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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Super Duper Alice Cooper

Super_Duper_Alice_Cooper

From directors Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen (Metal: A Headbangers Journey) and Reginald Harkema (Leslie, My Name Is Evil) comes this “doc opera” about the career of Alice Cooper.  Narrated by Cooper and others, Super Duper Alice Cooper tells the story of how a preacher’s son by the name of Vincent Furnier became the shock rocker known as Alice.  Gaining infamy after throwing a chicken off the stage (which was torn to pieces) at the Toronto Rock Revival in 1968, Alice Cooper found his stage persona taking over his life, as he coped with addictions to alcohol and cocaine.  However, at the same time, Cooper’s music served as an inspiration for both punk rock and glam metal.

While watching Super Duper Alice Cooper, it quickly becomes apparent what the filmmakers meant when they called the film a “doc opera.”  Using scenes from the 1920 silent-film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a framing device, the film is primarily about the struggle between Vincent Furnier and his stage persona of Alice Cooper, using his songs to correspond with Alice’s state of mind at the time.  The film is made up entirely of archival footage, with voice-over interviews, though there is some visual effects utilized, which makes the film an interesting audio/visual experience.

In many ways, Super Duper Alice Cooper is more about the myth of Alice Cooper than the man.  The film can probably be described as being more “infotainment” than a totally objective documentary.  The film is more about Alice Cooper coping with his demons and finding a way to balance his stage persona with his real one than a straight-forward document of his career.  While there are probably better places to get a complete biography of Alice Cooper, Super Duper Alice Cooper still does a pretty good job at showing why he is considered to be a rock legend.

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Screenings:

  • Sat, May 3, 11:00 AM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).