Party Monster - Michael Alig

quote:

From:

hi-
my name's Michael Wilkinson - I spoke to chichi today about my project:

- I'm designing/sourcing the costumes for a low budget film called Party Monster, about the club kids of New York in the 80's and 90's. I am
trying to source interesting clubkidwear for the film, and was wondering whether you might post a message to see if anyone out there has clothes
they might lend/rent to us - the wilder the better

people can call me on 917-554-4635 or 212-594-4036 if they'd like to be
involved

thanks a million,
Michael.
Original Post
At Theo's recent fete over at Don Hill's I was approached by some sissy number who called himself Theron. Claimed to be one of the associate producers of the film in focus; he displayed a digicam's snaps from that afternoon, (the first day of shooting). Gotta say, Marylin looked stellar. Within the 20 minutes he was talking to me, he'd gotten up and run off and come back at least ten times in search of blow. Before he darted off for the last time, I told him that at least he was in the right condition for that kind of project...
I must say its a shame their sorry lives will be the focus of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars of film, talent and energy. There seems so much more worth showing the world than troubled souls trying so desperately to have a good time. Maybe its what people need to see, I dont know. It certainly has fascination - in a 'how low can you go' kind of way.

One thing's for sure, its definately a New York story. I wonder if this film will reveal the disconnection, the desperation that ran through that scene. Ive always felt there was something divine at work that sent me to California during that period when I needed to dress up every night, take lots of drugs and go crazy with all the other 20 year olds...
Well, Jade, you could've just stayed at the Pyramid like I did and been oblivious to most of their early lunchpail-isms. Though Sister and I did let Michael throw a party once in the basement lounge, I vowed never to do it again when I saw what a bunch of clown-faced, free-drink-grubbing fools on bad drugs they were.
Speaking of clowns, does anyone remember Clowny? He was very underage and a total drug whore. He had a huge member, I remember, and lived at the Hotel 17 (where else?) with a black dreadlocked older drug dealer.
About the film: why don't they hire a REAL costumer like Kitty and stop begging for free costumes and lunchpails. But then that's very fitting, considering the theme.
Now, Christina, there's a film by itself... And how gorgeous that Miss Manson is playing her; she always chooses the right direction!
I remember at Jackie everyone kept looking for Angel. He was one of the more well-loved drug dealers. Then the rumors started that Michael killed him. I never really believed it but just to be sure I asked Michael, "Did you kill Angel?" He looked me right in the eye and said "No, I didn't." I can't believe it.
HE LIED TO ME!
This subject is always so polarizing, and we've tried to steer clear of it ...

While all of it was going on, we were being good little students and getting our education at Ohio University in the middle of nowhere. Zazoo did go to Limelight and Club USA in '92 (or ˜93) and had a blast. The Little Professor bookstore on campus carried "Project X" but that was the extent of our knowledge of the scene in NYC.

When Chi Chi posted Michael Wilkinson's note above, we debated for over a week. When we did our research, and found out that Killer Films was the production company, we couldn't resist. Stonewall, Boys Don't Cry, I Shot Andy Warhol,Velvet Goldmine, Poison and Hedwig are among our very favorite movies, and the imagery in them is just one of the reasons.

It IS a shame that there is a movie that makes the story of a true-life murder entertaining. Angel is dead. His family will have all of it put back in their face again, but I don't think the goal of this movie is to glorify Michael Alig. In fact, I'm betting the story will illustrate how messed up he is and how dangerous hedonism can be.

I'm also betting that the whole story being put out in the world as a feature film will do him more harm than good, because now what parole board in their right minds will let him out before his entire sentence is served.

You are right about people wanting to see the lowest people can go. Most good stories are based on the rise and fall of the main character, dating back to Greek tragedies. It's why "Behind the Music" and "E True Hollywood Story" are so successful.

So, even though it may be an unpopular choice, we've contributed costumes to the movie... Michael Wilkinson and his assistant Lisa have been VERY professional and friendly. Their staff DID create the majority of the costumes in the film, but wanted to get a good range of looks. They have a very small costume budget. The entire production is being done for under $5 million. So, they are constrained, and were probably tapping in to the one community that they knew would have connections to some original, creative and authentic costumes. And for the record, they are renting our stuff, so there was really no begging going on in our case.

I guess what I wanted to express, is that there are many people connected to this movie, and they are not all like Michael Alig. I'm sure everyone involved had to think about the positive and negatives in being connected to this film. (except for Marilyn Manson who probably doesn't care.)

Satori
Oh Satori, I am glad you are contributing to the project. I just tend to see red when some one I don't even know tries to borrow things I have horded over the years and then receives "Costume Designer" credit. Maybe I am just paranoid. Not that I have a single lunchbox :-)
And I am looking forward to meeting you on your visit.
I can remember when Angel had vanished and the rumors were flying. The NYPD was desperately trying to produce a body so they would have a case (after all, that's one thing you almost always need to prosecute.) So they looked to the rivers. Every day reports would come in that a body they thought was Angel's had been pulled from the water. And then it would turn out not to be him. This went on for weeks. Who would have thought there were so many corpses floating around out there? But in retrospect, it makes sense. I mean it's not like you can dispose of a corpse easily on this 10 square mile island!
World of Wonder $3 million
Macaulay Culkin $1 million
everything else $1 million
----------------------------
$5 million

"Sorry, I guess there is no budget for costumes. Can you do it for free? It will be good for you."

By any chance did the conversation go anything like that?
It probably went a lot like that...

We were thinking "small budget" and $5 million didn't really belong in the same sentence either. Of course we've never produced a movie so...

Hattie we are very much lookig forward to meeting you too smile

On the topic of too many bodies, we had a similar incident here. A police officer fell off of a bridge into the Ohio River, they searched for his body, and never found it. Instead they found three other bodies, all women. This disturbed a lot of people. However,the news reported that the public could relax, there was not a serial killer on the loose, because all three women had been killed in different ways. We all thought "Oh great. So there are at least 3 killers. No worries."

Satori
No Daddy, it would be something like this:
World Of Wonder: $.5 million + % of profit
Macauley: $.5 million
Everything else: $1 million
The corporate octopus involved: $3 million + % of profit of film, 100% on lunchpails & other film- related merchandise.
And you would think that after $5 million came in that WOW would begin to go into percentage and see some more money, right? Wrong. The "break-even point" on a film like this could be as much as $10 million, after the corporate entity tacks on more nebulous charges and fees for rentals and distribution. Pretty amazing accounting, huh?

