Monday, September 12, 2022


With six issues of their excellent CINEMA OF THE '70s magazine under their belts, publishing dynamic duo Dawn and Jonathon Dabell have branched out into the next logical direction with the brand spanking new CINEMA OF THE '80s. The first 100-page full-colour issue is now out, featuring my seven-page look at FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary). Elsewhere, this debut also takes in Jonathan's cover piece on the Arnie CONAN movies, Darren Linder delves into MANHUNTER, Ian Taylor covers WHO DARES WIN, Rachel Bellwoar examines BROADCAST NEWS, Simon J. Ballard takes a RETURN TO OZ, and David Michael Brown provides an overview of 80s De Palma. There's LOTS more, as well, including pieces on DEATH WISH II, FITZCARRALDO, THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, Woody Allen in the 80s, and Dawn's interview with writer/director Steve De Jarnatt (CHERRY 2000, MIRACLE MILE). Check Amazon for a listing of complete contents and ordering details.


I didn't take a lot of photos at the final KISS concert in Melbourne last month (August 23), mainly because I like to just enjoy the show , and also because my phone camera is just not good enough to take decent pics at an event like this. But had to snap a few shots of course. While Rod Laver Arena was only about two-thirds filled leading up to showtime, in the last 15 minutes or so the people streamed in and the place became jam-packed, which was pretty remarkable considering it was the band's third show in four days here, and was on a cold Melbourne work/school night. A fitting full-house send-off for the band in their 22nd (and supposedly, last ever) Melbourne concert since 1980. The audience ranged from kids as young as six and seven to people in their 60s and even 70s, many in make-up, of course. I was sitting up in the stands on Gene's side. Close enough to feel the warmth of the flames and explosions, but far enough away from the speakers to not need earplugs.

The show itself was terrific, probably the best performance I have seen by this particular line-up of the band (though I know they employ a bit of electronic aural assistance these days). Yes it is not the originals, and there will always be contention about Gene and Paul having other people carry on the personas established by Ace and Peter, but I have long gotten over that. I have the records, the videos, and the memories if I want to appreciate the young, original KISS, or any of the subsequent incarnations. I loved last night's performance simply because it was KISS doing what KISS does best: delivering a loud, bombastic, spectacular live show, PT Barnum with a driving, hard rock beat. Technically, this is probably KISS' most impressive stage show to date, the colourful laser effects that filled the stage and arena at times were very cool, and I loved the giant statues of the band members that flanked the stage, two on each side (they are inflatable but made to look carved from stone, and each one gets bathed in that member's signature colour through the show).

If you are in other states and are still on the fence about going, I would not hesitate to say go check it out, or you will be missing out on one hell of a rock show. There is a simple, primal and enduring joy to KISS. When that curtain drops and the band members descend from the ceiling amidst a mini D-Day barrage of explosions, flames, rockets, and blinding lights, the opening chords to "Detroit Rock City" filling the arena, you can't help but just smile and just get totally swept up by it. True to their style, KISS are saying goodbye with a big BANG! fired from their mighty Love Guns.