Picks and Pans Review: The Nightmare Returns: the Alice Cooper Tour

updated 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

All right, kids: In case you're lacking historical perspective, the thing draped around this guy's neck is a live, 10-foot boa constrictor. He calls himself Alice, and he was a past master of macabre rock drama back when the members of Metallica thought heavy metal meant an oversize safety pin in their diapers. This performance was filmed last year in Detroit, during Cooper's comeback tour after five years out of the spotlight. The tall, gawky Alice, now 41, with his long raven hair, tattered clothing and jack-o'-lantern makeup, looks like the host of some small TV station's Chiller Theater. During the first song ghosts, goblins and creepy-crawly creatures stalk the cluttered, skull-strewn stage. On the second song Cooper skewers a baby doll with a sword. Ah, same old adorable Alice, with the same props that made him infamous: whips, guillotines, straitjackets and stage blood. Give him credit, though. His Grand Guignol, shot in murky red lighting, is grown more elaborate. In a goofy way Cooper's crunchy guitar-rock (e.g., Eighteen) and his mock-sicko posturing both hold up. Maybe it just shows how little rock has progressed in the last 15 years. (MCA, $29.95; 76 mins.)

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