As far as budgets go, I remember that I was astounded when everyone was trumpeting about what a small budget Blair Witch Project had. It was something like $35-50 thousand. Or so they said. Daddy, you could have made that film on a budget of 35-50 CENTS. Let's just say it was no Easy Rider...
I guess we are in the wrong business.
"Party Monster" seems to hold promise as an interesting film. As someone who witnessed the rise and fall of the club kid movement, I'm very curious to see how they treat the subject matter - how realistic or how white washed? Also given that it's from the same company that brought us Poison, Hedwig & the Angry Inch and Velvet Goldmine, I'm sure it will be dazzling on some level. It's worth seeing for me just because Wilson Cruz (Ricky Vasquez on My So-Called Life - - one of my favorite television series EVER) stars as Angel and the other luminaries in the film. I made out with a cutie who was working as a production assistant on the set and I can't wait to hear more anecdotes.

I guess my only vague concern is that it will give the general public an even more negative view of the nightlife community that it already has. Guiliani very successful tarred and feathered us in the media as a bunch of irresponsible drug addicts who don't contribute to society, and I think much of the non-nightclubbing public has bought that perception. All the papers ever seemed to talk about were the noise complaints from community boards, the accidental overdoses and excesses, etc.

Then again I've always felt that political correctness is not and should not be a criteria for good art. The filmmakers will have to do the best they can with their work and whatever it is it is. Can't wait to see what they've done with it.
For those involved in the movie...

We're no less than 3 degrees from Kevin Bacon now in all the ways below:

You were in Party Monster (2003) with Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin was in Jacob's Ladder (1990) with Pruitt Taylor Vince
Pruitt Taylor Vince was in Trapped (2002) with Kevin Bacon

Or, you can pick up the rest of the connections in place of Macaulay Culkin:

Seth Green was in Enemy of the State (1998) with Scott Caan
Scott Caan was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon

Wilmer Valderrama was in Summer Catch (2001) with Fred Ward
Fred Ward was in Tremors (1990) with Kevin Bacon

Chloe Sevigny was in Palmetto (1998) with Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Shue was in Hollow Man (2000) with Kevin Bacon

Diana Scarwid was in Bastard Out of Carolina (1996) with Laura Dern
Laura Dern was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon

Marilyn Manson was in Lost Highway (1997) with F. William Parker
F. William Parker was in He Said, She Said (1991) with Kevin Bacon

Natasha Lyonne was in But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) with Cathy Moriarty
Cathy Moriarty was in Digging to China (1998) with Kevin Bacon

Daniel Franzese was in Bully (2001) with Brad Renfro
Brad Renfro was in Telling Lies in America (1997) with Kevin Bacon

Wilson Cruz was in Johns (1996) with Kei th (I) David
Keith (I) David was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon

Lucy Liu was in Payback (1999) with Yasen Peyankov
Yasen Peyankov was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon

Dylan McDermott was in Cowboy Way, The (1994) with Rob Moran
Rob Moran w as in We Married Margo (2000) with Kevin Bacon

Most Data from : The Oracle of Kevin Bacon -- http://www.cs.virginia.edu/oracle/

XXXOOO
Satori


ˇ
I'd bet you know their faces but not their names...

Macaulay Culkin - The "Home Alone" kid

Seth Green - "Scott Evil" from Austin Powers

Wilmer Valderrama - "Fez" on "That 70s Show"

Chloe Sevigny - From "Boys Don't Cry" & Last Day of Disco"

Diana Scarwid - The adult "Christina" from "Mommy Dearest"

Natasha Lyonne - star of "Slums of Beverly Hills"

Wilson Cruz - Gay, Latino teen on "My So Called Life"

Dylan McDermott - hunky star of the TV show "The Practice"`
ok. so i recently bought the Nelson Sullivan 'downtown' tapes. for thoes of you who didn't know him or of him he was a fabulous man with a camera constantly straped to his hand. Untill his death he was a man about town.

but anyways.
moving right along.

i got his tapes and there are many scenes with Christina in them. and i just think its GREAT! that ms manson is playing her. i hope he speaks with that great faux german accent too!oh its great. in the videos you catch Christina breaking character and talking in her normal voice. its jsut too good for words.
Hello all, I missed the previous version (video?)of Party Monster. Did anyone/everyone else see it at twelfth st theater? I'd love to hear any comments on it and continue the discussion. Like is it worth trying to find at Kim's? and on the timeline, where was Marilyn Manson in his career when the clubkid phenom was going on? Was he a C-kidder?
The documentary is certainly worth a watch.
There's a copy on Ebay right now going for 99 cents, ending on 8/14.

I'm not totally up on my Manson trivia, but from what I've heard Manson & The Spooky Kids did run around with lunchboxes... some similar fash ion pieces there... Their first album came out right around the time the NYC clubkid scene was dying.

Don't know if that was much of a help.
Satori
Hey, thanx for the fyi on the pm video, too bad I hadn't checked back sooner to get over to ebay. I've been trying to remedy a keyboard problem on a laptop hand-me-down so my typing is limited with 4 keys not functioning one of which is 'a' which I have to keep in the copy buffer if I want to reply or e-mail. I think I'll have to try Kim's to satisfy my curiosity. thanx-2x rb//nyc//bronx
I'll bet Miss Manson based her look on Walt Paper. That' so what Walt was doing.

Don't you find it weird that in the club scene, someone like that would almost never be straight, but when the ones who get famous usually are? Do you think it's because 1) Marilyn really is a big queer or 2) The like to give record contracts to the straight ones.

i
We met Walt on our second day of the shoot. He did this AMAZING pitch black "indian chief" look. He had a beautiful feather headdress that went halfway down his back. He painted up head to toe with black make-up (including his teeth) and had white and red warpaint bars.

I'm positive that Ms. Manson would be doing something similar in her next video had he been there to witness it smile

Hmmm... Manson does play into the whole bisexual/pansexual thing quite a bit... always alludes to getting high as a kite and not really caring who he is having sex with. But it seems a bit contrived. Like another shock tactic.

