Film Scouts Reviews

"Party Monster"

by Richard Schwartz

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Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbado's sinister documentary "Party Monsters" details the rise and fall of New York club guru Michael Alig, culminating in his participation in last year's "disco bloodbath" murder of a fellow clubber. The two filmmakers rely on a number of sources, including stunning archival video shot by the "club kids" gang during the early part of the decade when they ruled the Manhattan club scene with wildly hedonistic nights of sex, drugs and techno. But more impressive is their use of interviews with Alig's mother, friends and even Alig himself, who essentially confesses to the murder of ex-roommate Angel Hernandez during one piece of mouth-dropping video. The snappy pacing of "Party Monsters" has a tabloid feel but the editorial content never delves into sensationalism. Though concern may arise out of a sense that Bailey and Barbado almost deify an alleged murderer at times, those fears are put to rest by the film's conclusion. Scheduled to air on Cinemax later this year, "Party Monsters" is an intriguing if not haunting tale and has all the elements to make an even better feature film.

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