Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Party Monster


We waited a long time to rent this one. I have to admit that, though I try very hard to divorce the artist from his work, every once in a while I dislike someone so much that it affects me. Adam Sandler is one example, Macauley Culkin is another. I just don’t like him. He or other members of his brood used to live in the same apartment building as my agent in New York, near Lincoln Center, and they partied so hard every night that they set the place on fire. At least one person died. Fuck him.

In spite of that, I decided to try to like this movie. So let me start off by saying it was well-made, visually interesting, the costumes were fabulously ugly, as if the designer had actually taken a field trip to the most degenerate corners of Hell to do research.

But in the end, a movie starring somebody I don’t like, about people who are way, way, way beyond loathsome, is just never going to work for me. It’s about a group that called themselves Club Kids, in New York, early ’80’s to mid-’90s. Michael Alig was the star, such as he was. They aspired to be the new Andy Warhol and company but, empty and pathetic as Warhol was, he looks like Jonas Salk or Albert Schweitzer compared to these human toxic waste dumps. I’d call them superficial (a word they aspired to) but that’s an insult to superficiality. They would have to rise through four or five levels of human consciousness, an alien concept to them, to even reach superficial. Monster? Hell, I liked Aileen Wournos much more than I liked Michael Alig.

Alig and a friend eventually beat a drug dealer, left him to die in the bathtub, and didn’t even wonder about what to do with the body until about two weeks later, when the stink was getting too much even for them. Other Club Kids came and went and either didn’t notice the corpse, or didn’t care. After they finally dismembered the stiff and threw him in the river, they told everyone they knew what they had done, and no one cared. Alig is currently getting his butthole expanded in some prison somewhere, and probably enjoying it. I found a page of his diary online, where he complains of the bland menus. He’ll be getting out some day, which is the only sad part of an otherwise happy ending. Deliriously happy, to me: almost all the Club Kids are dead now, of drug overdoses. Who says the spirit of Frank Capra is gone?