“Successful at evoking clubland’s breathless, short-attention span excitement… co-helmers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato contrive a slick, hip package in Party Monster… it’s an undeniably riveting slice of urban high life.” – Daily Variety
Best Editing, Emmy Award
Grand Jury Prize, Outfest 1998
Best Nonfiction Film Award, 1999 USA Film Festival
PARTY MONSTER– which screened at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival — tells the story of the rise and fall of Michael Alig, a kid from middle America who aspired to take the place of Andy Warhol. A film by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, PARTY MONSTER debuted on Cinemax in June as part of the Reel Life series.
Starting out as a teenage bus boy, Michael quickly rose to become the #1 party promoter in New York during the mid-eighties and King of the so-called Club Kids. But after spiraling into drug addiction, Michael brutally murdered his roommate Angel Melendez.
Incredibly Michael — instead of trying to keep the murder a secret — called many of his friends, boasting about what he had done.
As rumors about the murder circulated, Michael capitalized on his newfound notoriety. “He was a copycat and so we killed him” he joked in an on-camera interview with the film makers before his arrest.
PARTY MONSTER is a collage of a number of different mediums: archival footage that has never been seen before, is complemented by candid interviews with Michael (both before and after his arrest) and others. Dramatic reenactments capture the anarchic energy of its protagonists.
The film provides a unique insider’s perspective that allows the viewer to be sucked into Michael Alig’s weird world. “The club kids themselves sought to live in a cartoon world where the boundaries between fact and fiction were deliberately blurred and confused” says Randy Barbato. “We wanted the audience to experience that same heady feeling of abstraction from reality” adds Fenton Bailey.
Producers & Directors: Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato
Co-producer: Maria Silver
Editors: Scott Gamzon, Tim Atzinger
Running Time: 60 minutes
Buy the book: Disco Bloodbath.