Penthouse

Penthouse - 1974

Penthouse
(1974)

Originally Published: 1974

Alice Cooper At The Movies

Author: Steve Ditlea

When it comes to mayhem and madness, Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper is in a league all by itself. in his first feature-length movie, Alice Cooper thrusts into sharp focus teenage America's fantasies and nightmare - bombarding the viewer with everything from horror-movie sensationalism to Daliesque surrealism.

In the colorful confusion of his stage act, Alice pounds away at the twin themes of sex and violence - teasing, taunting, turning outrage and mockery, and incidentally, making Mick Jagger look like a campy choirboy by comparison.

This is not Alice Cooper's screen debut. He has previously appeared in Great Medicine Ball Caravan and in the party sequence from Diary Of A Mad Housewife. But Good To See You Again is all Alice.

Much of the footage was shot onstage during Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies" tour of last year. Dressed in a moth-eaten undershirt, long johns, and knee-high platform snakeskin boots, Alice resembles a bargain-basement creature that God forgot. In one sequence he sings to a chromed mannequin torso, which is graced by a slithering slog of his spit. In another scene, an orgy of candy-stuffing results in a hallucinatory trip to the dentist, complete with a drill the size of an oil well and a tall leggy, dancing tooth. Of course, there's an obligatory appearance by Eva Marie, the latest of Alice's harem of snakes. lest anyone miss the point of all this, Alice proves to his audience that they are a lot crazier than he by tossing out handfuls of personal posters and watching the resulting mob frenzy.

Yet throughout Cooper's adolescent anarchy, there runs a strong stream of morality. Whenever Alice engages in excess, he must pay for his transgressions. In one number called "Raped and Freezing," he gets laid on the road by a horny older woman only to be dumped in a ditch, naked and lonely. When he sings in praise of "Sick Things," Alice gets away with casually smearing a baby doll and molesting the lower extremities of a window mannequin. However, when it comes to contemplating necrophilia in "I Love The Dead," he finds himself being led to the guillotine for violating the bounds of decency.

Alice's stage act concludes with the appearance of presidental look-alike Richard D. Dixon. Despite all his public craziness, Alice Cooper's private vision is sobering and terrigying - that today's America is similar to Germany during the Weimar Republic.

Rock critics have remarked that Alice Cooper's albums cannot be judged by normal musical criteria since they are basically soundtracks for his stage shows. In the same way, Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper cannot be judged by the same standards as a routine movie. Rather, it is a visual record of a most morbidly fascinating pop phenomenon - a set piece that rock fans will not want to miss.