Now how did I happen to come upon this movie? I’m pretty sure at some point my dad rented this movie and I sat down to check it out for a few minutes. The opening scene rolled and I saw Seth Green in some strange garb. Wondering what he could possibly be doing in this movie, I of course sat down and watched the rest. I was pleasantly surprised. I found Party Monster, the club story of Michael Alig and James St. James to be a standout movie to me with its content and acting. Knowing very little about the club scene in NYC of the
A little taste of some club kids.
1980’s and 90’s (other than that there was one), this movie was a breath of fresh air and done in such an interesting way, for me, that I have to rave (sorry for the pun) about it for a post. Bear with me.
Party Monster is the documentary turned feature film that was first referred to as Disco Bloodbath by James St. James, the author of his own memoirs. After the film Party Monster was released, he changed his book to a title of the same name. The book features James’ club life as a Club Kid of the 80’s and 90’s, and his friendship with Michael Alig, the self proclaimed “King of the Club Kids”. It all ends in ruin though,
Culkin’s fearless role.
for Michael, while James has kept up a stunning career involved with some art collections and blogging (gotta dream the dream right? Be up there with James St. James someday…).
The film starts out with a recreated interview with Seth Green playing James St. James. From the start, we are given this surreal interview (parts of Party Monster are based on the shockumentary) in which the film interacts with James’ retelling. With a heavy drug influence and surreal dance scene, we begin to realize this is more of a fabulous retelling mixed with a truthful undertone.
I have to say how impressed I was with Macaulay Culkin’s performance in this film. I think it was right of one critic to call it “fearless”. Coming from a well known and loved kid actor and maturing into what we see in front of us on camera, it is a strange change. He
That’s pretty camp-esque.
has become even more aloof (he doesn’t discuss his personal life regardless) and what just seems more drawn from the world than usual. His drug charges, relations to Michael Jackson in his youth, and a shaky parent/child relationship attributed to the actor we see today. And I’d say I was blown away by his performance. He presents a character in a fast paced world of clubbing, drugs, and sex. He has no filter, no inhibitions. He takes what he wants. And he does it all with a vague, drug addled look on his face that screams with pain behind the eyes. It was haunting at the same time that it was surreal and campy. Impressive.
Too ironic that this actor has played 2 characters named Angel…
I think the same and to a lesser degree goes for Seth Green. Although his life wasn’t as “complicated” as Culkin’s was, Seth Green was a child actor as well (Stephen King’ It, for example in 1990). He has become wildly successful in my book with Robot Chicken among other works, and I found this role to be a change of pace. Playing a flamboyant and glamorous club kid like he did (which pales in comparison to pictures, unfortunately), I was still fond of the semi-bravado he brought to the film. He still gets a nod for a job well done from me.
This movie and the documentary are a cult classic. And not the typical cult classic I’d watch that centers around a failed
Did I fail to mention Marilyn Manson had a transsexual role in this film? Oops…
action/horror movie. This movie is a representation for a different walk of life. For wanting to live bigger than yourself with dreams of being who you are, and showing that on the outside with how you dress and act (minus the drugs, I’d hope). The fans of Rocky Horror Picture show, the club kids of today, the LGBT community should feel empowered by such a successful and powerful role model. A couple of individuals who brought NYC to its knees in the 1980’s and 90’s, now that’s impressive. Every decade has its Kings, and these Club Kids were it.
Green and the realest of St. Jameses.
So overall I was impressed with the film’s content and delivery. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have brought to light a film about the fabulous and the downfall. My eyes have been opened to another side of life, and I found it quite interesting. For those who want to broaden the mind and see what it’s like for 90 minutes to live glam like a skrod, check this film out. 7.7 out of 10.
This is not an understatement. Troll 2 is considered one of the worst movies ever made. This is so true that because the movie is so bad, it has created a cult following of fans who watch the movie much the same way Rocky Horror Picture Show is done, minus the nudity and horrifying aspects. (Or whatever goes on there…) There’s no true way to talk about this movie, and I would recommend watching the documentary Best Worst Movie immediately after. It’ll open your eyes to just how unprepared people were for this movie to meet their eyes and ears.
To try to convey how strange this movie is, let’s talk about the fact that the director, an Italian man named Claudio Fragasso, didn’t understand exactly what he was trying to do with this movie. He and his wife, Rosella Drudi, wrote the script for this movie, without understanding much English. This leads to the language barrier and the fact that most of the lines in the film aren’t natural things people would say. For example, “You don’t piss on hospitality!” Or the creepy singing of Row Row Row Your Boat in a car trip on the way to Nilbog. Figure that one out.
With an all Italian crew and actors picked off the street like vagrants, the shopkeep in particular is actually a crazed man. No one had any idea what they were doing, and, in true Mussolini fashion, the Fragasso ordered the actors to do the script as he had written it. This leaves plot holes and some of the strangest scenes I’ve ever witnessed to be shown onscreen. There’s a sex scene with popcorn, a creepy molesting grandpa with the ability to save the family, and one of the strangest 80’s workout dances I’ve ever seen. Also, if you’re dad is a hardass, he’ll cut your boyfriend’s little balls off, and eat them. Some of these lines will stick with me forever. And haunt me.
Ah, the Trolls!…
It’s not to say I don’t see the appeal of a film like this for a cult audience. There are a lot of elements, like The Room, that would contribute to a lot of memorable moments in this film. And there are. What’s funny, coupled with the documentary, is a few of these actors have gone on to try other things, but it hasn’t necessarily worked out for them as they thought it would. Just look at Michael Stephenson, the child star of the film playing Joshua. He’s a cute kid and all, but his career was killed at this point. He did make a great documentary though. I commend him for that and would love to show him my appreciation in a future review on the topic.
But this film goes way out there with a lot of elements. George Hardy plays the typical Nuclear Age father with a bit of a bite to him, and I thought he was one of the more refined actors in the film, with no prior acting experience. His segment of the documentary is great, and well worth the watch. His lines are strange and zany, and left me laughing quite a bit. If only this movie had been registered as a comedy… There’s Margo Prey as the wife and mother, Diana. She’s a wonderfully kind and quiet woman, but she seems to be in some sort of daze in this film. It’s as if she has no idea what’s going on… I felt quite sorry for her and her situation though. She keeps to herself and that should be respected.
Look at that delicious icing pie!
Other than that, there are quite a few memorable lines by the secondary cast of the movie, mainly the boys who follow Holly (Connie McFarland) the daughter of the family. These boys never leave Elliot (Jason Wright) and he never wants to leave them. It leads to their downfall.
And what is that downfall you may ask? It’s that the goblins of this little podunk, country bumpkin town are attempting a house swap, and use the newly found humans as their food. The encourage them to eat this Hook inspired gobbledygook in order to become plants that they can feed on. I was the tiniest bit impressed by some of the makeup effects in the film, and found it to be quite entertaining watching some of the characters turn into plants. (This movie also contains what is considered one of the worst delivered lines in the film of all time. You’ll see.)
There are no words.
This movie, if you have a sense of humor about bad films, will keep you laughing all the way through. There is some ridiculous and absurd crap that gets tossed around like a monkey on speed. You’ll enjoy it thoroughly and maybe it’ll become one of your favorite films to pop in for you and your friends when it comes down to testing that friendship. Who knows? All I know is this movie is worth checking out as the all time worst movie of all time forever and always. Rating it as the worst film, it gets a 10 out of 10. As a normal rating, I’d give it a 1.1 out of 10. Work them Trolls, I mean Goblins (who have nothing to do with this film or its unrelated prequel.)