'Super Duper Alice Cooper' goes through the looking glass with a rock legend
RH We didn't want to have any journalistic voices in the film, or anyone observing Alice from an analytical point of view. We treated it more like a drama, in the sense that people enter the story as Alice moves through his life. So obviously, Dennis at the outset, meeting Shep Gordon, and eventually we hear from Elton John, who was really blown away by his concert at the Hollywood Bowl. We really wanted to talk to the pivotal characters in terms of Alice's development as an artist.
SFBG Coincidentally, the doc Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is also about to hit theaters. Have you seen it?
SM Yes! It's funny, because you'll see there are a couple of stories in there that are similar to our film — and what's great is that they're completely different in his doc than in Alice's doc. It really shows you how everyone's memories are affected from that period. By the end, [Supermensch] is much more about Shep and his life than about him and Alice, but there are some moments of crossover for sure.
SFBG Supermensch is directed by Mike Myers, which leads to the obvious question: why no Wayne's World (1992) clips in your movie?
SM We'd seen the docs about Alice in the past, but it seemed like the most Shakespearean, dramatic moment of his life was when he stepped onstage sober. And that was in 1986. That was the point where this Jekyll and Hyde character was able to overcome his demons. Yeah, he went on and did "Poison" and had a number one hit with that, and then did Wayne's World, but that was after the endpoint of our story.
SFBG Ending the movie in the 1980s also allows you to avoid going into Alice's conservative political views.
RH He's pretty apolitical, really — he's a rich guy who lives in Arizona. He's no Ted Nugent. But the goal of the story was to talk about how this kid, Vincent Furnier, transformed into the character of Alice Cooper. If you ask any performer, especially vocalists, they'll tell you they go through some sort of transition before they go onstage. I think what makes Alice unique is that he becomes this character. And so while we didn't necessarily want to touch on the political side of his life, we did want to show that this was a nice Christian kid from suburban Phoenix who became the godfather of shock rock. It was important to us to paint that picture. *
SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER
Thu/1, 7 and 9:30pm, $7.50-10
3630 Balboa, SF
Thu/1 and May 8, 7pm, $7-11
Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth St, San Rafael