Not sure about the record contract thing though, look at Bowie. He's been everything from Bi to Gay to now 100% straight? He's seemed to be able to keep a record contract whoever he happens to be for that album smile

XXXOOO
Satori
Yeah, but Bowie briefly flitted around the bi thing, but really, during the bulk of his career he has generally projected a hetero image, offbeat
as it is.

I just think it's odd that in "real" life 99 out of 100 club freaks are fags, but somehow the famous ones are usually straight or "straight". u
club kids being youngsters ala nouveau, seemed to be as much of an of exploration in gender identity/preference, as social transmutations, and as I saw it, an alternative to traditional drag. I'm not all that convinced sexual preferences, although predominantly gay (98@100?), was always so absolute.

Gay, straight or whatever, one inevitably discovers strong subliminal attractions for persons outside their sphere of gender preference that otherwise may never have been known or acted upon were it not for some experimentation visa visa a transformation, new identity or plain old drug cocktail induced musical dance liberation. How's that for a mouthful? The soup at the time as I remember it, was pretty well mixed with new ingredients (combinations) constantly being added.
Ideally, preferences as designators of identity, shouldn't be necessary as it tends to draw us into the same social trap of us vs. them, black against white, muslim vs and I digress but do only straight recording artists get the contracts? I would hate to think Boy George, Simply Red, Ru Paul being the only
exceptions.

Great kudos for Walt Paper, still going strong, one of my favs.

Manson a big queer? If his fondness for big stuffed furry creatures is erotic in nature, that might qualify him for queerness depending on I guess if his preference is bears and not bunnies.
rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia

[This message was edited by dreambot on 08-19-02 at 02:57 PM.]
I am truly sad and alarmed that this film is being made. A horrible criminal act is being made into entertainment for profits. Michael Alig is in prison because in a selfish fit of rage he took someone's life. The fact that Angel sold drugs did not mean he deserved a instant death sentence. Michael will surly profit from this and it will act as a step towards his public resurrection. I think that it was parasitic for all involved to even make the documentary. The narrative film is just plain Kenneth Lay style greed. Sorry folks but if I had the choice to see Michael or Angel again, I would prefer Angel at least he was actually nice. Michael should be shut away and forgotten. He deserves no better. He should not be iconized by the media with numerous news items, a documentary and a feature film. Sorry if this got preachy but all this is just plain wrong.
I share some of the same sentiments but the reality is 'horrible criminal acts' is the basis for 70%? of the content of movies and TV for quite some time now. I also try to take into account what was Alig's intent at the time. As I understand it, it was a squabble that escalated to an attack. When you're drunk or using drugs, which both of them admittedly did, it's likely you don't know you're own strength when push comes to shove. It's not like he lay in wait to off his source to avoid a debt. His morale mistake was not realizing the consequence of what he had done and fessing up to it. From what I read (and news accounts aren't always accurate), the body laid in a bath tub for days while he tried to figure out what to do probably wishing the clock could get turned back. Yes it's sad one end result will be more notoriety for Alig but personal association to the time shouldn't preclude the intentions or benefit to others taking an interest and offering a media explanation. Otherwise we risk more than just dampening the creativity of anyone who chooses to examine something that might be unpopular or diverse. The Catholic church hates it when outsiders portray Jesus in any other light other than holy. We don't want to go that route do we? For all we know, the people putting this film together can peal off some new layers or at least the layers that time has covered over. Let's try not to be too thin skinned with this.
rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia bargains eek

rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia
This is a very interesting discussion and please don't stop! I just want to take a sec to say how jealous I am of the name "dreambot" You have always been a "Jackie Genius" and continue to be one on The Motherboards! dreambot, I hate you and love you for such a great name.
That's all.
Now back to "Gila".
(Michael Musto's code word for the monster... Alig spelled backwards)
You did not really mean to imply that if you're under the influence of some chemical it somehow excuses your actions criminal or otherwise. As to the horrible acts shown in movies in this case it was a real person and a real crime and it is being turned into a sideshow by the film makers. Why don't they just call the film "MaGILA Monster",
And add a light hearted twist of whimsey to the whole affair.
No, my intentions are not to imply, defend, excuse any 'horrible criminal act' but rather to examine closely as many elements available that might be significant to a topic and try to have a rounded informed opinion rather than just my own gut emotional reaction. That's normal but when we allow gut reactions to solely supersede rational thought, we open up all kinds of canned worms. Is not the premise of civil law about resolving disputes resulting from gut reactions? Although this experience is personally very real to you, the criminal acts I referred to in movies are for the most part actual accounts that others experienced yet we watch in fascination nonetheless. Is the drama of death more alluring because of how it's perpetrated than why? As I recall the nightporter (movie) had something to do with pain, suffering, submission to emotions, maybe revisiting it would shed some new light.

Hey Daddy, thanx for the comments but don't encourage me. you don't want me to whip out my PBS Bartender's certificate and attempt to drink you under the table. I follow your comments on all the threads. You know how to add a lot. dream on. rb//nyc//bronx//be9 red face

rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia
Actually the film "The Night Porter" is just a zesty retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Just two star-crossed lovers held apart by the divisiveness' of others. The conflict could not be resolved in their relationship because as in Romeo and Juliet the social abyss was set too wide. Mind you their love was genuine and true, it just could not conquered their extreme circumstances. A very important film in my opinion because no one gets off easily. Just like life. The Night Porter was at the heights of power and depravity and then the depths of broken humiliation and was never himself in either. As with most people, they are not really whom they present themselves to be. Oh my, I think I need a drink after all this gestalt.

X
quite an eloquent review in a nutshell. I'm hoping you can use as much insight as an opportunity to bear a look at this effort of M.Wilkinson and Co. They appear to have a good track record. A nemesis can be a useful tool once the emotions are coraled and channeled. Your input and concern is appreciated by many. I'll buy the first round.

rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia
Interesting paradox, I do not agree with the commercialization of the subject and yet am an ardent supporter of free speech and considering the opinions of others. It's that I will be required to pay them to consider that opinion. I do not believe they are trying to send a message but rather make a fast buck off a sad and tragic situation. Sort of a wolf in sheep's clothing, and there in lies my objection. They will make the movie, People will pay or not to see the movie and I will invariably end up seeing it to consider their opinion how ever convoluted. I do not intend to reward what I perceive as parasitic opportunism with my $10 bucks. It will show up somewhere on tv and I will watch it.

