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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.05%
Worth A Look30.38%
Average: 11.39%
Pretty Bad: 3.8%
Total Crap30.38%

3 reviews, 61 user ratings

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Party Monster
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Our Little Boy’s All Growns Up!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: Macaulay Culkin hasn’t made a movie since 1994. His last “dramatic” performance was 1993’s The Good Son. In it he co-starred with Elijah Wood, who has since gone on to box office dominance in The Lord of the Rings trilogy while Macaulay has frequently graced the pages of the Enquirer on his way to a sequel of E!’s True Hollywood Story. Since Macaulay disappeared from screens, the even younger Culkins have invaded. First Kieran, than Rory; each amassing impressive resumes on their own and without the smacked face “AHHHHHHHHHHHs”. Macaulay is back in his first attempt to C-section himself from the child actor portion of his career and into adulthood. Acquitting himself all well and good, its going to be Seth Green that commands that transition spotlight into the next phase of his career.

Based on the book Disco Bloodbath by James St. James, Party Monster recounts the true tale of the “Club Kids”; those flamboyant costume party animals one usually associates with “alternative lifestyles.” Alternative to most people actually, but not to many New Yorkers in the early 90s. In a role that’s easy to draw career parallels to, Culkin plays Michael Alig, another alienated youth looking to reinvent himself from the suburban haze. When he meets James (Seth Green), the belle of every ball, he gets his chance.

At first dismissive, James schools Michael in the way of the party scene. How to make an entrance (and all-important exit) as well as how to soiree himself into the clubland trust. Michael has few friends in this world and even father figure club owner Peter Gatien (Dylan McDermott) isn’t sure this boy is worth the investment. But Michael’s a quick learner and soon he’s got the best parties in town with the best guests (one of which will remind Jackass fans of the infamous truck disco.) But fame and popularity always come at a cost to characters like Michael as James slowly begins to watch his influence diminish and his new (sort-of) friend spiraling deeper into the world of drugs.

Viewers will be a bit unnerved at first to watch Culkin and Green playing such flamboyant characters. It’s the kind of performance that can derail into self-parody at the blink of an eye, but it manages to work because neither of them blink. Whether they seem to be poking fun at these guys or not, as the film progresses it’s a credit to both of them that Michael and James become more than just mere caricatures. Green especially knows how far to turn this guy’s dial. When he’s happy, confused or doped up, Seth has a firm grasp of James and such an outgoing personality should be proud to see him dominating every frame he’s in.

Party Monster boasts a rather impressive supporting cast to Culkin, Green and McDermott; all shifting in-and-out of their lives at the culmination of just another social. Wilmer Valderrama (Fez from That 70’s Show) is Michael’s long-suffering boyfriend. Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry) enters late to dabble in Michael’s bisexuality. Diana Scarwid (Mommie Dearest) is Michael's party-happy mama. Natasha Lyonne (American Pie) and Mia Kirshner (Not Another Teen Movie) show up as a drug groupie and McDermott’s disapproving wife. Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life) plays the admiring star drug dealer and rock star Marilyn Manson has a very funny role as a hyena-like transvestite with more lipstick on his/her teeth than his/her kisser.

There’s a familiar story on the ropes here. Outsider becomes somebody, begins to diss those who got him there, spins out of control and falls into tragedy. Sounds like every E! True Hollywood Story and VH1’s Behind-the-Music we’ve ever seen. Maybe these characters aren’t worth their own movie anymore than Billy Idol or the lead singer of Blind Melon, but its an entertaining story, well-told by writer/directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato and incredibly well-acted. Seth Green is only at the beginning of the second stratosphere of an already impressive list of credits and you’ll never look at Macaulay Culkin the same way. Then again, isn’t that a positive?

