Movie Reviews 254 – Detroit Rock City (1999)

Detroit Rock CityThe teenaged members of a Kiss cover band named Mystery have never actually attended a Kiss concert over the years, having constantly run into complications at every past opportunity. With the rock supergroup coming to Detroit once again for a live show, the boys are all set this time around with tickets in hand and just counting down the hours when, once again, the fickle finger of fate intervenes.

Frontman Hawk (Edward Furlong) and members Lex (Giuseppe Andrews), Trip (James DeBello) and Jam (Sam Huntington) are belting out a bastardized rendition of “Rock and Roll All Nite” in their garage when a surprise visit by Jam’s puritanical mother (Lin Shaye) ends up with their tickets being burned. But then, fate once again intercedes when Trip answers a radio contest question correctly. Well kind of. Anyhow the boys set out on a trip full of adventure, trials and tribulations, where in the end each is left to find a way to get their own ticket to the concert of their dreams.

This coming of age film is firmly rooted in a montage of 1970’s icons, events, and of course music. The complications they have to deal with include the Disco juggernaut of the day in the form of a pair of “Guidos and Stellas” encountered in a road rage incident, a girl appropriately named Beth (Melanie Lynskey) with a high school crush on Jam, a cougar seductress (Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmons real life wife), a pizza munching priest (SCTV alumni Joe Flaherty), and the patriarch of porn himself, Ron Jeremy, emceeing a stud muffin contest in a male strip joint.

Whether you’re a Kiss fan or not, this is an enjoyable short jaunt into a not too distant past. If the comedy itself isn’t enough for you the retro soundtrack will more than make up for it. If you haven’t already signed up, this may be your induction into the Kiss Army.

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