X
at least i got to be Angel in a REAL production... the Jackie 60 version...

(Tina Paul documented the night, and a photo ended up in the "Last Days of Disco" book, ... but no one knows it's me!!! LOL)

(hmmm... maybe i should get a publicist now? LOL)
Bridgette, I can totally understand why you'd be interested in the 80's/90's NY club scene. There was a lot of excitement, color, and creativity. What I find unfortunate is how much credit for this is being given to Michael Alig.

The whole "Club Kid" thing was really an extension of what was first being done in small East Village Venues such as the Pyramid. Flloyd, Sister Dimension, Lahoma, Olympia, and many other freaks were doing their thing way before Disco 2000. When the small venues became successful there were quite a few promoters who got the idea to bring the freaks into large clubs as entertainment. There were zillions of these promoters, the most prominent being Michael Alig, Lee Chappel, Susanne Bartsch, and Larry Tee. There were lots of wild, crazy, demented parties that had nothing to do with Michael.

Michael was a smart promoter with some good ideas, but he didn't create the scene. It started before him and, had he never come to NY it would have all still happened in some form or another.

I'm sorry to be coming down on someone you look up to, but you see, Michael Alig chopped up a nice guy named Angel, filled him with Drano, and chucked him in the river. Throwing some cute parties hardly compensates for that. Making a cult hero out of a murderer is pretty awful.

I've been here since 1987. I saw it all. I never went to clubs for the drugs. I was turned on by the visuals. I live for elaborate freakishness. Michael's own looks were always an afterthought; a quick box over his mouth, a clown nose, etc. It was cute, it was clever, it was NOT genius. Genius was: Kabuki Starshine, Olympia, Keda, Sacred Boy, Sister Dimension, Leigh Bowery, Little Kenny, Walt Paper, Astro Earl, Richie Rich, Sophia Lamar, Amanda Lepore, and many others. Michael hired all of these people, he didn't create them.

Listen, I'm not on any Jerry Fallwell soap box about morality. I'm all for fun, sex, and freedom. But, I do believe in treating people respectfully. One night at Limelight, Michael peed in his drink, and, to amuse me I guess, walked around offering it to his unsuspecting "friends". This was after he'd recently come down with hepatitis, a disease that stay with you for a while and can still be spread. It was obvious right there that he was not a very nice person.

So maybe a few years in jail have humbled him. Maybe he truly is sorry. Fine, so he's sorry. I still don't think he deserves to be put up on any pedestals. Maybe you'd feel differently if he killed your friend.
When I was in 4th grade I used to draw swastikas on my books. I didn't really even know what they meant. It just felt "bad" and cool. I was so far removed from gas chambers and people suffering that it didn't really mean anything. (But it did get a reaction). It's like when people (like my wife) are obsessed with Jack The Ripper... I mean if you really knew Mary Kelly it would be different. (sorry Hattie, I know you knew her.)
I think this Alig thing is a bit like that.
I knew Angel. He was a friend. Michael murdered him. I can't see it the same way you do Brigitte. Sorry.
And as far as the "Cub Kid" scene...
Miss Understood is right 100%. Most of them were poor misguided immitations of what fiercely went before. Dressing up like a clown is not hard to do, really doing something is. A few of those kids have become butterflies (Walt Paper, Richie Rich, James St. James) but most stayed caterpillars. They just never really got it. When we started Jackie 60 we had a no club kid door policy. I remember talking to Michael Musto about it. He liked them, "At least they look interesting". To me there was no "there" there. I hated them. Anyway, we did a night called "Silence Of The Lunchpails: Have the It Twins stopped screaming yet?" It was a take off on "Silence of the Lambs" where a club kid is a mad serial killer. For the invitation I morphed Michael Alig's head onto the film's butterfly logo. The main character was called Gila (as in monster, as in Alig spelled backward) Michael Musto came up with it. We roped off the front door with yellow police murder scene tape and drew a chalk outline of a body holding a lunchpail on the sidewalk. You had to step over it to get in. It was sick. We had no idea that in a few years it would come to pass.
I understand the public's fascination with the story. It's just too close for me. I just can't see Michael or the Club Kids as genius.
Now that sounds like a movie girl!!!
Well, you are obviously on some sort of path. Good luck.
I mean it wasn't all bad. Most of those kids are now working on Wall Street (underneath the clownface make-up I always saw them as "future investment bankers of America). That experience was the closest thing to an edge they will ever have. That's good and I hope they will always take that with them.
(Those kids did have some amazing looks! I'll give them that.)
Hey Miss Bridgette Bad
You sound so interesting, after reading your last post I felt it was my obligation to inform you that there is actually a growing, eclectic group of new, colourful, nightclub personalities running around the clubs, it may be pretty different from the stars of the 80's/90's scene but don't despair,

we do exist


Wink

[This message was edited by Andro Genetic on 01-22-03 at 12:39 AM.]
Wow it's such a relief to know that Angel, the 3000 WTC victims, all the millions stricken with AIDS and starvation in Africa, all of the abused children of the world, and the 6 million killed in the Holocaust, all did something wrong in a past life to deserve their predestined fate. I used to feel bad about it. No sense in trying to change things.
I've never really understood how someone can watch "Party Monster" or have seen any of the other shows done about the murder and walk away thinking that Michael Alig is worthy of idolization or going to the extent of even almost worshiping him...

I mean at the end of the documentary, James St. James even says that he's awful and has always been awful.

Your dream sequences sound like how Nina Hagen speaks about her spirit inspiration Babaji. It kinda freaked me out when I read it.

I don't mean to sound rude, but both Johnny and Miss Understood both VERY diplomatically stated that you were a bit misguided and caught up in the flash of how that scene is now portrayed.

You, then instead of listening to people who were actually there, basically defended a killer by sighting karma. This is really only a good argument if you are a very good lawyer who happened to find out your entire jury are devout followers of Kali, and it was time for her to eat again.

The reason that you are being misunderstood is that you have not formed a clear and guided opinion based on facts. This is not a good idea in an online community where people actually knew the people that you've seen movies about, or written to a few times.

