Party Monster

July 1st, 2005 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

Writer/directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato

Starring: Macauley Culkin, Seth Green, Chloe Sevigny, Dylan McDermott, Marilyn Manson

Macualey Culkin is Club Kid Michael Alig, whose descent into drugs and excess landed him in jail (Culkin followed a similar slide that spelled the end of his childhood Hollywood career).

The Club Kids were the early 80s equivalent of the It Girl, their only talents calling attention to their outrageous habits, lifestyles and dress sense.

In a highly stylised film where Alig and friend James St James (Green) argue over whose movie it is, the story swings between wide-eyed, birthday party-like innocence and the grungy depths of drug abuse.

Moving to New York and begging St James to help make him ‘fabulous’ (ie a Club Kid), Alig claws his way to the top of the heap to become the subculture’s most famous party promoter, putting on increasingly bizarre themed events in the club of his boss (McDermott) until the fairytal of eternal youth starts to unravel when — in a drug fuelled haze — Alig and one of his housemates murder a dealer after his money.

It’s unclear whether Culkin is acting well or he’s just naturally suited to the role — his doe eyes and boyish features betray an innocence Alig lives by, refusing to see the hard truths of the world.

Green is deliciously over the top and campy as Alig’s mentor and friend St James, stealing most of the scenes he’s in. The end product is part Terry Gilliam, part Darren Aronofsky and part Priscilla, all wrapped up in a contemporary fable.

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