? You’ll just have to watch Toto’s “Rosanna” video if you want to see Cynthia as the star dancer.
Watch Cynthia in Runaway if you want to see her dance with the devil known as Gene Simmons! But this blog isn’t about Cynthia Rhodes (well, it kind of was for a minute there). It’s about Gene Simmons. And here’s what you can expect from Gene in this one:
– Gene looking all sinister with hooded brows throughout the film.
– Gene in a fancy suit.
– Gene working for ACME Robot Repair.
– Gene using an awesome gun that shoots guided mini-missiles.
– Gene speaking barely any lines.
– The best of Gene’s few lines being “Drop it, sucker!”
– Gene getting attacked by the hypodermic needle-nosed robot spiders he created.
– Gene delivering the final (and only) jump scare.