Kiss-ed off

Detroit Rock City

Finally the boys decide the only way they're going to gain entrance into the arena is to beat the holy crap out of one another and insist someone stole their tickets. It's an inexplicable, overwrought, bloody finale and for what? To watch Gene Simmons spit fake blood all over his hairy paunch?

Detroit Rock City, like the just-released Dick, is caught between two audiences: the teen converts at whom it's aimed and the post-30 crowd that actually gets the joke. Doubtful Kiss's current audience, the kids buying Psycho Circus (or, more likely, selling it back at the used-CD store) or Kiss's Todd McFarlane-anointed comic book, or shelling out allowance money for the never-ending reunion tour, will connect with the '70s references, the Fonzie-Dynamite-Charlie's Angels images that speed past during the opening montage. What? Some sixteen-year-old is gonna see Shannon Tweed or Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy, as the strip-club MC and think: "Ah, sweet porn of youth?" Not likely. They'll just wonder who the short dude is with the big 'fro.

Don’t lose your mind over 
Detroit Rock City
Chris H-B/New Line Cinema
Don’t lose your mind over Detroit Rock City
Playing at selected theaters.

And it's equally unlikely that Kiss's original crowd will tolerate such low-rent teen-flick high jinks. Anyone who has had their driver's license for more than two years has seen this territory covered better in films such as Rock 'n' Roll High School, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Dazed and Confused, the last of these ending with a cathartic drive to Houston for some Aerosmith tickets. Detroit Rock City actually sits on the food chain somewhere between Rock 'n' Roll High School and its 1990 "sequel" Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever, meaning Kiss ain't the Ramones, but at least Edward Furlong ain't no Corey Feldman. But just barely.

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