Report: Alice Cooper Presents Nightmare Movies

Most fitting for the Halloween weekend, Alice Cooper appeared at the BFI Southbank on Friday 28th October to discuss horror films. Attendees were treated to Alice Cooper make-up sets on their seats, and a selection of his music before the event began. Interviewing Cooper was Alan Jones, veteran film writer and FrightFest founder.

Cooper enthusiastically discussed his horror movie favourites from his youth. He also talked about the films that influenced him in terms of appearance and stage show. Clips from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Barbarella were screened, with Cooper illustrating why these films were important influences.

As well as elaborating on some of his favourite horror movies, Alice Cooper also talked about his acting career. He discussed working with Robert Englund on Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, where he played the father of the notorious horror villain. Cooper also mentioned another film he made called Monster Dog, which sounds like a must see.

The evening was concluded by a screening of Halloween, introduced by Cooper. I was lucky enough to attend a drinks reception after the event, where I was thrilled to get a chance to meet Alice Cooper. In person, he was congenial and happy to talk to everyone. Our brief discussion extended to talking about our shared birthday, as well as our mutual love of The Haunting.

Many thanks to the wonderful team at the BFI for extending their hospitality.

Film Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The antichrist of Hollywood (Michael Bay) strikes again, with yet another remake of a horror classic. This new version is slick, yet this does not detract from its pointlessness.

The teens of Springwood are having nightmares, all featuring the same frightening character. Things take a turn for the worse when Freddy Krueger starts to cross the line from dream into reality…

Samuel Bayer’s remake does not stray too far from the original material. Many of the characters and set-ups are kept intact. A noticeable exception to this is the absence of Nancy’s father, a police officer. The lack of police presence in the remake is palpable. With the violent suicides and murders that occur, Bayer’s film is made all the more incredulous by a lack of interest from the authorities.

A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s chief character is of course Freddy Krueger. Jackie Earle Haley offers a performance not overly dissimilar from Robert Englund’s. However, Freddy seems to have longer strings of dialogue in this film than the original. The lack of explanation from Freddy in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street certainly enhanced the fear factor of the iconic film character. You can’t help but feel that if a remake of this film was deemed necessary, director Bayer has missed a trick in not altering the antagonist to a greater extent.

Elsewhere performances are adequate, never illuminating. The effects utilised in the film are convincing, although the original seems gorier in comparison. The soundtrack works well, particularly the use of The Everly Brothers’ ‘All I Have to Do is Dream’.

With all the action and jumpy sequences that precede it, the climax appears a little lacklustre. Whilst the film is reasonably enjoyable, hopefully it will not be successful enough to spawn an unnecessary sequel. 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street part 2 was bad enough.