*Warning: This recap contains spoilers as to the results of the first episode. Please stop reading if you intend to watch unspoiled*
Hello and welcome to The Blogging DJ. We are now flying through October, with Halloween just a few weeks away. Therefore it is a perfect time to continue my recap of the alternative, horror-themed reality TV show known as Dragula, presented by the dynamic duo that are The Boulet Brothers. So far this season, the competitors have had to perform in rock bands, become their own super-villain and participate in the very first Dungeons & Drag Queens campaign. Last time, the remaining seven were tasked with creating a filthy look made solely from recycled materials and make-up done by sharpies. After wowing the judges and fighting their own personal demons, Priscilla Chambers won their first main challenge of the season, whilst a defensive Hollow Eve became the fifth casualty of the season. Six monsters now remain to win $25,000 and the title of Dragula: The World’s Next Drag Super Monster.
We start the episode with the five safe performers discussing who was exterminated in the previous challenge and I found it interesting that virtually everyone had already decided that Hollow Eve’s time was up, especially since she was against one of the frontrunners, Evah Destruction. It was no surprise that she was the one to walk back into the Crypt; I just hope that this isn’t the start of a very bad run for Evah. I did find it interesting how Dollya Black and Landon Cider completely disagreed on how much Hollow Eve brought up her artform. Both of them had valid points, though I do agree with Landon when they said that Hollow would not compromise, even when the Boulets say that they are not critiquing the performers’ art, but rather how it fits into the challenge. I also liked how Louisianna Purchase brought up her lukewarm first week critique and how much she has grown in the competition, which I also think has been good to see.
So far this season, the challenges have been a step up from previous seasons and this may be the most exciting so far. The monsters are tasked with coming up with a look suitable for a haunted hospital, one that they will physically go to. There, they will be modelling for photographers and press from alternative magazines in a head-to-head competition. The winner will be featured in a two page photo spread in the magazine Alternative Press. Those in the bottom will be “shocked” by what they will face in the extermination; we might be on for an electrocution challenge finally.
Before they went on the field trip, the Boulet Brothers had left a magazine in the Crypt, featuring an article that the pair did, in which they talked about their struggles to get to where they are now. In three seasons viewers haven’t really got to know the Boulets before now; the pain they have faced in the past have given them the determination and desire to give alternative drag and queer identities a platform that they wouldn’t have had ordinarily. This article also hits home with Louisianna, who recalls a time when they had flu-like symptoms when they were a teenager living in the Deep South and what their Mum said she would do if it turned out that they were HIV+. Even though they didn’t, Louisianna states that their move to Austin and finding Drag helped to save their life. It is a chilling reminder of how homophobic states like that were and still are to this day, and why it is so important that Dragula is present in order to get out these stories and help more queer people, especially those growing up and living in these situations.
The six then start planning their looks and there is a big range of different styles and inspirations on show here from horror movies and video games. I do like challenges like this that are themed rather than a specific look because it allows individuals to really show their aesthetics and imaginations. It is time for the monsters to travel to a real life haunted hospital and the Boulets are looking suitably creepy yet clinical in their white latex outfits. Joining the pair tonight are Hereditary breakout star Milly Shapiro and the Marketing Director of AltPress, Paige Owens. Here are my thoughts on the six looks presented for this challenge, in alphabetical order:
|I really liked the haunted manic look on this leech-lady hybrid look and I also appreciated the way they moved across the stage. To me, I wish that it could have been taken further to make it more grotesque and unnatural.|
|Like something straight out of a Resident Evil hospital level, the swollen mass on the head and right side of the body was very realistic looking, and Evah’s hyperactive energy helped to sell this even further. I wouldn’t want to come across this creature alone at night.|
|This was a brilliant choice of costume but it is the little details that really help to convey this character: the open brain out on show with wires going through it and the torso, the creepy Mr Hyde-esque gold eyes hidden behind the glasses and the book on brain surgery. A classically horrifying character that has been brought into 2019.|
|While the majority of the others went for monstrous, Louisianna chose to look at the psychological side of a haunted hospital, having a female character who is psychotic (the burnt teddy bear and other items are visible on the trolley). The acting is spot on, even if there isn’t much gore.|
|In terms of the challenge and other looks we have seen from Maddelynn, this feels just okay. It looks like the typical Maddelynn character, with red hair on show, in a hospital outfit that unzips to reveal a gory mess. It lacks the specificities that a lot of the others have.|
|Another monstrous creature straight out of a video game, the idea that a cow-human hybrid is stalking an abandoned hospital after their calf died may have made sense in their head, but I don’t know how to process this.|
The six were then transported to the Abandoned Hospital for part two of the main challenge, to the photoshoot in front of photographers and the press. Everyone seems very confident in their pictures and the vision that they have created so it’s going to be a shock to some of them when the Boulets critique what they have come up with. The Boulets inform the six on stage that, from this point onwards in the competition, there is no safety. They are either one of the strongest, or one of the weakest of the week and will face extermination.
Louisianna was praised on going for a different colour palette than anyone else and for focusing on the psychotic attention to detail, with only small criticisms that it could have been taken a bit further. Landon was also praised for the storyline they portrayed on screen and for the meticulous attention for detail, with Paige Owens awkwardly breaking the news that Landon had spelt Intelligence wrong when he painted the cover of the book. Dollya was praised for the photoshoot, with the Boulets thinking that they had one of the top photos of the night. However, it wasn’t all good as Dollya wore underwear that stood out for all of the wrong reasons. Priscilla was critiqued on the poor use of the calf prop, the execution of the udder on her body and the way that the nose ring blocked her facial expressions. Evah was read by Milly for having blood splattered tights and was critiqued for the way that the fungal growth was only on one side of the body, though was commended for their terrifying energy during the photo shoot. Maddelynn was commended on how they served beauty in the photoshoot, though it was thought that the narrative went really flat.
Landon Cider was announced as the winner of the challenge, their second of the competition, winning that two page photo spread as well. Louisianna Purchase and Dollya Black were also announced as doing well and was therefore safe. Evah’s energy ultimately saves them from the extermination, leaving Maddelynn Hatter and Priscilla Chambers in the bottom two. The extermination challenge that they will face will be a real game of ‘Operation’, as they will try to remove body parts from a cadaver. If they touch the edges, they will be shocked with 6,000 volts of white hot electricity via a live wire connected to them. This is one of the most extreme extermination challenges in history and it will be so exciting to watch.
Unlike in previous weeks, there is no last minute meltdown from one of the contestants in the bottom two. Both of them get shocked on multiple occasions, really pushing them to the limits but both manage to complete the challenge. Therefore that means that the challenge results and the track record of the competition comes into play, sadly meaning that Maddelynn Hatter is destined to be the one who is going. But she goes out with a bang, following guest judge Milly Shapiro in getting decapitated after leaning out of a car going at high speed. That means just five remain to fight to become Dragula: The World’s Next Drag Super Monster.
What did you make of this episode of Dragula? Who do you think is on course to win the competition and who can you see just missing out? You can let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with all of my Dragula and other TV recaps.