Halloween is certainly going to be different in 2020 than in years past. Luckily, two of the underworld’s most prolific drag queens have stepped in to save the day. Brothers Dracmorda and Swanthula Boulet, hosts and producers of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, recently announced a two-hour Halloween special called The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection.
The episode will welcome back seven of Dragula’s late competitors from the dead: Frankie Doom and Loris from Season 1; Kendra Onixxx, Dahli, and Victoria Elizabeth Black from Season 2; and Priscilla Chambers and Saint from Season 3. Performers will face off for a $20,000 cash prize, as well as a guaranteed spot on the highly anticipated fourth season of the show.
Billed as “part-horror movie, part-documentary, and part-reality competition,” the Boulet Brothers say that Resurrection is something even longtime fans of the show won’t see coming.
“I think they’re going to get a much more in-depth look into the monster’s lives and who these people are behind the monster makeup. So, you’re gonna really get to see real, queer stories—not filtered, told in a very raw way,” Dracmorda tells NewNowNext.
Since the episode was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, production was made up of a five-person crew who all quarantined together for the duration of filming. This crew then traveled to each of the resurrected monsters’ individual cities to film. This model is not only safer considering social distancing regulations, it also gives viewers a unique perspective into the competitors’ personal lives.
According to Dracmorda and Swanthula, casting decisions for Resurrection were made using two criteria: which monsters most embrace the spirit of Halloween, and which monsters have an interesting story to tell.
“For example, Kendra wasn’t on the show for a long time, but she’s so entertaining and so interesting. And, we just felt like people really need to see more of her,” Dracmorda says. “They also have to be really into Halloween because it’s a Halloween-themed competition.”
While Resurrection does feature contestants from past seasons of the show, Dracmorda clarifies that it is not an “All Stars season”: “People need to stop thinking that we’re following other shows’ formats. This is something new and different. This is something [viewers] haven’t seen before. This is how we are choosing to feature former contestants on the show.”
Fans of Dragula know that the show features many cinematic and creative storytelling elements alongside the competitive, reality-show elements. This special does not stray from that format. However, viewers can expect to be blown away by the visuals offered in Resurrection.
“The cinematics that we were able to achieve for the special eclipse any of the floor show stuff that we produced in the first three seasons,” Swanthula shares. Dracmorda agrees: “I would say it’s definitely the most beautifully shot footage of drag that we’ve ever seen on TV.”
The show does not feature the series’ iconic “exterminations.” However, viewers will still get plenty of the expected fear-factor they’ve come to know and love from Dragula. The pair even hinted that some competitors reference their original exterminations in the Resurrection special.
Three of the contestants in this special episode were runner-ups on their original Dragula season, but the Boulet Brothers say this won’t give this trio any sort of advantage in Resurrection.
“The order in which you go home on the show is not necessarily indicative of your talent,” Dracmorda says. “We don’t think that just because you make it to the end, that necessarily means you’re more talented than someone that went home first. To us, they’re all competing on equal ground.”
“There’s also another added element to this too,” Swanthula adds. “Some of the performers didn’t have as many opportunities as some of the contestants like Victoria or Priscilla did, who made it very far. They are realizing and recognizing their opportunity and they’re very hungry. They’re coming with this ferocious attitude and they’re taking nothing for granted.”
Though Resurrection is just one episode, there is a competitive element that will result in a major win for one monster. What are the Boulet Brothers looking for from their resurrected queens?
“We’re looking for someone who wants to come back to Season 4 and show us their growth,” Dracmorda reveals. “We’re looking for somebody who has an interesting story to tell, a point-of-view, and someone who can win Season 4.”
Speak of the devil—the brothers also reveal that casting for Dragula Season 4 officially opens on Halloween night. “We pushed it back because we want the winner to have their moment to shine and for it to not be overshadowed or cluttered up by ongoing casting,” Dracmorda explains. “It will be very fast this time because Season 4 was pushed back due to COVID, so we’re raring to go. When we push the button, you better be ready. That’s all I’ll say.”
The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection premieres October 20 on Shudder, AMC Network’s streaming platform.