After being on the receiving of some mighty bad buzz last month all has been quiet on the production front of Tim Burton‘s big-screen adaptation of the classic Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. But a recent development has temporarily shone the spotlight on the movie in the form of the recently-announced casting of Alice Cooper, the star of such films as Sextette, Monster Dog, Prince of Darkness, and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (his performance as Freddy Krueger’s stepfather had Oscar gold written all over it-damn you Jack Palance). Apparently when Cooper isn’t acting he’s indulging his secret passion for making music, something he has been doing for more than four decades. Who knew?
Okay, I’ll drop the sarcasm. Yes, all you Alice Cooper fans out there can rejoice at the news that the legendary shock rocker who has made horror movie imagery a huge part of his recordings and stage shows ever has joined the cast of the Johnny Depp-starring flick, and he’ll be playing one of the most challenging roles of his career….himself! Sorry for that extra bit of sarcasm. It’s gone now.
Cooper has appeared as himself, or at least his stage persona, in movies like Wayne’s World and Roadie. For Dark Shadows he’ll be featured providing the entertainment at a spook-tacular ball hosted by Depp’s character, centuries-old vampire Barnabas Collins. Since the movie is set in the 1970’s, Cooper will no doubt be de-aged a few decades to play his younger self performing his classic rock hit “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (which I can no longer listen to without thinking of the freshman paddling scene in Dazed & Confused). Longtime fan Depp, who attended a Cooper concert back in June and even got the chance to put guitar on the classic anthems “School’s Out” and “Eighteen,” said of the rock legend, “He’s a guy you have to watch when he’s up on the stage, and the songs are just classic.”
Upon seeing the elaborate Collinwood Manor sets designed by Rick Heinrichs (Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain America: The First Avenger) and constructed at England’s Pinewood Studios, Cooper cheekily remarked, “They should take that set and make it a haunted house next year.”
Being a great fan of Cooper’s music and a devoted listener of his nightly radio show “Nights with Alice Cooper” this news does give me a little hope that Dark Shadows could be a fun movie after all, especially since I have no emotional attachment to the original show. But couldn’t they have found a more appropriate song for Alice to play in the movie, something a bit more horror-themed?