[Review] 'Dragula' S1E3: Zombie Wasteland

Dragula Season One Episode Three Review

The Boulets have their first on-location shoot in Death Valley, which has a distinct lack of actual death, according to Swanthula. Blistering heat, virtually no moisture in the air… perfect spot for a challenge in a drag competition, right? Summer drag is a bitch, but the remaining girls are waiting to be picked up, along with whomever survived the mud wrestling showdown. The girls are more or less in agreement that Ursula didn’t have the same light in her eyes as some of the others, though only some are flat-out suggesting that she may have gone home. Xochi Mochi returns to the group, and the crowd goes a bit mild. Melissa’s return is to a genuine pop from the remaining girls. Frankie’s return confirms Ursula’s elimination, though Frankie was all but convinced that she was going to go home. Once the gang is reunited, they are transported to Death Valley, and the real fun begins.

In the sweltering heat, the girls are tasked with creating a zombie look. As someone who’s had to do full drag in 90 degrees F weather, I can attest that this would be a monumental task to any performer. Getting the makeup on is one thing. Keeping it on is a must. And any blood or latex put on is bound to come off one way or another. I really don’t know if I would have made it through this challenge, had it been presented to me.

In the dressing room, before the floor show, Foxie Adjuia has doubts about her creativity. She wishes she could do more of the off-the-wall looks like her fellow monsters can do. Frankie Doom responds by saying that she wishes she was a great performer like Foxie is, wishing that she could do the moves that Foxie busts out in her acts.

The truth behind Xochi and Melissa’s all out war in the mud pit comes out. Xochi talks about the damage done to her in the brawl, having lost a contact, an eyelash, and her tuck. Melissa admits that she may have swung at Xochi for real, attributing it to her desire to stay in the competition. Clearly, all of the physicality paid off, as both girls lived to fight another day.

Dragula Season One Episode Three Review

The floor show sees each queen stepping out of the trailer and selling their zombie selves to the camera. Melissa’s Latin-flavored undead is a fun look, complete with a bit of voodoo realness with her doll. Meatball’s performance was the most upsetting, not because she went too far, but because it didn’t read zombie at all. Her look was Victorian, which is one thing, but the manic giggling took me immediately out of her performance. What fucking zombie giggles? Loris’ Zombunny is a polarizing look. Some say it was too out of left field, but I have to disagree. This looks like the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail grew to human size and started raising hell in the desert. It’s so different, it works.

Xochi Mochi gives us undead pop diva realness, complete with yet another pearl necklace. Cheap jokes aside, this look was a fun one, and she really sold the character in her walk. Frankie Doom has a ridonkulous mouthpiece that I marked out hard for, and her nurse outfit was a nice spin on zombies. The fact that the gaping maw stayed on like it did in the dry heat is impressive, to say the least. Vander von Odd gives us another great characterization, perhaps the most zombie-like of all of the zombies, with her cinched waist giving us something of a Violet Chachki moment that added a little extra touch for the eagle-eyed fans like me. Finally, Foxie, who wasn’t on-screen for very long, gave us brothel queen with a nice eye prosthetic, though the whole thing seemed a little pretty for something that’s supposed to read pretty dead.

Part two of the challenge is where the gore whores are separated from the total bores. The zombies have a live actor to maim, and anything goes. Make it scary, make it bloody, make it campy, whatever the performer wishes. Melissa goes in with an intestine-aided strangulation before making a meal of his neck and associated fleshy bits. Frankie busts through a wall like the monster she is and goes immediately for the model’s ass, and maybe it’s best if you just see the rest for yourself. Loris goes for an arm rip before gnawing on the severed limb, for a little comedic edge. Foxie’s performance is a bit odd, as she appears to kiss the model after delivering the fatal bite. I’m not saying this is a bad performance, it was perfectly fine. I was just a little caught off-guard by that choice. Xochi opts for a tackle and a foot dismemberment, which certainly gains points for originality. Meatball follows Frankie’s lead and busts through a door before mounting her victim and… the most eloquent way I have to put it is “fucks him to death,” and that’s saying something here. Finally, Vander goes for a jumpscare moment, jumping from the abandoned car and tearing her victim limb from limb.

Judgment time is upon the girls, and Xochi is first up. While her story was evident from moment one, the Boulets wonder if Xochi is playing it safe, if she’s coloring within the lines a bit too much. Frankie earns points for the monstrosity and deviance of her look, but earns critique for her lack of polish and finesse to her looks thus far in the competition. Melissa is praised for stepping it up and coming out of her shell with this look, and thus she is crowned co-winner of the challenge alongside Vander. Had Vander not taken the shortcut that was her half-mask, she may have run away with the solo win, but she is still excited to take away the W for the week. After all, with the way she crawled out of the trailer, you knew she had to be somewhere in the top for the week.

Dragula Season One Episode Three Review

Foxie is dinged for not having a coherent look, though the Moulin Rouge inspiration is picked up on by Swanthula. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to guarantee her safety for the week, and she is up for extermination. Loris joins Foxie in the bottom, if only because the zombie factor needed to be turned up significantly. Meatball finds herself in the middle of the road for the week. She was fun in both performances, sure, but it almost seemed like her evil queen character from week one came back around for another go, and originality is key in a competition like this.

The rug is pulled out from practically everyone when the Boulets ask Vander to step forward and volunteer for the extermination challenge. They know she has the looks, but does she have the nerve to face the nastiness that comes with being the “World’s First Drag Supermonster?” Vander accepts the challenge, which is revealed to be a feast of pig brains, to be consumed hands-free. Cue the memes, as Loris takes a minute to remind the world of her vegan lifestyle, before ripping off her prosthesis and going in on the brains in front of her. She is visibly struggling, as she hasn’t eaten flesh of any kind in two years plus, but damn if she didn’t give it a college try. Some of the girls notice Loris’ struggling and tag her as the one to be exterminated, while others think Foxie may have pulled an Ursula and phoned it in.

The extermination sequence reveals that Foxie Adjuia is the latest victim, after following a trail of dollar bills into a walk-in freezer before the door locks behind her. Money talks, and Foxie walks… into her tomb, as it were. I can’t disagree with this one, as Vander went to town on her helping of brains, and Loris earns respect for setting her reservations aside for the sake of getting it done in the extermination.

Next week is a true nightmare for the monster girls, as they have to wear… pink! Oh, the humanity!