In Dark Shadows, the latest collaboration between Johnny Deep and director Tim Burton, Alice Cooper adds a sense of authenticity to the vampire comedy set in 1972. Although Cooper’s single “No More Mr. Nice Guy” wasn’t released until 1973, the iconic shock-rocker performs the hit, as well as his 1971 song “Ballad of Dwight Fry,” in the film.
However, Cooper’s cameo in Dark Shadows is far from his first. Let’s revisit Cooper’s past appearances on the silver screen throughout the last 40+ years.
1970: Several months before Cooper got his first taste of musical success with the single “I’m Eighteen,” the Alice Cooper group appeared in the drama Diary of a Mad Housewife, performing as themselves at a loft part in the film.
1978: If you were a music star in the late 1970s, chances are you were tapped for a cameo in the musical film interpretation of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees led the brigade, but Alice Cooper made an appearance playing a villain named the Sun King, after the Abbey Road song of the same name.
On the set of musical comedy Sextette, Cooper wasn’t the only rock’n’roller. Ringo Starr had a supporting role in the Mae West/Tony Curtis film, while Cooper made a brief appearance as a waiter.
1980: The largely forgotten rock’n’roll film Roadie gave Meat Loaf his first starring role, but a music movie wouldn’t be complete without a few more rock stars thrown in. Alice Cooper had a handful of scenes playing himself – some of which involve his fondness for snakes – in Roadie, as did Blondie, Roy Orbison and Hank Williams Jr. Cooper also performed a handful of songs in the film’s concert scenes, including “Pain.”
1984: In Spanish horror flick Monster Dog, Cooper plays the lead role of rock star Vince Raven, who leads his entourage to his murder-struck hometown for a video shoot.
1987: In John Carpenter’s horror flick Prince of Darkness, Cooper plays “Street Schizo,” a murder whose weapon of choice is a bicycle.
1991: Though Cooper goes uncredited, he played Freddy Krueger’s father in the 1991 slasher film Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, the sixth film in the Freddy Krueger series.
1992: Among his cameos, Cooper’s appearance in the original Wayne’s World film is likely his most memorable. After Wayne and Garth attend Alice’s concert – a scene in which he performs 1992 single “Feed My Frankenstein” – they go backstage to chat with Cooper. He shocks them not with any crazy stunts, but rather, by presenting a history lesson on the city of Milwaukee.
2001: Seth Green horror flick The Attic Expeditions got an authentic touch via Cooper, who took his straight jacket costume to the next level in the role of mental patient Samuel Leventhal.
2009: In the 2009 vampire-themed dark comedy Suck, Cooper joined a slew of rock stars including Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Alex Lifeson of Rush and more in guest appearances. Cooper played a vampire bartender in the Canadian film.
2010: Cooper makes an appearances as himself in the 2010’s Horrorween, a horror film with a sci-fi slant that also included cameos from William Shatner and Flavor Flav.
2012: Though Cooper’s appearance in Dark Shadows was certainly not his first cameo, it may be his most elaborate. At the film’s premiere, Cooper performed “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with its star Depp and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (who also appeared with Cooper in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). And Cooper sits at the centerpiece of a soundtrack stacked with ’70s music stars: The Moody Blues (with “Nights in White Satin”), Black Sabbath (with “Paranoid”), The Carpenters (with “Top of the World”), Barry White (with “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything”) and more. The soundtrack drops this Tuesday (May 22).
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local