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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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

COLLATERAL Mr Big Shot (Roulette Media Records)
BABY HUSBAND Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (indie)
OF ALLIES Off The Map (indie)
MARISA AND THE MOTHS – Slave (indie)
CATTLE AND CANE I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like I Do)
KING VOODOO Creep (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Big Blue World (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 REDLINE Gods & Monsters (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 WILDWOOD KIN (Silvertone/Sony)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)

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