By Ron Wells | August 16, 1999

In 1978, four high school stoners (Edward Furlong, Sam Huntington, James DeBello, Giuseppe Andrews) are about to see the most important rock show of their lives, KISS. The road to Detroit’s not going to be easy as the boys will be forced to prove just how badly they want to go.
Is it any good? Not really. With a film that revolves around hero worship, you need to either load the film with mocking irony or embrace the deification. Director Adam Rifkin might be too hip to buy into the religion, but it doesn’t seem that he’s allowed to really make fun of the glam four. It’s a shame. Gene Simmons is one of the producers and he’s never willingly acknowledged the sheer silliness of his career. If you’ve ever seen the KISS film “Phantom of the Park”, it’s hard not to. As it is, the film wants to be a cross between “Hard Day’s Night” and “Rock n’ Roll High School”, but winds up as a half-baked emulation of a ’70’s exploitation film. You would need to be at least half-baked to buy into this re-enactment of ’70’s adolescent rock fantasies. It doesn’t matter how much Rifkin moves the camera around, he can’t hide the holes in the script.
If you love KISS, you’ll probably see this movie anyway. If you don’t, there’s no point. It would have been cool if the boys could have met their heroes, a la “Free Enterprise”, and they turned out to be a bunch of bickering, coke-addled, paranoid buffoons; but the point of the image is to be a release from mundane reality. Too bad the film doesn’t go any deeper than the make-up.

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