‘Party Monster’ Michael Alig Is Free After 17 Years In Prison

Thomas J. Sennett got stung to death by bees and who knows what eventually became of Kevin McAllister, but as of yesterday another character portrayed by Macaulay Culkin got an epilogue when Michael Alig (pictured, left) was released from prison.

Alig, who was portrayed by Culkin in 2003’s Party Monster, was one of the infamous New York “club kids” in the late 80s and early 90s, who were basically famous for dressing in crazy costumes and doing drugs, Miley before Miley. In 1997, Alig, along with accomplice Robert Riggs, pleaded guilty to killing Alig’s roommate Angel Melendez – either by injecting him with Drano or by pouring Drano down his throat – who they then dismembered and threw in a river. But the story has a happy ending because now Michael Alig is out of prison!

Fabulousness, apparently, forgives a lot. It should be noted, though, that parole officers allegedly denied Alig parole in 2006 after watching Party Monster. (Riggs and Alig both pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and were convicted of it in the first degree. Their sentence was 10-20 years. Riggs was released in 2010.) |Gawker|

I’ve never understood why killing someone while high on drugs or on a whim gets you punished less than a pre-meditated murder over sex or revenge or money. The less motive a killer has, the more I want that person away from society. Some people, however, are apparently happy about Alig’s release.

“Well, I’m glad he’s getting out,” says Frank Owen, who knew Alig back in the day and wrote the book Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture. “He should have been out sooner and he would have been if he’d behaved himself inside. But that’s always been Michael’s true addiction. Not drugs but bad behavior.” [PaperMag]

I would like to read this quote back to the guy who said it to see if he’d realize what an asshole he sounds like.

An informal Michael Alig support committee has formed that includes Lewis; Esther Haynes, an editor at Lucky Magazine digital who runs Alig’s Twitter feed and is editing a book he’s been writing called Aligula; and Victor Corona, an FIT professor who is working on a book called New York Superstars: Inside Three Generations of Downtown Fame, which examines social and aesthetic lineages among Andy Warhol’s Factory Superstars, Michael Alig’s Club Kids, Lady Gaga’s downtown collaborators, and New York culture today.

“He’s coming back to a changed world,” says long-time nightlife habitué, culture critic, and Paper editor Carlo McCormick. “Wonder if he’ll know anyone. I hope he’s sorry. I hope he doesn’t get stuck being Michael Alig. I hope he can reinvent himself.” [PaperMag]

The more I read about these people, the more I feel like the humorless principal who hates rock n roll. And finding them obnoxious just makes it worse, because there’s nothing worse than finding yourself feeling outraged at someone whose only goal is being outrageous. I tried to watch Party Monster when it came out and every cell in my body recoiled from the experience, from the confusion as to who these people were to the uncomfortable “gayface” performances by Culkin and Seth Green. The whole story is strange in that I find myself constantly needing to know more while simultaneously being skeeved out and wanting to run away.

Here’s an awesome Donuhue segment from 1993. “Could one of these club kids but YOUR son or daughter?!?!”

IMAGE CAPTION: Club kids and denizens (from left:) Michael Alig, Richie Rich, Nina Hagen, Sophia Lamar and Genetalia attend New Year’s eve festivities at Club USA in New York City, 1994. (Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)