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originally posted: 01/30/03 16:26:58
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/03/15 bridget club scene, drugs, shallow narcissists run amok 1 stars
1/03/15 hahahha leave your brain at need for this one. 1 stars
1/03/15 nickdroll close your eyes 1 stars
1/03/15 sasha if you think fabulous is a life statement have at it. 1 stars
1/03/15 Lovely and people are now idolizing murderer's ..... 1 stars
1/03/15 nordan 98 minutes lost, never to return. Marilyn Manson was great 1 stars
1/03/15 dr drew i know as much about the characters as when the film started. 1 stars
1/03/15 natalia used to love this..what was i thinking 1 stars
1/03/15 who cares how could World of Wonder be so shallow 1 stars
1/03/15 Mary better to lick sand paper if you have a choice 1 stars
1/03/15 me James St. James s/b is much better 1 stars
1/03/15 pop make up and Halloween outfits..nothing more 1 stars
1/03/15 fawan did not show the true evil of this man 1 stars
1/03/15 tlrn444 Transparent and well awful. teenagers on drugs would like it 1 stars
1/03/15 Thoughtaboutit for the simple minded. no message. watch Sid and Nancy 1 stars
1/03/15 Lulu don't bother. They give a girlfriend to a gay character 1 stars
1/03/15 Hector besides Seth Green there is no acting. Culkin s/b embarrassed 1 stars
1/03/15 william horrible, just horrible. not even accurate. Made for mindless idiots 1 stars
1/03/15 dan far from the truth; Alig should have been portrayed as the sociopath he truly is 1 stars
1/03/15 nancydrewit what an insult to the gay community 1 stars
1/03/15 mysterymr Self loathing creators make a mindless film to idolize a murdering drug addict thief 1 stars
9/26/08 Timothy Kirkland Alot of memberable lines, great showing of the downard spiral of drugs 5 stars
3/29/07 fools♫gold Seems so much shorter than 92 minutes. Refreshingly underrated, I debate a 5/5 w/ myself. 4 stars
10/02/06 hw I wanted to see more of that darker side of the club scence, drugs and murder 3 stars
8/18/06 Lauren In a word...fabulous 5 stars
6/02/06 amber i loved it and i come from this era 5 stars
10/25/05 disco.slut. fantastic.glittering, petulant anti fashion brats take over! 4 stars
6/07/05 james myer A crazy life leads to crazy happenings; no wonder someone dies and people are jailed 4 stars
10/25/04 Betsy Seth Green was great! Story line was good, but would have been a better film if Culkin cou 4 stars
10/17/04 RON ARAUJO WONDERFUL! 5 stars
8/22/04 Devon I loved the movie but the book was much better 5 stars
7/15/04 loren best movie i have ever seen!!!!! 5 stars
5/25/04 Tiffany I so-so LOVE this movie!! & thy book! 5 stars
5/20/04 Becky A slice of American Culture 4 stars
5/06/04 Samantha orr If you Loved this like me, even if you didn't, I suggest the first Party Monster Documenty 5 stars
5/03/04 the bride culkin still looks like a drugged out monkey skeleton, total horse shit... 1 stars
4/27/04 Melissa Jensen It was kinda cool but the acting sucked 2 stars
2/28/04 Jamie I loved this movie 5 stars
1/26/04 jon strange because i lived and loved brooke yrs b4 this 4 stars
1/12/04 (none) uuuggghhhhh. who the hell cares for this crap!!!!! 1 stars
12/06/03 Red a good film 4 stars
11/29/03 Johnny's Been Rotten It was disturbingly good. Marilyn Manson was hilarious. 5 stars
11/19/03 Lori Troglia It was the best movie I have see in a long time. Seth and Macaulay were the best !!! 5 stars
11/06/03 Sir David i luv this movie 5 stars
11/05/03 jolene wheeler interesting at least! 4 stars
10/08/03 Enfant Terrible Entrancing yet terrible. Culkin is disturbingly bad, but he gets points for the effort. 3 stars
9/28/03 penny good movie, but a better book 4 stars
9/12/03 JFennell Macaulay Culkin: go home, alone, and turn on the gas. Please. 1 stars
9/08/03 Gary What are you waiting for? See this movie 5 stars
9/06/03 brevol We want Mac nude please 5 stars
8/09/03 aroma great film that I highly recomend to the people who loves gothic subculture and synth pop.. 5 stars
8/07/03 steve smith Not to shabby 4 stars
7/23/03 MarMar Culkin looks great but is lacking in his line delivery; Green & costumes are awesome! 3 stars
6/30/03 SF gay guy Lame movie, though Seth Green was good 2 stars
6/21/03 Rick Smits In a true to life role Macaulay Culkin plays a drug-addicted homosexual! Enough said!!!! 5 stars
6/10/03 sarah ok 4 stars
5/21/03 Amanda I love Macaulay Culkin!!! 2 stars
5/12/03 Erin McCann This is the most fun I have had at the movies this entire year. 5 stars
3/14/03 Juan Dérek excellent acting by MACAUÑAY CULKIN, incredible acting after so many years putside the movi 5 stars
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  05-Sep-2003 (R)
  DVD: 10-Feb-2004



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