Saturday, February 26, 2022

Alice Cooper: Frontman, on Reelz

If the Evangelical Christian media were cooler, they would totally embrace the story of Alice Cooper. Truly, it is one of triumph and rebirth, because the notorious rocker overcame his addictions and inner demons, by returning to the faith of his pastor father. Yet, he never gave up his hard rock or his horror movies, so he doesn’t fit in their little aesthetic boxes. Regardless, he was up, he was down, and he is still bigger than ever, so he is a natural subject for the Reelz treatment in Alice Cooper: Frontman (produced and directed by Sean Grundy), which premieres tomorrow night.

Cooper’s installment of the
Frontman franchise follows the same general outline as the feature documentary, Super Duper Alice Cooper, including the extended Jekyll-and-Hyde metaphor to describe the tension between Cooper’s regular identity and his sinister stage persona, “Alice.” Logically, both films cover much the same biographical events.

Frontman lacks the animated interludes and extensive celebrity voices incorporated into Super Duper, it has plenty of commentary from Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, who must have a holding arrangement with Reelz (where he was just seen in The Guest List). Dr. Drew Pinsky’s colleague, Dr. Judy Ho also offers some insight into the addiction issues he faced (but it is unclear whether she has any connection to the rocker).

also has the advantage of covering more recent events in Cooper’s life, including playing King Herod in the live network production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Even though he portrays an evil figure, the production’s sacred nature brings full circle the redemptive role Christianity played in Cooper’s later life. Indeed, Frontman probably emphasizes Cooper’s re-awakening more than Super Duper did.

Plus, there is all the cool stuff Cooper did in his horror-themed concerts. If
Frontman includes images of his classic appearance on The Muppet Show, they are darned fleeting (but they are pretty familiar by now). However, we see plenty of the macabre stage illusions designed by James Randi and the iconic Welcome to My Nightmare tour, featuring the great Vincent Price.

The truth is Alice Cooper never bored anyone.
Frontman is no exception. It could have covered more of his acting (he is totally creepy in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness), but it keeps things snappy, so viewers generally get good appreciated of his uniquely American rock & roll survival story. Recommended as nostalgia and fandom, Alice Cooper: Frontman premieres tomorrow night (2/27) on Reelz.