We weren't there,so we won't condemn or praise Michael Alig. We don't know him, and we don't know the whole story. So, anything we say is uninformed. We've found it's a very safe road to take, because no one is going to FORCE you to have an opinion about Alig. If, however you choose to defend him, people who knew him, and/or Angel are going to force you to back up your opinion.

There are some AMAZING club legends on these boards, and most of them haven't killed anyone.
(No,watching the occasional snuff film doesn't count.)

Watch, listen and learn from them. You won't believe how connected you will be in a very short time.

--Satori
Just caught up with the club creatures web site ... very cute... especially all the tales about making the Party Monster movie... cute... and nice to see you gave props to Daddy and the Empress! hey... what ever happened to this movie? seemed to premier at Sundance... then?
Recently I started reading a book called "Clubland: the Fabulous Rise & Murderous Fall of Club Culture" by Frank Owen, a freelance writer. The book goes into a lot about the Michael Alig/Angel murder case and the events leading up to it, but also gives extensive profiles of Peter Gatien himself as well as two other club impresarios, "Lord" Michael Caruso and South Beach club king Chris Paciello. Caruso and Paciello were both street thugs/gangsters who basically rose to the top as drug dealers. Very nasty people. Most of the stuff about Alig I already knew, but to the author's credit he goes into detail about the colorful scene at Disco 2000 (Kenny Kenny and Steve Lewis are both quoted extensively) in the years prior to the murder also. Most fascinating for me thus far is the portrait of Gatien.

It was annoying for me at first that so many other great things about NYC's club culture going on during that time are completely ignored/never mentioned (like the East Village pyramid scene that inspired the club kids), but as a writer I understand the need to focus your work and have a clear idea. Like Miss Understood I was a fan of the visuals and some of the music, not the whole drug thing. But the book might shed a lot of light for those who harbor any sort of romantic picture of Alig. Ick.
Folks, I moved these posts from "Poster" to here, the Party Monster Topic. Jonomar, you can always delete your post by clicking on the tiny icon on the right with the pencil. And be sure to click on the "post reply" button on the left, in order to reply, not the "new topic" button. Keep posting!

From jonomar:
I just saw the Party Monster movie poster on the net at www.thezreview.co.uk/posters/p/partymonster.htm

kinda interesting.

-----

[This message was edited by hatches on 07-25-03 at 02:53 PM.]
I think it is really horrible to exploit a real and very recent murder like that. How insulting to the deceased. Yes, of course I'm going to see the film... Kabuki did the makeup. I just think touting this as "Good evil fun!" is awful. How sad that this is how the club scene is to be remembered. Art doesn't sell, murder does.
Hideous. I guess on some level I can understand the fascination with Michael Alig's story, if for nothing else as a cautionary tale, but it's still sad that this is how the world will see the club scene of that glorious era. Alig was and is a really disgusting, horrible person.

Of course I'll still see the movie anyway.
When does this movie open in New York? Or is it already open?

My ex-boyfriend out on the West Coast sent me this review of Party Monster earlier tonight:

quote:
we saw "party monster", by bailey and barbato tonite.
it was great - very colorful, humorous, entertaining and the acting was
excellent.
macaulay culkin will blow you away.
he is charming and strange in the not-quite sympathetic role of manic
club-promoter/murderer michael alig.
seth green as alig-cohort james st. james is uncanny in his on-point
portrayal
of a mannered, disco-twisted, prancing yet thoughtful shape-shifting queen
with rubber nose, fright-wig and glamour-length toenails.
green is brilliant - the best thing in the film.
the costumes are accurate and gorgeous.
culkin - often semi-nude and caked with glitter - is disturbingly beautiful
and naively erotic in jockstraps, platforms, football armor and oversized
clown
lips.
both he and the tanned, understated chloe sevigny should emerge as major
youth
(sex) symbols if this film is a hit.
marilyn manson stops the show as the messy, toothless tranny "christina", who
attepts to drive a tractor-trailer on acid and in 6 inch strappy sandals.
natasha lyonne is a scream as "brooke", a hideous, pierced, texan club-kid
mixing "drug salad".
don't be turned off by the "exploitation" quality of this film.
it's basically a true story - a cautionary tale about excess.
alig is revealed as incredibly inventive and engaging, but also heartless,
corrupt, decadent and damned to hell.
his anarchic "fabulousness" is documented, but his murderousness is never
glamorized.
fashion for days, sick laughs and perverse, exciting visuals -
- this movie rocks, y'all.



Now I'm really curious.
Has anyone seen it yet? It's getting a really bad tomato meter reading of 36 (rottentomatoes.com), and I heard reports from Sundance that it was awful (and the release date was delayed for the re-edit to try and make it better). If it's bad like Showgirls (one of my favorite movies) I'll totally see it in the theater, but if it's bad like Glitter, I'll wait for the DVD. They re-released "Disco Bloodbath" and are now calling the book "Party Monster". On a sidenote, I recently heard the rumor that Alig might be getting out of the hole next year for good behavior, is this true????

You're too old, you're somebody's mom, that outfit you wearin' is not the bomb.
We saw it Friday. It wasn't good.

Seth Green and Manson are the best things in it, At least they make you laugh in several spots. Overall the documentary was MUCH better.

The whole movie was mostly bad dialogue and lots of closeups in small dirty rooms. The club scenes were choppy at best... It focused on the downward spiral, and didn't really capture ANY positive or creative aspects of the scene.

Wait for the DVD, that way you can pause it to see a few hand fulls of Motherlovers sprinkled here and there...

Satori
I saw it today. I don't know what to think. It definitely wasn't bad, but I can't say it was good either. I thought MacAuley Culkin was irritating, if it was just Seth Green it would've been a much better movie. For those who know the story (or lived it), the only reason to see the movie was for the recreations of the club scene "back in the day", but as Z&S pointed out above those scenes are pretty much quick camera pans across a dark room with an indistinguishable glimpse at a few faces. I know it's difficult to do full recreations on a limited budget, but instead of the chop shots they did for the parties, they should've just shown archival footage of the actual parties (which they did once in the movie for the subway invasion party). But if the movie is a string of archival footage, they should've just called it Party Monster - The Documentary. Oh, wait, they already did that five years ago....

