Welcome to My Nightmare is a 1976 music concert film of Alice Cooper's show of the same name. It was produced, directed and choreographed by David Winters. The film accompanied the album, the stage show (also produced, directed and choreographed by Winters) by the same name and the TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, the first ever rock music video album, starring Cooper and Vincent Price in person. Though it failed at the box office, it later became a midnight movie favorite and a cult classic.
In 1975, Alice Cooper released his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, and a huge theatrical stage show was created and put together by Winters to 'tour the album'. Whilst in the past the Alice Cooper stage show was semi-improvisatory, with confrontational elements of violence and satire (see Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper), the new production was purely horror-themed and professionally choreographed and performed to the split second (Winters had a long history of choreographing and directing big celebrity films, stage and TV shows starring in the cast of West Side Story and choreographing 4 films with Elvis Presley and 5 films with Ann-Margret). With the edginess removed (gone were the bloody guillotine, the spit and the skewered baby dolls, although "Only Women Bleed" presented a drunken, physically abusive side to the character), the Welcome to My Nightmare show was part a carefully planned move toward a more mainstream-friendly 'Alice'.
Welcome to My Nightmare was a phantasmagorical exposition of music and theatre themed around a nightmare experienced by a young boy named Steven. Costing US$600,000 to produce, the show was a grand visual spectacle with an elaborate stage set, pre-filmed projections, four dancers, and elaborate costumes. Set in a graveyard/bedroom, a well-drilled band ran through the new album and a selection of older hits, whilst Alice encountered giant spiders, dancing skeletons, faceless silver demons and a 9-foot 'cyclops'.
Concert footage was taken from a series of London shows at the Wembley Arena on September 11–12, 1975, but the film was a box office failure in its original 1976 release. However, like Phantom of the Paradise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and others, Welcome to My Nightmare found a low-volume but dependable audience on the midnight movie circuit. The film is out of sequence with the live show, and the final Department of Youth segment has some post-production inserts.
The film was first issued commercially on VHS in 1981, with numerous reissues since. A DVD issue was released in 2002, with the US version featuring commentary by Cooper.
Before "Some Folks", a short medley was performed as the dancers danced in their skeleton costumes. The medley consisted of "Halo of Flies" (from Cooper's Killer album), "The Black Widow", and "Didn't We Meet" (which would be released on Cooper's next album, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell).
Alice Cooper - Vocals
Dick Wagner - Guitar, Vocals
Steve Hunter - Guitar
Josef Chirowski - Synthesizer, Keyboards, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Vocals
Prakash John - Bass, Vocals
Pentti "Whitey" Glan - Drums
- Opening credits - The Awakening
- Welcome To My Nightmare
- Years Ago
- No More Mr. Nice Guy
- Years Ago (reprise)
- I'm Eighteen
- Some Folks
- Cold Ethyl
- Only Women Bleed
- Years Ago (reprise)
- Billion Dollar Babies
- Devil's Food
- The Black Widow
- Welcome to My Nightmare (reprise)
- School's Out
- Department of Youth
- End credits - Only Women Bleed (alternate version)