Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Party Monster

There are three versions of this story, all of which are amazing. In the early 90's when the club kid craze was at it's peak, a club kid named Michael Alig (the crowned prince of all club kids) committed murder and even though he bragged about the killing, everyone just thought that that was just Michael being Michael, a well known drug user who would lie and swindle Jesus Christ if he thought it could get him some drugs. James St. James (self proclaimed original club kid) was a close friend and sometimes roommate with Michael Alig, and was therefore present for most of the inside story. In fact, it was James St. James that started this ball rolling. He wrote a wonderful book called "Disco Bloodbath, a Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland". It's a must read. Anyway, they made a documentary on the whole affair, including footage from all the key players in this bizarre story. Before his downfall, Michael Alig was a huge success as a party promoter, mostly for a club in New York called "The Limelight". Drugs flowed freely and the weirder you were, the cooler you'd be. It was a nonstop psychedelic world of color that was very intriguing and fun and even spawned a celebrity or two (RuPaul was a club kid). They also made the talk show circuit for a while, appearing on shows like "Geraldo" and "Sally Jesse Raphael". His favorite tactic was an impromptu surprise party held in anyplace from small McDonald's restaurants to subway stations. He made the news all the time and was a strong personality on the hippest of scenes. Eventually, the more drugs that Michael took, the more grim his party themes became. My favorite being the "Blood Feast Party" featuring every gruesome sight imaginable. Alig and his friend Freeze were all strung out one day when Mr. Pissed Off Drug Dealer Angel Melendez shows up and demands money which of course they don't have. A fight erupts, Angel is hit on the noggin with a hammer, dragged to the bathtub by Alig and Freeze, injected with Drano and smothered with a pillow. Michael dismembers Angels body and stuffs it in a large TV box and uses it for a coffee table. They also feel the need to hastily paint most of the walls red and blame a mysterious stench on screwed up plumbing. Eventually the smell becomes overwhelming so Michael and Freeze dump the box with the body in it into the river. The body is found and put into a freezer with a misidentification of race (he was listed as Asian, and Angel was Hispanic). If it weren't for Michael Alig bragging about it, he probably would have gotten away with it. When Michael Alig told his stories of killing Angel, everyone thought it was a joke because Michael always joked and was a notorious liar. Rumors started to circulate that Michael was not kidding when he bragged about killing Angel and certain people close to the situation started to come forward with their stories to save their own asses. Eventually, it all caught up with him and he and Freeze were convicted of first degree murder. A big budget movie has just been made that is the documentary verbatim minus the documentary narration, feel and look. Macauley Culkin plays Michael Alig with stark precision. Seth Green plays James St.James. Marilyn Manson and Chloe Sevigny also have notable parts in the movie. It's a colorful flick with a fantastic soundtrack which is somewhat nostalgic for those of us who watched the club kids and dared to be like them. It truly is a fabulous tale about murder in clubland.

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