My main "issues" with the movie are the same as with the HBO biopic of Gia. I really liked Gia before the Angelina Jolie movie was aired, and I had read "Thing Of Beauty" three times. The movie glossed over a lot of the backstory and omitted important details that would've taken a few minutes of screen time to explain, as well as combining several real people from her life into one person in the movie (two people were rolled into one "girlfriend" character in the movie, and her brother, a photographer key to her career and her high school boyfriend were combined into the "early boyfriend" character). The same thing inexplicably happens in the transition from "Disco Bloodbath" to the movie "Party Monster". While some elements in the movie correspond with James St. James' account of what happened, a lot of it didn't make any sense. They could've followed the book more closely in order to get a more accurate movie with probably the same budget and resources it took to just invent illogical scenes. The most obvious fudging in the movie was Chloe Sevigny's "Gitsy" character. I can't remember (the book is back in CA in storage), but according to the book I think Gitsy was a random club kid Alig hung out with, there was a drug dealer that came from the East Coast with Freeze (can't remember her name), and Jenny Taglia that Sevigny's character is based on. Mostly on Jenny Taglia (anyone know what happened to her???), so why not just have another person play Jenny in the movie? And Gitsy wasn't "discovered" in Dallas like the movie portrayed, although I think she was a friend of Brooke's (who is from Texas). The movie also gives a few minutes of screen time to Gatien's wife, who wasn't even mentioned in the book as far as I recall. While some scenes were true to the book --- looking for the non-existent rock of cocaine behind the radiator, the skrinkle language, the murder itself, etc., some things were a little ridiculous in the movie. Like the scene where a rat tells St. James how Angel was killed, when supposedly Alig told St. James while they were doing bumps in Alig's bed. What was that all about? And they didn't really explain why Alig was given a deal in order to get Gatien in the movie, which was kind of important to Alig's murder conviction in the first place. They could've done a much better, more cohesive movie. But then again, they could've done a much worse movie, too.....

Richie Rich is in two scenes (the fake Geraldo scene and the news report scene), as well as Amanda LePore and I think that was Nita next to Richie in the news report scene. The DVD of Party Monster - The Documentary is finally being released next month.

The movie did make me want to be more creative when I dress up to go out at least, so there's one good thing. I don't think I'll wear a pork chop, but I did have to remind myself how creative the club kids were back in the heyday, and it made me want to try and bring back a piece of the outrageousness into my look. I should've moved to NYC right after gradiating from high school, from what long-time residents tell me it was a great time for nightlife. I have heard some grumbling about what a terrible person Alig was, etc., but there were a lot of people who didn't live in NYC in bumblefuck places across the country who subscribed to Project X (including me) and were fascinated by the whole thing. People also grumble about how dead nightlife in NYC is right now. I think it's like the supermodel mania of the early '90s. It happened once with a small group of amazing models, and once they faded away it hasn't been recreated since. After Alig, the club kids faded away and haven't been recreated since. OK, am I rambling here? I'll stop now.

You're too old, you're somebody's mom, that outfit you wearin' is not the bomb.
I caught the movie and found it depressing.... in the sense that it was all too camp an panto when its really a dark sad tale.
Like most of Fenton and Randys stuff its on the edge of 'could be fab' but never quite makes it. They always pick the best topic but never quite fully pull it off.
I think they would have been much better at making a fab movie had they cast more unknowns in the main role (but then the majors would not have been as interested), as Seth Green and macauly are just too recognizable that you just know/think its all camp fiction and it wasn't it was real. (BTW I knew Alig and I had met Angel a few times) That whole time was a period of two extreems the wild creation of outlaw parties an absurd extreem costuming with the juxtaposition of the dark underbelly of Aligs twisted egomania, drugs, corruption and casualties... and the eventual murder and mutilation of Angel. It's a bleak tale but the movie tried to be more characature in its portrayal.... If you have ever seen the movie "Prick up your Ears" about Joe Ortons life/death ... that was fab true life of how funny camp et al his life was .. but successfully had that undercurrent/edge or it all falling appart and his eventual murder by his boyfriend.. pity that this movie didn't give you that feeling.
I would have shot and cast the whole thing different...
Think its really sad that there are folks in the movie theatre laughing at the camp panto when really its a sick dark twisted tale ... feel real sorry for Angels family...
I hope Michael never gets out....
Y-U-C-K. It was a curiosity, but how awful. Terrible script, WORSE acting. A total embarassment. What was up with Macauley's "gay accent"? And the rat sequence at the end?? I half-enjoyed the book. I went with no expectations, so at least this wasn't the let down that it could have been, but still...

And Christopher, I used to agree about Macauley...but now his lips have a more-odd puffiness to them that I just didn't find alluring.
I still haven't seen it yet, I've been so busy lately.

But Nowhereboy I can tell you as someone who DID live in NYC during the Alig years, there was soooooo much more going on around town that had nothing to do with the club kid movement whatsoever, and the general public will not be seeing that portrayed in Party Monster (and, on artistic grounds, I can certainly understand why the producers chose to focus on one specific scene).

Those other scenes however are what I tend to remember more. Like Boy Bar, Squeezebox, Jackie 60, Save the Robots, Love Machine, and Channel 69 and Blacklips at Pyramid. And those were just the parties. The clubs themselves had so much to offer like Traxx, Mars, Club USA (briefly), the old Sound Factory, the Mike Todd Room at the Palladium, and the little tiny clubs like the old Crobar on 10th Street that had the best music .... it was completely off the hook and the beauty of it all was the sheer number of choices at your disposal. And how well everything co-existed. Back then it seemed at times that there were not ENOUGH clubs to hold all the people going out. The Alig/club kid movement was an important part of all that, but certainly not the be all and end all. Well, I'll get off the podium now.
Don't stop now girl...Tell the truth and you have it down pat. That's the way I remember it and I'm old! Where did it all go wrong? Was it the drugs and shallow sex that was prevelent to the time that destroyed it all or a darker more sinister force called...REPUBLICAN GOVERMENT?

