Five Favorite Films

Rock Icon Paul Stanley's Five Favorite Films

by | May 23, 2016 | Comments

paul stanley live edit crop
(Photo by Getty Images / Paul Kane / Stringer)


You wanted the best? You got the best!

The hottest band in the world is hitting the big screen for one night only, this Wednesday, with Kiss Rocks Vegas. Members of the Kiss Army will be flocking to the theaters, but even backseat fans and those millennials who may not be as familiar with the astonishment that is a live Kiss concert will have a chance to see the legendary show from the comfort of a local cinema.

We had a chance to see an advanced screening of this blistering treat for the eyes and ears, but unbeknownst to us, the band itself was there to mingle, watch, and critique its own film, being the ultimate perfectionists one might expect. Not one to miss an opportunity to get a Five Favorite Films interview with rock royalty, we whipped out the portable recorder (which Mr. Paul Stanley himself nostalgically referred to as a vintage “Norelco”), and sat down to chat with the lead singer/guitarist/starman. Amidst exchanging inappropriate jokes with bassist/singer/demon Gene Simmons, lead guitarist/spaceman Tommy Thayer expressing the thrills of producing the film, and drummer catman Eric Singer interjecting comical banter about watches, cars and genitalia (Stanley joked that he was an interview “hijacker”), we were indeed able to get the sought after info: the movies that move Paul Stanley of Kiss.

The list of mostly fun comedies may surprise you, coming from a band that flaunts self-empowerment, adventure, and explosive (literally) hard rock. While chatting in the Dolby Screening Room lounge, Singer, for example, asked if Stanley had seen Captain America: Civil War. The answer was an unapologetic no. “My problem with all of those films,” he said, “is as soon as they go CGI you lose me. All of a sudden I go, ‘I’m not watching a human being anymore,’ and you know it immediately. The movements are disjointed. From buying into something, I’m suddenly jolted out of it. I’m not a fan of CGI.” So what were his faves? Wonder no more, rock and movie fans, the answers are laid before you in this fine (and funny) collection of hard rock icon Paul Stanley’s Five Favorite Films:

Kingpin (1996) 50%

Great movie. It was one of the first films, I thought, that really took comedy to an absurd level. Whether it was watching Bill Murray’s hair that was a comb-over, [or when he] keeps falling over when he’s in a competition, or Woody Harrelson had a great scene where he’s playing an Amish guy and he comes in and says he spent the day milking the cows. He has this big pail, and he takes a drink and they go, “They’re bulls [laughing]!”

There's Something About Mary (1998) 83%

You know what? For me, life has enough bad news in it. So for me it’s either make me laugh or blow s— up.

RT: That’s your philosophy onstage too.

It’s my philosophy about life. There’s enough bad news. It’s very interesting because I remember I used to hang out with a lot of actors in the early 1980s because I thought that musicians were, for the most part, boneheads and had very little to talk about. So I figured, “Let me hang out with some actors, it should be interesting.” I found out – and I found this from spending a lot of time with them – most of them will tolerate listening to you talk just so they get their turn. So anyway, I remember spending an evening – I used to spend time with Christopher Reeve and a lot of really great New York based people. And I was saying how much I loved one of the Rambo movies, and he was kind of like wincing and really not sharing my view and he wound up as Superman. And Peter Weller was there a lot, and Peter winds up being Robocop. But for me it really comes down to — I went out with an actress at one point and we went to some foreign film and when it ended I went, “That’s it?” She goes, “Yeah, it’s a slice of life.” I go, “I don’t need to sit and watch a slice of life. I live life. Entertain me!” I’m not interested in some guy who has an affair and smokes cigarettes in a foreign movie so, for me, it really is make me laugh or blow s— up and do it well. So, Something About Mary, Kingpin

Trainwreck (2015) 85%

I thought Trainwreck was great. I’m always surprised when a film makes me laugh out loud, and that’s such a wonderful, cathartic… I thought John Cena was hysterical in that.

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) 50%

Curse of the Werewolf, Oliver Reed. Hammer Films. Hammer did all these fabulous horror films after Unviversal. Hammer really became the guardian of the horror genre and between Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Oliver Reed also, they did so many remakes and Curse of the Werewolf was terrific. There was a voluptuous vixen who winds up being thrown into a cell and getting banged by some questionable beast.

RT: Another slice of life, perhaps?

Yes! Yeah! And she gives birth to who becomes the werewolf. Curse of the Werewolf just because it’s a different genre.

RT: We know Gene is huge into horror. KISS is sometimes representative of the genre; are you into horror films also?

Well, we’re cinematic. I think what KISS did was take the normal screen to IMAX. We just opened it up and made the scope of it that much bigger and larger than life. But horror films per se, I enjoyed them when I was younger and enjoyed seeing Bela Lugosi play the Frankenstein Monster versus Lon Chaney, Jr. playing it or Glenn Strange or Boris Karloff. So, yes, I appreciated the movies, but at this point it’s more a nostalgia thing; I don’t really have a connection. Or the original King Kong. Or The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. There’s a great film, Women in Love. That was a British film. It was Alan Bates and Oliver Reed, an adaptation [of the D.H. Lawrence book].

Zorba the Greek (1964) 78%

There are loads of films that I’ve enjoyed. Zorba the Greek. Great! I like feel-good films. In Zorba the Greek you have this way of bringing these logs up a mountain – I don’t remember much – but the whole thing falls apart and it’s this huge catastrophe in the end and Zorba winds up dancing. It’s like, there’s nothing – what do you do? You dance!


