Alice Cooper has spent over 40 years inventing and re-inventing shock rock. One of those re-inventions came in 1975 when, to celebrate the release of his first album as a solo artist, Welcome to My Nightmare, Cooper collaborated with ABC to release a television special that included a full-length performance of the album. The special, entitled "Alice Cooper: The Nightmare," has long been out of print. Now Eagle Rock Entertainment is rectifying that with the release of "Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare Special Edition" on DVD.
"Alice Cooper: The Nightmare" has long been the holy grail of Alice Cooper super-fans. Aside from one brief home video release on VHS and Betamax in 1983, the television special has been unavailable except by oft-copied and badly degraded bootlegs. With its release on DVD, lifelong fans can finally replace those copies with a print straight from the master.
As a program, "Alice Cooper: The Nightmare" is a bizarre and innovative as anything in Cooper's career, and a wonder to have made it onto network television. The story involves a young boy named Steven, played by Alice Cooper, who is trapped in a nightmare and tormented by an evil spirit simply called The Spirit of the Nightmare, played with delicious camp by horror legend Vincent Price.
The show careens from horror scenes of monsters and spiders and cyclops to Broadway-style song and dance numbers featuring Cooper and a group of backup dancers dressed as skeletons like a proto-Lady Gaga. Throughout, Cooper plays both the horror and the humor to the hilt, selling the sheer ridiculousness of the entire spectacle through his willingness to commit to it all fully.
Eagle Rock fills out the DVD with a re-release of the 1976 Welcome to My Nightmare concert film. While excellent and another proof of Alice Cooper's groundbreaking career, the concert film has long been available on home media and the sell for Cooper fans here is the TV special.
"Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare Special Edition" will release on Sept. 8.