And we just stood by, helplessly and did nothing.
And now look what we got.
BAH!
I went to a lot or Alig's parties at the Tunnel. They were major, I really loved the invites in those days, boxes of candy, plastic tools, etc. I remember he put one of those huge inflatable carnival things that little kids would jump in on the subway tracks. I loved his outlaw parties even more, they were so anarchist in the best anti-social/social engineering kind of way. But I have to say that the Disco 2000/Limelight scene years after that was not as alluring to me. I could see the change in it. You could tell the focus was swinging more toward the drugs and less toward the art of it. I did go a few time and had fun but it wasn't the same for me. I'm sure the fact that I had discovered Jackie 60 had something to do with it too. Nothing compared in my mind. I haven't seen the movie yet , but I agree with Lex about what else was going on at that time. a lot more.
While I have to agree with the previous posts about the diversity and abundance of club life in the early 90's, I do believe the movie is only meant to portray a specific individual and a specific incident involving this person - Michael Alig. Much the same way a movie about Ted Bundy would feature co-ed college girls, the club kids were the environment of the movie. With that, I went into the movie expecting the worst and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were some (dare I say it) moving moments and presented a very sad story. Unfortunately, the writing wasn't very good and took away from the potencey of the horrific events that happened and there was already so much bad blood (physically and metaphorically) surrounding the events that it was hard not to be biased. I did think Seth Green gave an amazing performance though. I'm just waiting for the glut of "Party Monster" merchandise to hit Ebay (the OOP edition of "Disco Bloodbath is already selling for $80 and up on Ebay!) Can a lunchbox be far behind?
I make my BEST posts after a "little" Polish Potato Vodka, Hattie dear.

I'm just like Dorothy, except she went from the dull midwest to a fabulous land and only wanted to go home. I, however, did the exact opposite. The people here prove that humans evolved from cows.

It's all part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Hey, where's my Dachau??? What? Nikita's passed away? I'm probably spelling it wrong, as usual, so I searched the web and got this URL;

http://www.hillary.org/hc/Hillary_Clinton_Forum_730_chat1.cgi

Go Figure...
I certainly agree that the film is supposed to be about one person and one story and that's totally fine. It's unrealistic and (from an artistic standpoint) inadvisable to try and portray everything and every scene going on during that time. The scope would be too wide and it would be confusing. It makes perfect sense for the producers to have focused on one aspect of it, in this case the Alig scene. What I meant by my comments about the diversity of NYC nightlife back then was that it's regrettable that this one element of the big picture gets so much attention over the others and may likely go down in history as the definitive snapshot in the general public's mind of our city's club scene during that time -- in the same way that Studio 54 eventually became synonymous with the late 70s club scene, for example, because so much fuss was made over it. I just think it's a bad way for the masses to remember the 90s club era. But I suppose the gross violence of the Alig story lends itself to greater sensationalism and exploitation in a culture that spends millions on violent video games, gory slasher films, etc. And the murder case IS history, no matter what one's personal judgement may be.

[This message was edited by Luxury Lex on 09-24-03 at 12:51 PM.]
Hey Lexy:
I totally agree with you. It is unfortunate that the 90's scene is marred by murder and that will be remebered alone. I guess I usually forget that things are made for the "masses" and not a more discernable viewer. The movie suffers from a lack of focus as it is, so...
Michael Alig: Macauley Culkin
Angel: Wilson Cruz
Tobell Von Cartier: Todd Bridges
Codie Ravioli: Leonardo DiCaprio
Olympia: John Malkovich
Richie Rich: Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Amanda Lepore: Melanie Griffith
Astro Earl: Joaquin Phoenix
Michael Musto: Carrot Top
Lahoma Van Zandt: Danny Bonaduce
Larry Tee: Crispin Glover
Princess Diandra: Chris Rock
Queerdonna: Drew Carey
Chuckie: Amy Sedaris
Patricia Field: Elaine Stritch
Kabuki Starshine: Winona Ryder
Kenny Kenny: Alan Cumming
That was hilarious, Miss Understood.

I saw the film a couple of weeks ago. It was an embarrassment. The actors, especially Culkin, were awful (and word to whoever mentioned the "gay accent"--what the fuck?) Script was dumb, editing was annoying...it just sucked, mostly.

But I did learn at least one thing--I'd no idea that James St. James was a trust fund baby, which goes some distance in explaining how people who do nothing for a living earn a living, especially in Manhattan.
I recently saw the film here in Cinci...it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, Macauley Culkin was absolutely horrible. Seth Green was ok, and Marilyn Manson, in my opinion, was hysterical. The only part of the film that I really liked, was watching Seth Green do a line off of Satori's hand. I was so proud.

I recently discovered that the original book by James St. James was just re-released as well as the Party Monster "Shockumentary" on DVD. I bought them both, because for some strange reason, I'm very interested in learning more about that particular time in clubland.

I was very sheltered growing up, and had absolutely no idea that this was even going on. I just find it interesting. I just bought the book yesterday and I'm already half way through it. The only problem I really have is that on the back of the book it says... "Murder has never been this much fun". I thought that was very unneccesary and tasteless. I thought the same thing about the film's poster when it was released as well.
I think clubland of the 80s and 90s was better represented in "24 Hour Party People". The scenes of a packed, albeit reconstructed, Hacienda reminded me of beautiful nights with thousands of debauched people at Limelight and Club USA. I totally did not get that sense from Party Monster. Maybe they should have spent the budget more on club scenes rather than name brand actors.
Mega I'm glad you liked 24 hour party people but I got a totaly different vibe from that film than a limelight Alig party (which realy wasn't felt in partyMonster as you say).
24 hour was more of a mid 80's joy division,The Smiths kinda vibe, Not the techno/house club kid world.
Just got to see this, and never was able to connect it with the Shockumentary. I never was the Club type, but I have to say this looked interesting. I will refrain from commenting on Alig because I think others have done a pretty good job of this for me.
The "Shockumentary" by far, is a very valuble documentary to have in any collection. Not because of Alig, the Limelight or the crazy outlaw parties, but because of someone who left us too soon. Nelson Sullivan, he had the greatest footage in the extras in the DVD copy. From the time he bought that damn video camera he had it filming something. His scenes with his friend Christina were too funny. There wasn't anything he wouldn't film, and he take all people and all subjects. But I think Nelsons favorite subject though, was Nelson, and that's when he was at his best. To see him taking dog for a walk to Chelsea Pier, was just laugh out loud funny. Not to many people could make that happen. He may be the dryest person who ever lived. Something tells me that he would have become famous outside of the NYC area if he'd been around longer. A Camcorder-on-a-Stick, that's all he would need. But like many naturals, he left far too soon.
This is my first time posting so Hello there everyone. I saw Party Monster last month and have been wondering why it didnt mention the facts that Michael was first a busboy at AREA then a busboy at Danceteria. His first parties were at Danceteria not Limelight. The Dirty Mouth contest was on Congo Bills' I know this for a fact because I bartended that party and
would have won if Musto didnt veto it, because I was an employee or "drop your pants". Uh no thanks. I'll make my money at the bar then tyvm.
I hope Chi Chi and Johnny remembers me and sees this post. A very big HELLO from outta the past from Alice Von S. of "Red Light Night"and other debauchery's. I am talking to Rudolf about doin a reunion . I know you and Johnny will be there!
I saw that you joined the Danceteria group and thats how I found this site. I have hardly peeked around yet . I just wanted to introduce myself to you again. Smile AVS
Well, if drugged-out pedophiliac morally bankrupt corrupter of youth were any criteria then there might just be too many of these "support groups" for Yahoo to handle.
The fact is he murdered someone, or at the very least, caused someone's death.
I guess the fascination with Alig will attract those that endlessly watch true crime shows on cable television. But really, how many times can the stories of such people like Alig, Jeffrey Dahmer or even Josef Mengele be rehashed before one loses interest? At least with Mengele, and perhaps even Dahmer, there is a bigger and infinitely more horrifying picture involved. With Alig there is no such context. It's a tiny story... as tiny as the out-of-work white trash from Florida who bludgeons his wife to death for the insurance money... Support group? Find out more? Bah!

