Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Film Review: ALICE COOPER- PRIME CUTS (1991, Neal Preston)

Stars: 3.9 of 5.
Running Time: 90 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Alice Cooper, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Ezrin, Shep Gordon, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce, Neal Smith, Kane Roberts, Kip Winger.
Tag-line: "The Alice Cooper Story."

Also known as THE ALICE COOPER STORY, this 1991 documentary could serve as a great primer for the burgeoning Alice fan. For the die hards, however, chances are that you'll hear only an anecdote or two that you're not already familiar with, but the cross-section of concert footage and refreshingly candid interviews goes a long way toward making this extremely watchable.

Alice weighs in on his collaboration with Dali, his mistaken 7 AM audition for Frank Zappa (Zappa meant PM!), and the founding of the 'Hollywood Vampires,' a group (whose ranks included John Lennon and Keith Moon, among others) who boozed it up like real rock n' rollin' dipsomaniacs until only one man was left upright.

We hear about the notorious chicken 'murder,' the original band burning out on tour, going solo with WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE, and his first sanitarium sojourn (which inspired FROM THE INSIDE). You get a terrific sense of his exquisite theatricality and the influence he has exerted on popular music (and showmanship in general); and scintillating, intellectual conversations with the likes of Slash and Ozzy provide a broader cultural context.

Slash muses on cultural memory and the creative process, extensively citing Proust to the point of immoderation.

My one complaint, however, is that the film completely skips the 80's. Now, the film runs slightly under an hour, and a lot of people seem to dislike that particular phase of his career, but we jump straight from his 1980 'new wavish' foray FLUSH THE FASHION to his 1989 mainstream/Bon Jovi comeback TRASH.

We completely skip the 'Blackout Years' (ZIPPER CATCHES SKIN, et al.) the Soldier of Fortune phase (SPECIAL FORCES), his multiple personality masterpiece (DADA), the final Rehab, his contributions to 80's horror films (FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, MONSTER DOG, FREDDY'S DEAD, etc.), and the albums that truly rebuilt the fanbase and set the stage for his comeback (CONSTRICTOR, RAISE YOUR FIST AND YELL). Regardless of these omissions, however, it remains a solid overview of the man and his work, and thus, I patently recommend.

-Sean Gill


Anonymous said...

Remember when Slash was cool & didn't play on Fergie songs? I feel old.

Sean Gill said...

Eeeek! I'm going to pretend you didn't say that and go watch the "November Rain" music video.