DVD review: ALICE COOPER – Super Duper

Alice Cooper - Super Duper

Eagle Rock [Release date 26.05.14]

Billed as ‘the definitive story of Alice Cooper’ and from the creator of Iron Maiden: Flight 666, and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, I was rather looking forward to this docu which is being heavily pushed on the Coop’s website.

And I mean ‘pushed’ – there’s a plethora of ‘bundles’ including an early live recording, a hardback book, a Frisbee, a T shirt and even undies.  No marketing opportunity has been missed.  And if the documentary truly was ‘definitive’ than maybe, just maybe that’s OK.

But as someone who was turned onto Alice by Killer in 1971 at the age of 15, I can tell you it’s a very sad disappointment, put together – it would appear on the cheap.

It’s probably a fact that there’s very little contemporary footage of the early years of the Alice Cooper band so what the producers have done is to enhance old stills using the latest digital technology to ‘move around’ within them.  That would be neat enough if used sparingly but they’re a little overdone as are some of the cheesy black and white Frankenstein-style segue pieces.

But strangest of all, although the narrative is mostly by Alice, with contributions from the likes of Dennis Dunaway and Bob Ezrin, there isn’t a single line spoken to camera.  Now we all know there can be too many talking heads in these features, but it can be the best way of telling a story.  It gives the production a ‘made on the cheap’ feel.

And as for the story, again Super Duper is short on detail.  The formative years are dealt with comprehensively enough but beyond it’s fairly superficial – Alice becomes a star, becomes an alcoholic, recovers, becomes a junkie (and the footage of him at the time is surely an advert for not taking cocaine), recovers again (remarkably), the end.

His output in the wilderness years isn’t touched on, nor any of his subsequent releases.  Sadly some things in life don’t live up to their billing or expectation.  Super Duper lives up to neither.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)

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