Sunday, May 18, 2014
Super Duper ALICE COOPER (DVD)
Label: Eagle Vision 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Super Duper Alice Cooper - what a trooper! From Banger Film, the creators of Iron Maiden: Flight 666 and Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, comes the story of Vincent Furnier, the preacher's son who struck fear into the heart of America in the seventies. Good luck with that now as people have seen the most horrible things over the internet for the past twenty years. Anyhow. They promote this as the definitive story of The Coop, that's simply not true in my humble world and opinion. The Bangers decision to end the film at the Halloween 1986 comeback MTV happening is weird. There's not a single word of Coop's real comeback (Trash/1989) or anything post-1986 for that matter. It's basically the definitive story of the 70's... with just a hint of the early 80's (his worst and most tragic period). The man was locked up at the Sanatorium for pete's sake.
It's otherwise a smashing DVD that combines audio interviews with a wealth of archive footage covering concerts, TV appearances, movie cameos, and magazine spreads. Coop' himself as the main narrator with Dennis Dunaway as the sidekick and special guests such as Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon and Dee Snider. It goes back to Furnier/Dunaways' first encounter in high school. Playing Yardbirds' covers and moving to L.A. where they get the drug dealer of the rock stars (Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) as their first manager and being signed to Frank Zappa's label. Frank wanted their first album to sound and I quote, 'like if I'm driving by a garage and the band is practising'. Reviews such as a tragic waste of plastic and weird stage performances made them the most hated band in L.A.
Watch them leave the L.A. scene for Detroit, the very opposite to La-la-land where anybody who played loud and anti-society music was accepted. Iggy Pop and MC5 are the house Gods and Alice' audience was a new audience by now. Kids on the lunatic fringe of society, the ones that were left out. Hooking up with Bob Ezrin and the outrageous live show where theatrics such as chopping up baby dolls would really drive the parents crazy, turned a bunch of losers to winners or at least for a while. "Giving Alice Cooper a hit was like the lunatics running the asylum". You get to experience the tension between Alice/Vince and the rest of the band as the singer went barking mad on alcohol, coke, and not to mention fame. The latter part being the worst addiction of them all. Vincent or rather Alice truly believed in the b.s. and thought of himself as a God for a good part of the seventies.
"We've killed a chicken in front of 70,000 hippies" - It's just too darn easy to blame everything on the "character" of Alice Cooper instead of Vincent Furnier. We are presented with the Jekyll and Hyde tale including footage from Lon Chaney's silent movie and everything. In the end, it's all down to Vincent and the choices he made and everything else is b.s. and lies. I doubt the audience of this film will buy the whole, "but now I was Alice and Alice had a life of his own". That's (dis)illusion at its worst form and shape. And why Michael Bruce (the guitarist and creator of many classic Alice riffs) has been removed from the movie is just weird since there's not a single mention of his work!? Bonus material are deleted scenes, rare footage's and the Metal Evolution interviews. It's a smashing film and story, but sadly not the complete story. Let's hope for a part: 2 in the future? One thing's for sure though. I never quite understood how big of a star Alice truly was in the 70's prior to watching this. Highly recommended.