For many years, there had never been an honest, well-intentioned look at the life and career of Alice Cooper. All of that changed in 2014 when Banger Films came together with the legendary shock rocker to create ‘Super Duper Alice Cooper’. There couldn’t have been a better crew to put this together than Banger; anyone who is familiar with their work knows that they always do their homework and there are no better ambassadors for pushing the understanding of metal music in a critical context. This makes Alice Cooper a perfect subject for the folks at Banger, as it’s no secret that Cooper has long been a misunderstood artist. The end result is pure magic and Banger points out a fact about Cooper’s career that fans (like myself) have known all along: underneath the trappings of outrage (which in and of themselves have long been misunderstood), lies one of the most profound minds and creative forces in all of rock and metal.
One of the cool things about this biopic that sets it apart from many of its contemporaries is the way the that Sam Dunn, the director, has chosen to portray this film. It isn’t your typical biopic and/or documentary in which the audience is subjected to interview sequence after interview sequence over and over again. This picture has lots of color, which is of course fitting considering that Cooper is the subject at hand. This is also particularly useful and important when looking their Cooper’s own eyes. He isn’t a man who is bitter or regrets the so-called good ole days in the least. Within his own recollection and the film’s very nature and essence, there is a warmness that is perpetrated and carried out by this film that is quite reminiscent, at least in spirit, to certain episodes of Banger’s great series, ‘Metal Evolution’. There is a love of subject matter that is always worn by Banger that perfectly supplements Cooper’s own devices and outlook on his own legacy and career. Another thing that this film does in incredible fashion is the way that it ultimately is able to separate the character from the man, playing off the Jekyll and Hyde concept in a striking, poignant sense. The humanization of Cooper, though, is perhaps the film’s greatest quality. As a fan, the conclusion should bring you to tears even if you’re already familiar with Cooper’s career resurgence and the sobriety that he has held on to for over 30 years. The lesser known bits, like about Cooper’s childhood, his family, pre-high school life is something that also goes the extra mile in painting a portrait of a man who is, above all else, human.
This biopic is a step above all of the rest. This film does everything right; painting a lovely and infectious view of Cooper’s life now as well the decadent times of the ’70s, while also being shocked and in horror on just how bad things were always capable of becoming. The guests on this biopic, including Elton John, Dee Snider, and John Lydon give you a picture of just how well-loved and accepted Cooper has long been, often contrary to conventional wisdom. One of the great underrated artists of the 20th century; there are many movements of rock and metal that, had Cooper never made his stamp on the scene, would never have existed. Aside from the fascinating subject that is Cooper, equal credit must be given to Dunn. After all, he was the man who took this project and allowed it to flourish. There is no be documentary filmmaker in the world to create a project like this. His mastery has done many things in the world of music biopics and, perhaps even more importantly, Dunn is the ultimate torchbearer for metal music, a broad genre that has long been misunderstood and misrepresented by those who aren’t on the same wavelength. This film will also (hopefully) change the minds of any naysayers out there who still think that Cooper is nothing but a theatrical performer with little actual talent. If this is you, you’re probably not a fan of this particular blog. Pity is reserved for you. This is as good as it gets.