Kiss Unauthorized 2

Kiss Unauthorized 2 (2002)
Music Video Distribution
Extras: Photo Gallery

’Kiss Unauthorized 2’ is a video fanzine that is now available on DVD for all other fans to share some cool footage and photos of the band. However, like the title suggests, it is an unauthorized release, so Gene and Paul did not have anything to do with this disc. That also means that there is no concert footage or Kiss music to be found anywhere on the DVD, because it would have had to be licensed and authorized by Kiss. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You be the judge…

Although it may first appear to be a documentary, ’Kiss Unauthorized 2’ is in actuality a collage of kiss photos, and interview snippets. A collage, because there is no red line to it. It is a wild assemblage of material that jumps back and forth in time and topic without any continuity – which I personally consider a very bad thing. The good thing for me is that it offers some really cool photos and comments. Especially interviews with Bob Kulick, his brother Bruce, who played in the band for many years, are very insightful when it comes to the Kiss machinery. Add to that former manager Bill Aucoin’s candid discussion and the band’s own words – taken from various foreign TV interviews – and you get an entertaining look at one of rock’s most glamorous bands. Other highlights are a 1981 television interview with Peter Criss after he left the band and extensive footage of Vinnie Vincent during a press conference during which he even puts on his short-lived Kiss make-up. And then there is Ace’s hopeless attempt to somehow explain the band’s move into the disco arena in the early 80s with an incredibly insisting interviewer… priceless! You almost expect Ace to jump up and scream out loud in agony.

By the same token there are many aspects missing that would validate ’Kiss Unauthorized 2’ to be any sort of documentation. Drummers Eric Carr and Eric Singer aren’t even mentioned in a single word on this release, and many people that are associated with the band professionally never get a word either.

The picture quality on this DVD is mixed, as you would expect. Some of the image sources are very poor and it shows. Dated 70s and early 80s TV footage also shows serious signs of degradation, but at the same time the newly recorded interview segments with Bill Aucoin, Bruce Kulick and Bob Kulick are certainly up to snuff with current expectations. The sound quality is equally mixed, ranging from almost cassette tape recorder quality to professionally sounding mixes. The mix is very inconsistent and I found myself jumping for the remote control constantly trying to catch many of the words being said, right after some other footage just infernally blared out of the speakers.

One thing that I found very distracting is the menu system on this release that just doesn’t’ behave the way it should. Not only is it impossible to make any menu selections using the ’Play’ button on your remote control – which is generally considered standard alongside the ’Enter’ button. Even worse is the strange behavior of the Scene Selections. If you enter a chapter using that selection, it will play ONLY that chapter and then return you to the Scene Selection menu. Very bizarre.

Make no mistake, ’Kiss Unauthorized 2’ is a true fanzine, which tries to gather all sorts of obscure material about the band as an archive. It is not a documentary covering the band per se. For fans however, this is a fine collectable trove to add to their library.