PARTY MONSTER See what happens when you leave them Home Alone?
by Steven Lankenau

Party Monster

dir. Bailey & Barbato

Opens Fri Oct 24

Cinema 21

Bette Davis is alive and well and inhabiting Seth Green's body. Well, she is for the duration of Party Monster, anyway. Party Monster is technically based on the true story of club boy wunderkind Michael Alig murdering his drug dealer, but it comes off like a modern day All About Eve with sassier outfits.

Green plays James St. James, a trust fund party prince(ss) who rules the late '80s NYC scene--that is, until corn-fed Midwesterner Michael Alig (Macaulay Culkin) arrives and stuns New York with his gigantic, pouty lips and hairless body. Culkin's Alig is the main character, though Green steals every scene; he's sorely missed when the movie starts to focus on the plot, rather than its fantastic costumes and fagtastic banter. Not that the directors/writers, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, should have bothered; the movie is far more interesting as a dance party fashion parade.

Culkin and Green play outlandish homosexuals so well, they actually seem like bad gay actors trying to be serious. The rest of the cast merely supports these two. Dylan McDermott plays Peter Gatien, the owner of über-club Limelight, and Chloë Sevigny randomly appears halfway through the movie as a girl of very little substance (quelle surprise); Natasha Lyonne and Marilyn Manson play two of the more... interesting supporting characters. For people who care about New York's quasi-famous, there are cameos by Heatherette founder Richie Rich (a survivor of the Alig club days) and the wondrous thing that is Amanda Lepore, among others.

Party Monster, true to its topic, is only concerned with appearances. While Alig broods and snorts everything in sight because his lover (played by That '70s Show's Wilmer Valderrama, who isn't nearly as hot as everyone in the film keeps pretending he is) leaves him, you never take it very seriously. How can you, when he's wearing get-ups that would offend a drag queen? And when the film finally gets to Alig murdering his dealer, Angel (played by Wilson Cruz, who acts like he's still in an episode of My So-Called Life), all you can think is, "What a downer, man. So, can you play that Stacey Q song again?"

You won't care about anyone in this film, or anything they doÉ but you do get to see Macaulay Culkin's little round ass.