Or rather, "Yawn..."

AN, I had never heard the term "Chinese Whispers" before. Is it like the game we used to call "Telephone?" Or something else entirely?
>I would say we should just kill this thread, except it has a lot educational value


But I think, this thread was made for discussing about the movie "Party Monster" and not about the glorifying of Michael Alig.

Am I the only person, who like this movie? ;-)
You are of course completely right Z & S... this may very well open the door to further exploration for the clever ones. As for the others, well there's no accounting for taste.
I was very much reacting in my post to the Yahoo Group description which is linked in the above post, and reads in part:

"Welcome to the newest online community resource for Michael Alig. Here we will discuss ways in which we can give our best support to Michael while in prison.
. We will discuss the true facts about him and dismiss all false ideas that may have some people delirious from watching a particular Hollywood movie..."

Anyway...
Missy brought up a good question... did anyone else like the movie?
What I really mean to ask was it well done as a piece of film?
Obviously I have not seen it. I am pretty perverse that way, about seeing films that I knew the characters in. I mean how long did it take me to see Cecil B. DeMille's The Bible, Daddy?
quote:
What I really mean to ask was it well done as a piece of film?


Okay, I have to drive to the office now. It is 7:29 in the morning now here in Germany. Roll Eyes

But later, I will give a detailled statement, why I love this movie, and what in my opinion is well done in this film.

But, consider, I live in Germany. Michael Alig was not international famous and popular. So almost nobody here knows about him or about his life and story. So, when we watch the movie, we don´t have a comparison to the "real" Michael Alig. The most of you have this comparison, because you live in NY.
So when we watch this movie, we fall in love with this funky, extraordinary charakters, celebrating so much fun and partys. Culkin and James St. James seem likebale and lovely.
For foreign people it seems more than a grotesque, a funny parody of experimental Independent-Cinema. You know, what I mean?

But I understand, you guys from NY don´t like this production, because you know the whole stroy of the real Micheal Alig and the real Angel. Frown
Satori,
You are wise beyond your years, perfect answer.

I understand the Club Kid appeal. It's the glittery lure of the "alternative". I'm still dazzled by it. I even understand the dark appeal of murder. I mean, 2 years ago we did "A Very Jack The Ripper Christmas" as our annual Jackie 60 Christmas Paegent. I'm sure that if you actually knew Mary Kelly (as Hattie did) it wouldn't be so funny. But as Satori pointed out, Angel was a friend of mine. He was such a cute kid. Thinking of him chopped up in a bath tub makes me sick. OK? Picture a friend of yours like that and see how sympathetic you are to his or her murderer. Again, as Satori pointed out there were/are a lot of very creative scenes out there. "90's Club Kids" is just one.
Pick another.

JACK THE RIPPER CHRISTMAS SHOW

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Oh, and the movie...
It sucked!!! but I LOVED the costumes. Who ever did them really got it right! They were fab and totally realistic. I think it was the writing that really sucked. As someone who was at most of those parties in the movie (yes, they really happened) the dialogue and acting was a joke.
As per the glamourization of murder, there is no doubt stories of murder and serial killing, etc. are very 'entertaining' but there are limits. E.g. Jack the Ripper -- I wanted to go walking around the area in London one afternoon, and went into a local Information kiosk. The woman would not tell me ANYTHING at all, no directions towards streets, etc. and only urged me to go on a guided tour (they are all at night.) She glared at me like I was a ghoul. I guess I was.

I found some things anyhow, based on my researches... My London friend later informed me that at one point there was so much touristic crap in Whitechapel -- the bar where some of the whores would hang out had been renamed "Jack the Ripper" or something -- that the city government of London put a stop to all of it. In other words, the public's lust for the dried blood of the legend was growing more and more blatant and vulgar. So now you walk around there and the original bar is back to its original name, The Three Bells, I believe, and there's no signage, no trace anywhere of the crimes. Which really is the best thing for all concerned.

Johanna Constantine and I one evening thought we would go on the tour. She was all dolled up in Victorian of course and I was in suitable black. When the tour gathered and we saw all the Nikes and puffy down jackets, we totally took a powder. I mean they should at least have a DRESS CODE for the tour!

The writing in the film was atrocious. There is so much blithering downtime in it.
But one scene I thought was good was when Michael Alig & Co. went 'on tour' to some club in Chicago, and they do a lederhosen Nazi theme. The song is "Money, Success, Fame, Glamour" by Felix Da Housecat (?) The bad taste is insurmountable and admittedly sick and funny.

Missy, if he had not decided to murder someone is such a cold-hearted manner, no-one would have any problems with the style.
Your POV proves the moral error imposed by the directors.
They aid you to fixate on the stylization, and make you forget the psychopathy.

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