Kiss Rocks Vegas plays in theaters on May 25 only.

  • No ‘KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park’???

    • BlackAdamForPresident

      It’s actually in the contracts that KISS roadies have to sign that they are NEVER to bring up the subject of that movie in the presence of the band. Ever.

      • Kerr Lordygan

        Actually Paul joked about it several times that night. “This is the biggest thing we’ve done since Phantom of the Park.”

        • dznutzforu


  • Green Jello

    Kiss is still alive? How old is Stanley now? 96?

  • Dan

    Zorba the Greek (2005)? That ain’t right.

Tag Cloud

Chernobyl Christmas Sundance cars Election Animation Disney Plus sag awards spy thriller OneApp Rocketman Valentine's Day Acorn TV 007 Classic Film natural history VH1 streaming 45 LGBT First Look Mary poppins cops Holiday TBS cancelled TV series mutant based on movie disaster sports Marvel Studios Esquire 21st Century Fox Nat Geo Sneak Peek Biopics X-Men Ghostbusters Horror Red Carpet casting TV renewals Disney+ Disney Plus cooking President Crunchyroll Apple TV Plus discovery TCM war Tumblr Heroines Adult Swim SXSW GoT technology Paramount Network zombies children's TV 20th Century Fox Nominations Dark Horse Comics TV DirecTV Thanksgiving justice league Certified Fresh political drama Pride Month A24 Mudbound space Avengers Kids & Family Song of Ice and Fire jamie lee curtis ITV Watching Series cults Extras comiccon Superheroe MCU TNT IFC Films unscripted free movies YA docudrama hist TV Land Country Tarantino kids toy story FX APB stand-up comedy Tomatazos Set visit quibi NBC Grammys Fox News supernatural SundanceTV Musical Comedy Amazon Prime Video cats Summer crime thriller Opinion Pop crossover Baby Yoda Emmy Nominations Endgame Disney 2017 video Calendar adventure ghosts halloween PBS 2018 WGN spider-man werewolf Television Academy TruTV Trailer comic Hallmark cancelled Brie Larson Schedule CBS All Access Women's History Month boxoffice Stephen King television Columbia Pictures period drama christmas movies E! teaser Awards Tour Writers Guild of America MSNBC USA Network Turner Classic Movies Reality Competition Countdown Sci-Fi CBS batman ABC Family Winter TV revenge spanish language Comedy Central Holidays Martial Arts animated Hallmark Christmas movies canceled TV shows BBC History crime TCA 2017 crime drama SDCC renewed TV shows blockbuster CW Seed Rocky zombie politics Winners Quiz Anna Paquin Awards Musicals true crime dramedy binge Cannes Marvel YouTube theme song comics YouTube Premium miniseries 24 frames Cosplay cancelled TV shows nature CMT Trophy Talk Shudder Premiere Dates Pixar Chilling Adventures of Sabrina golden globes indie biography serial killer Food Network Logo Starz TCA book Drama Vudu Warner Bros. Mindy Kaling screen actors guild The Purge 2020 Freeform canceled psycho Tubi Bravo Sony Pictures Podcast cinemax Lucasfilm talk show Paramount award winner American Society of Cinematographers science fiction spinoff dc Rock Hulu cartoon Polls and Games slashers latino south america Turner 2019 Captain marvel Comics on TV Spectrum Originals WarnerMedia tv talk robots game of thrones BBC America vampires versus Disney streaming service Teen festivals ESPN Comic Book CNN composers First Reviews Character Guide IFC E3 HBO Max Nickelodeon Showtime anime Elton John Lionsgate ABC Music The CW Family National Geographic BET DC streaming service Netflix Pet Sematary doctor who AMC The Witch DC Comics game show sequel Disney Channel Mystery series FXX reboot Spike Netflix Christmas movies Black Mirror RT History green book Masterpiece New York Comic Con cancelled television Marvel Television LGBTQ romantic comedy MTV police drama A&E Fantasy transformers breaking bad Peacock Ellie Kemper Arrowverse Discovery Channel Amazon richard e. Grant singing competition TIFF Apple Marathons 2015 Superheroes thriller anthology 2016 Interview DGA HBO Rom-Com NYCC Emmys screenings adaptation Super Bowl Epix Amazon Prime hispanic zero dark thirty El Rey Shondaland The Walking Dead Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt VICE Pirates what to watch Universal YouTube Red Lifetime witnail Year in Review FOX independent Creative Arts Emmys DC Universe GIFs Action Lifetime Christmas movies Walt Disney Pictures Mary Tyler Moore name the review Syfy historical drama mockumentary elevated horror aliens PaleyFest ratings dragons diversity OWN Photos Toys Ovation Video Games GLAAD Cartoon Network strong female leads Sundance TV USA Reality blaxploitation facebook finale RT21 TCA Winter 2020 The Arrangement Film foreign Star Wars medical drama sitcom Mary Poppins Returns joker Trivia Sundance Now Star Trek rotten movies we love Academy Awards Binge Guide travel TLC See It Skip It harry potter Spring TV San Diego Comic-Con Best and Worst Box Office spain Fall TV Crackle romance movies Infographic Oscars 71st Emmy Awards dceu Western directors Britbox Film Festival social media psychological thriller Apple TV+