Did The Matrix Rip Off KISS?

By Josh Tyler | Published

Any time anyone comes up with something new and successful, the world rushes to carve out a piece of what they’ve done, whether it’s deserved or not. Take The Matrix, which pretty much changed science fiction filmmaking forever, and was instantly accused of ripping off everything from Neuromancer to Hong Kong martial arts films. Or maybe the film’s directors, the Wachowskis, were simply huge fans of KISS.

That’s the latest theory on the source of their brilliance, this time being pushed around by the boys over at Geeks of Doom. They’ve come up with some odd evidence, mostly by actually listening to KISS albums, which I wasn’t aware people actually did. Haven’t we all agreed they’re a colossal joke which should be ignored? No? Ok.

Read the entire explanation over there, but the short version is that thirty-years ago KISS released an album called “Music from the Elder”. It was a concept album which told the story of “The One” as he’s guided by a guy named “Morpheus”. There’s a prophecy too and a very thin connection between someone who was once involved in a KISS project and was also in The Matrix. Oh and there’s the KISS album’s cover, which looks like this…

In The Matrix: Reloaded there’s a doorknob on a door at the Merovingian’s place which sort of like that door knocker… but actually doesn’t really look like it. Actually that’s kind of where their argument starts to fall apart, and I think they’re really reaching.

Really, the thrust of their argument is that it can’t be a coincidence that both this album and The Matrix contain characters named “The One” and “Morpheus”. They’re right, it isn’t a coincidence but it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a connection.

The thing is both the terms “The One” and “Morpheus” have connections to ancient mythology, which I suspect both KISS and the Wachowskis were trying to draw on. In Greek mythology “Morpheus” is the god of dreams. “The One” is also a component of Greek philosophy and appears in various mythologies. I doubt the Wachowskis had KISS in mind when they wrote The Matrix, rather they probably simply had similar mythological concepts in mind to draw on.