Alice Cooper and horror go hand in gruesome hand. Forever linked, much of Cooper’s wide-ranging esteem comes directly from his horrific live show which routinely sees the singer murdered in some torturous way involving elaborate stage productions and ponchos for the front row to save them from blood-spatter. Almost all of the death-defying stunts can trace their way back to horror films in some regard, either through motif or years of cinematic trickery being shared with Cooper.
So when Vincent Damon Furnier tells you to pick up a horror flick and watch it, you better put it on your essential watch list. Known as The Godfather of Shock Rock, there isn’t a lot that Cooper doesn’t love about scary stuff so you can trust him on what is and isn’t worth watching. Recently Cooper shared a list of his 13 favourite lockdown horror flicks to his Instagram. His list includes a hefty dose of modern classics and, we must admit, were slightly swayed by the collection of films he had to choose from. So we’ve done some digging and added some of the singer’s other favourites to make the ultimate beginner’s guide to horror, via Alice Cooper.
When Cooper arrived on the music scene in 1970 he was in a murderous mood, as he himself stated: “We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation,” and he did just that.
Cooper’s brand of shock rock enthralled a nation swept up in the joys of Halloween. He was the living embodiment of a date at the movies to see the latest gorefest. A perfect night out. His work is as cinematic as most films so we’re more than happy to take his advice on what to watch.
Salem’s Lot, a project described as “a made-for-TV movie that was one of the great vampire movies,” kicked things off for Cooper. “I don’t think they realised how good this movie was until after they made it,” he said. “Barlow was a great… he may be the scariest vampire of all time. James Mason was great in this movie, David Soul was great in this movie. If you haven’t seen Salem’s Lot, don’t write it off as a TV movie, it’s one of the great scary movies.”
Another known favourite of Cooper’s is 1977’s Suspiria from director Dario Argento. Speaking with NME, the singer said of the film: “A little girl in a ballet studio in Italy and it is just pure ‘creep’. It’s just creepy. They never see a monster and that’s what makes it creepy. Really good horror movies are the ones where you don’t see the monster.” The remake from 2018 is also great and deserves a watch too but you have to start with the original.
Among the more modern titles are, Get Out, The Purge, World War Z and the wonderful 28 Days Later, which is certainly one of the greatest films of more recent times. In his selection for quarantine fun, the inclusion of Danny Boyle’s infectious zombie flick is a naturally twisted one. There’s also room for some pure silliness too, picking out 1986 slasher film Friday The 13th 6 – Jason Lives was one thing but Cooper has also on occasion picked out The Evil Dead as one of his favourite films suggesting his thirst for blood, fake or otherwise, is always unquenchable.
Cooper, perhaps unsurprisingly, is also a big fan of gore and for that x-factor there is only one series in Cooper’s book, telling Village Voice: “If you’re just right down into pure gore, then I think you’ve gotta go with the Feast series,” he said. “It was three movies: Feast I, Feast II (Sloppy Seconds), and Feast III (The Happy Finish). It’s just they’re so over-the-top that it’s unbelievable. When you think you’ve seen the grossest thing, there’s something else coming.”
Cooper’s sophistication in the genre is there too, however, often picking black and white horror pioneers such as Carnival of Souls as his favourite films. “Carnival of Souls was a black-and-white movie that’s just one of those nightmarish films that stays with you for some reason,” he said. “There was no lead actor in it. It was about a girl who was going through her life, and she’s dead but she doesn’t know it. There’s a scene where they’re in a ballroom, all these dead people dancing — when I was a kid it was the creepiest movie of all time. It was a real nightmarish movie.”
All in all, we’re quietly confident that if you watch every one of these films in the next few weeks that by the time Halloween comes around you will be ready with film recommendations for all your friends. Or, of course, you can just pass on the golden recommendations of the most gruesome man on stage, Alice Cooper.
See the full list, below.
Alice Cooper’s favourite horror films:
- A Quiet Place – John Krasinski (2018)
- 28 Days Later – Danny Boyle (2002)
- Friday The 13th 6 – Jason Lives – Tom McLoughlin (1986)
- The Descent – Neil Marshall (2005)
- Get Out – Jordan Peele (2017)
- The Purge – James DeMonaco (2013)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper (1974)
- The Evil Dead – Sam Raimi (1981)
- World War Z – Marc Forster (2013)
- Children Of The Corn – Fritz Kiersch (1984)
- Night Of The Living Dead – George A. Romero (1969)
- The Omen – John Moore (2006)
- Salem’s Lot – Tobe Hooper (1979)
- Suspiria – Dario Argento (1977)
- The Haunting – Jan de Bont (199)
- Carnival of Souls – Herk Harvey (1962)
- Feast I, II, and III – John Gulager (2005, 2008, 2009)
- 30 Days of Night – David Slade (2007)
- Silent Hill – Christophe Gans (2006)
- Cabin in the Woods – Drew Goddard (2007)