British director Gordon Hessler, whose career included films like The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
(1973) and Vincent Price's The Oblong Box, Scream and Scream Again
, and Cry of the Banshee
, passed away on January 19th at the age of 83.
In addition to the above mentioned films and TV work on series such as CHiPs
, Hawaii Five-O
and Alfred Hitchcock Presents
, Mr. Hessler may be best known, for better or worse, as the guy who directed 1978's immortal slab of made-for-TV rock-star movie cheese, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
KISS' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley both had nice things to say about Mr. Hessler to Fangoria.com....
“Gordon Hessler was ever the gentleman,” Simmons told FANGORIA today. "He was kind, he was considerate and caring. He would actually take the time to talk to us on set, not just about the filming we had to do that day, but also how we were feeling about everything, which is rare. He will be missed."
KISS frontman and co-founder Paul Stanley also spoke to FANGORIA, whimsically recalling that period so long ago when the biggest band in the world made their first movie. “Gordon Hessler had the misfortune of being thrown into the impossible situation of trying to create a film with a cast led by four idiots who had no concept of acting and a script that had too little pop and too much corn,” Stanley said.
“But he was a lovely, soft spoken gentleman and I truly felt for him, in what was clearly going to be a futile effort making KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK.”