Monday, September 09, 2002

In the early 90s, Michael Alig was the outrageous, flamboyant King Of Clubs. He aspired to be the new Andy Warhol. The parties he threw at New York clubs Tunnel and Limelight were legendary. There was the Unnatural Acts revue, where an amputee danced until his wooden leg fell off, and a wasted girl from the audience humped both the stump and the prosthesis. Another young lady inserted soda bottles into her various orifices. Then there was the Blood Feast party where his friend James St James was wheeled around on a hospital trolley covered in offal, surrounded by buckets of blood. An orgy of sequins, glitter, blood and ketamine.

In 1996, drug dealer and club kid Andre "Angel" Melendez, famous for the huge feathered wings he wore on his back to parties, disappeared. Alig went around boasting that he had murdered him. No-one believed him until his body was found floating in a cardboard box off Staten Island. He had been bludgeoned, injected with Drano, dismembered, and tossed into the river. Alig was arrested and sentenced to twenty years in prison.

In 1999, a documentary, Party Monster, was released, containing interviews with Alig and other members of the clubbing scene, from before and after his arrest. It's a fascinating, lurid look at depravity, but it's not an easy film. It was cheap, and assembled from various sources, of varying quality, and Alig and co were not exactly likeable people - or great actors.

The film-makers are remaking Party Monster, with Macauly Culkin playing Alig. The film - due to be released next year - also stars Lucy Liu, Marilyn Manson and Chloe Sevigny. The script is based on Disco Bloodbath, the book St James wrote about that era. Although the budget is less than $5 million, and it's shot on digital video, I have high hopes for the film, as it's produced by Killer Films (Boys Don't Cry, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

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