Thursday, March 17, 2016


PHENOMENALITY: *marvelous*
CAMPBELLIAN FUNCTIONS: *metaphysical, sociological*


The meeting of these two 1970s icons is given fairly pedestrian treatment, so I'm not going into a lot of plot-detail. Quick summation: a "Kiss amusement park" is being threatened by a flying, bolt-blasting villain named the Crimson Witch, so the Scooby Gang shows up to solve the mystery. To no viewer's surprise, she's not a real witch, just an evildoer in a souped-up outfit-- though the outfit is still fantastic enough to make the film qualify as marvelous (if it didn't have a talking dog in it already, that is).

What's most interesting is the conflicting depiction of Kiss themselves. One minute, they seem to be the real-life musical performers, who use special-FX to make themselves look like fantasy-creatures. Then Scooby and Co are told that Kiss really are the magical guardians of an arcane stone that the Crimson Witch wishes to use, in order to unleash a world-destroying demon.

Since the Scooby gang has at times met some real occult menaces as well as the phonies, there's no real reason that the demon had to be a phony. However, once the film's given Kiss the chance to strut their stuff as quasi-superheroes, as with their Marvel Comics incarnation, a more uncanny explanation is given: the Crimson Witch unleashed some "dream-dust" that made everyone imagine that Kiss had super-powers and that they used said powers against a gigantic demon.

This raises an interesting point for my system: if some of the heroes in a movie experience a big spectacular fight, but it only happens in a dream, does the movie possess the combative value? My answer is yes in this case. The Scoobies don't do anything spectacular, but their co-stars do, and even though the big battle takes place in a dream, it still has the same spectacle-effect on the viewer as if it was "real" within the story's diegesis.

Prior to this, I reviewed another film with a combative dream-battle framed by a naturalistic explanation. though that one didn't have any of the appeal of mashing together period-related icons.

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