Party Monster Review

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New kid in town Michael falls under the wing of attention-grabbing James, but soon surpasses him as his flamboyant club nights become the toast of ’80s Manhattan. But the Club Kids are about to implode as too many drugs are needed to maintain the buzz.


With the odd loved-up exception, cinema rarely embraces the hedonism of clubbing without tarnishing its glitterball sparkle. Such is the case with Party Monster, based on the true story of wannabe Warhols of New York's 1980s underground scene who turn dancefloor nights into art happenings, then blow it all in a dust storm of drugs, jealousy and murder.

It's not easy to like the characters or their environment, as these profoundly superficial people build up reputations as empty and aggressive as their cocaine highs.

All attention is on Macaulay Culkin as he returns to the screen after a nine-year absence, but even within the parameters of his character he's awkwardly theatrical, left standing by a wittily charismatic Seth Green.

The rest of the cast fill in background colour - Chloë Sevigny seems an obvious choice for a movie like this, but Marilyn Manson is game for it as a drag queen 'superstar'.

Having covered this material in an earlier documentary, the directors bring the Club Kids scene vividly to life. There’s depth to their portrait of people governed by style, not substance.