A 1975 Alice Cooper concert hosted by Vincent Price, with Alice Cooper's trademark "horror" stage act, and performances of some of his hit songs, including "Only Women Bleed", "School's Out" and "Steven".
An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a $20,000 bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the writer discovers... See full summary »
The Alice Cooper band was under contract with Warner Bros. records when frontman Alice Cooper decided to pursue a solo career. To sidestep contractual obligations they shot "The Nightmare" and issued the LP "Welcome to My Nightmare" on the company's Atlantic Records subsidiary as the soundtrack from the TV special. See more »
The Spirit of the Nightmare:
If I may put forward a slice of personal philosophy, I feel that man has ruled this world as a stumbling demented child king long enough! And as his empire crumbles, my precious Black Widow shall rise as his most fitting successor!
See more »
ALICE COOPER: THE NIGHTMARE (TV) (Jorn Winther, 1975) **1/2
I am not sure how Vincent Price came to be involved with pop/rock music but, apart from his famed contribution to Michael Jackson's song "Thriller" from his eponymous (and top-selling) 1982 record, he appeared in this TV special inspired by Heavy Metal exponent Alice Cooper's concept album "Welcome To My Nightmare". On a personal note, I had long been interested in checking out Cooper's earliest albums, given that they had been produced by Bob Ezrin and featured guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner all 3 of whom were also involved with Lou Reed's 1973 solo masterpiece "Berlin" and, Hunter and Wagner only, Reed's successive release, "Rock 'N' Roll Animal" to my mind the best live album ever!
The basic premise here is simple: a man finds that he cannot wake up from his own nightmare. Guiding him through the maze of vaguely surreal visions (clichéd Halloween imagery giving way to a lair of spider/human hybrids, a refrigerator graveyard, and even having a top-hatted Cooper engaged in a tap-dance routine with a trio of likewise-attired skeletons!) is an ageing Price making intermittent campy appearances to spout unspeakable lines and laugh himself silly as The Spirit Of The Nightmare. Cooper is shown in and out of (his recognizable face-painted) character, as the young man asleep in bed dreaming and, of course, the protagonist of the "phantasm" (as Price vividly puts it). Throughout, he is also made to reflect on his life childhood memories evoked by a fairground ride and the recounting of his success story being literally 'torn from the headlines'.
The approach to this early form of (extended) music video is typical of the era: a gaudily elaborate mise-en-scene (exemplified by distracting and pointless choreography, even if the color scheme is imaginatively-deployed) undercut by poor technical quality. On the other hand, the artist's essence emerges well enough (with the outstanding track being the eventual single release "Only Women Bleed"), and he clearly relished the opportunity since he would often return to the screen in subsequent years (albeit mostly in small roles and guest spots)! At 66 minutes, the program is tolerable and even mildly enjoyable for what it tries to do (though, regrettably, it requires Vincent Price to be embarrassed somewhat in any case, he would re-unite with the same performer on THE STRANGE CASE OF ALICE COOPER in 1979). For what it is worth, Cooper's live staging of the album the following year would also be caught on tape and, since last year, has reportedly been busy at work on a sequel to the original album to be titled "Welcome 2 My Nightmare"!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?