Party Monster is a 2003 drama/dark comedy that details the rise and fall of infamous New York party promoter Michael Alig. The movie stars former child star Macaulay Culkin as the drug addled "King of the Club Kids." Also in the film are Seth Green as the flamboyant and slightly smarter James St. James, Dylan McDermott as Alig's boss/father figure Peter Gatien, Chloë Sevigny as Alig's girlfriend/fag hag Gitsie, Wilmer Valderrama as his onetime boyfriend DJ Keoki, Wilson Cruz as drug dealer/Club Kid wannabe Angel Melendez, and Marilyn Manson as Christina, a transsexual member of Alig's entourage. A number of real life club kids appeared as extras, including fashion designer Richie Rich and David LaChapelle's transsexual muse Amanda Lepore.
The film is based on St. James' memoir Disco Bloodbath, and details his friendship with Alig, which fell apart as Alig's drug addiction worsened, and ended after he murdered Melendez and went to prison. A 1998 documentary on the murder, also called Party Monster, was used for certain elements of the film.
Party Monster made its world premiere at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival on January 15, 2003. Months later, it was put on limited release to different art-house theaters in major US cities.
begins with Michael Alig (Macaulay Culkin
) as a small-town outcast who before moving to New York lived with his mom, brother and stepfather, learns the New York party scene from James St. James (Seth Green
) and Gatien (Dylan McDermott
), and soon becomes the hottest party promoter in New York. However, after Michael descends into the world of drug abuse, his life starts to spiral out of control, eventually culminating in his involvement in the murder of Angel Melendez
The film was greeted to decent, if at times mixed, reviews. Culkin's performance in the film received mixed reviews, while Seth Green's received much praise. Due to its limited release, Party Monster wasn't a major hit, though it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival
According to Box Office Mojo, the film only made $742,898 out of a budget of $5,000,000 in its theatrical release.
However, the film has gained a massive cult following through DVD rentals and airings on cable television. Many clubs in major American cities have hosted Party Monster-theme parties. Also, Rocky Horror-type midnight screenings have begun to occur in several cities.
- Marilyn Manson showed up for filming with his own prosthetic breast, butt and blonde wig.
- This is the first non-documentary feature film for production company Killer Films that was shot entirely on a digital video format.
- Daniel Franzese has a small speaking role in the film but he also appears in the end in a rat costume describing the murder to Seth Green.
- Macaulay Culkin visited the real Michael Alig in prison to prepare for his role.
- Seth Green also met with the real James St. James before filming.
- Some of the real Club Kids, like Amanda Lepore and Richie Rich were in the TV Talk Show scene.
- The exteriors of Michael's apartment building were shots of where the real Michael Alig actually used to live.
- Much of the drug use in the movie was toned down from Michael Alig and James St. James' actual habits for fear it would seem unbelievable.
- Around 1,000 costumes were used - a major achievement for a film with such a small budget. Many costumes were originals culled from the Club Kids themselves, which contribute to the authentic feel of the overall design and look of the film.
- When the Club Kids are walking through New York at Night you can see the distinctive "green x" logo of Microsoft's X Box game console in an advertisement. The film is set in the 1980s and the X-Box did not appear till the 2000s.
- In the "party at the burger joint" scene, one club kid is seen dancing around with a bottle of Bacardi O in his hand. Bacardi O was not around in the 80s.
- When Michael puts the money in the newspaper box to get a copy of the "Andy Warhol Is Dead" issue, he opens the box before the money drops in the coin slot.
- During the scene in Texas ("Money, Success, Fame, Glamor"), Freez is wearing black, leather, zippered underpants in some shots but not in others.