Story from KISS: MONSTER - The Official Album and Tour Magazine #2
By Chris Alexander
Gene Simmons changed the rules of rock and roll when he created The Demon, a hulking, nightmarish blood dribbling, fire monster with a sex drive, as intent on demolishing cities a la Godzilla as he was destroying bass lines and deflowering your daughters.
Indeed, The Demon is a villain, that dark part of Simmons culled from his child-like love of Lon Chaney, weird fantasy and four color pulp fiction. So, when KISS drifted into the 80’s and lost their make-up and element of visual phantasmagoria, where was Gene to channel all that darkness?
Well, onto the silver screen of course.
While KISS sourced new line-ups and Paul scrambled to keep them relevant, Gene rolled the dice and made a series of genre romps, many of which called on him to be morally checkered and in most cases downright evil. Time has filed away many of these pictures and a serious look at Gene’s excellent work (in most cases, his presence is what made the films) in them is long overdue. Here then, is a look at five undervalued movies that saw everyone’s favorite Demon chew scenery and freak out his co-stars.
Late writer/director and all around visionary Michael Crichton (JURASSIC PARK, COMA) directed this vaguely futuristic action thriller that saw Tom Selleck (TV’s MAGNUM PI) as a cop out to stop an evil genius named Luther (Simmons, natch) who has created an army of killer robot spiders and smart bullets. Tightly wound and played straight, RUNAWAY has plenty going for it, chief among its attributes is Simmons’ well tailored, dead eyed, criminal mastermind, his first on-screen role since 1978’s KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK.