Get ready for the reinvention of Macaulay Culkin.
After a long self-imposed hiatus, he returns to
the screen playing the lead in the feature film
adaptation of James St. James' book "Disco
Bloodbath," the true story of New York City club
promoter Michael Alig's phenomenal rise to
fame and subsequent fall from grace. "Party
Monster" (IMDb listing) is in your face and down to the bottom
of your soul, a wild ride for audience and cast
alike, and Culkin impeccably leads the way.
It"s the early 1990s and geeky kid Michael Alig
(Culkin) arrives in New York eager to reinvent
himself as one of the cool people, a dream he
comes one step closer to realizing when he
strikes up a friendship with the flamboyant
James St. James (Seth Green). Through
James' connections in the city's surreal club
scene, Michael, with his enigmatic,
larger-than-life public persona, quickly
finds his place as the most revered of party
promoters, worshiped by his devoted followers--all former geeks elevated by him to
unprecedented levels of coolness as Club Kids
with fantastical new identities. Financed by the
Limelight's eccentric owner Peter Gatien (Dylan
McDermott), the extravagant parties and
Michael's increasingly outrageous lifestyle
reach their frenzied peak when Michael brags
openly of having killed Angel (Wilson Cruz), his
drug dealer. Is it just another one of his publicity
stunts, or does Michael know the identity of the
body washed up in the East River?
Impressive performances from all involved, as
well as tight direction and intriguing
cinematography, make this one a must-see.
Seth Green fans should be most impressed
after they get over their initial shock--his James
St. James is as far as you're likely to get from
"Buffy's" Oz or "Austin Powers'" Scott Evil, and it's
not just because of the false eyelashes.
getting his big screen dues is Cruz, who
devotees may remember as Ricky from the
sadly short-lived TV show "My So-Called Life."
With "Party Monster" writer/directors Fenton
Bailey and Randy Barbato, who are also
responsible for the Emmy-award-winning
documentary of the same name, have created
an incredibly seductive yet complex film that
allows us a fascinating glimpse into Alig's mad
world. Indeed, they immerse us in it to the point
that extrication is impossible when the shit hits
the fan--making us silent accomplices as much
as horrified voyeurs.
So, are you ready to party?
Filmfodder Grade: A