[Review] The Boulet Brothers Bring the Pageant to the Monsters in 'Dragula: Resurrection' Special

Before we start, I’d just like to say that while there may not be any real empirical evidence that The Boulet Brothers just saved Halloween, I'm also not sure that I can be convinced that they didn’t. Also, something something fuck COVID, something something hello, uglies, something something filth, horror, glamour. Do I really need to explain what we’re all here for?

Also, this is a recap, and as such, there will be some spoilers. You’ve been warned. If you haven’t watched the special and you’re still reading, it’s on you at this rate.

The name of the game is redemption. Across three themed challenges, each originating from one of the three previous seasons of Dragula, seven previously exterminated performers look to win the Boulets over, in the hopes of taking away a $20,000 grand prize (courtesy of the Boulets themselves, as Swanthula gently lets us know) and a chance to return in the upcoming fourth season of the main series. While some of the departed were inches away from the crown, others fell short in much shorter time. Who will prevail?

Witches, ghosts, and vampires are the creatures of the night which the queens must replicate, but with a twist. In the vampire challenge, there is a lip sync performance component, as the monsters will have to give beauty and face to the tune of the Kim Petras song “In The Next Life.” Beyond that, the interpretation is open enough, though special consideration will be given to performers who have demonstrated significant growth from their original series run to now. Anything can happen, and all bets are off.

The intimate one-on-one interviews are the highlight of this special, as they’re something we don’t necessarily get outside of the traditional reality show confessional. From Priscilla Chambers’ transition story, to Kendra Onixxx’s recounting of her horrific fire accident last November, to Frankie Doom proving herself to her manipulative father, there is a humanity to the monsters that we only saw glimpses of in their original run. It may not be a matter of less pressure, as the queens only had one week to complete three looks and floor show presentations, all with cameras in their faces from a safe social distance, but there’s something far more approachable and welcoming about the atmosphere this time around, and it’s refreshing to see.

Rather than go into gory detail over every look like I may have done before, I realize that this is a review, not so much a recap, and as such it may be worth throwing out critiques. After all, who doesn’t want to hear the thoughts of an ex-haunter and drag performer on how seasoned veterans who have competed at an internationally-televised level should do their jobs? In any event, my personal favorites for the witch leg were Priscilla’s swamp witch, Kendra’s bonfire ritual leader, and Saint’s ephemeral execution. The ghost challenge was a toss-up between Dahli and Victoria Black, though Priscilla was a semi-distant third place. It was at this point that I realized that neither season one performer was winning, and as a Frankie Doom fanatic, that’s a bit depressing. As far as vampires go, it was Saint and Victoria that stood in my personal top two, although again, Priscilla’s costume and Kendra’s striking red and white look stood out among the pack.

The downer for me overall was Frankie’s bat creature look in the vampire finale. The costume was fucking awesome with a capital FUCKING, but the costume did not fit the music that accompanied the lip sync, and it hurt Frankie’s presentation as a result. Had it been some gravelly Arch Enemy or other metal queen shit, that challenge may have easily been Frankie’s to lose.

After much deliberation, it is revealed via the video tapes sent to the girls that Saint has survived, and will be returning in the next season of Dragula to have another go at the crown. If I’m being frank, Saint was at the bottom of my list as far as “yeah, she could really have a shot” is concerned, but damn if she didn’t earn this win. She was consistently good in her looks and her floor shows, with her vampire costume being stylish as can be, without thinking too big for her own good. We love an underdog story in this house…

… and on the subject of dogs, Dahli comes to in a post-credits stinger. While the death scenes set to Orville Peck’s “Dead of Night” were awesome, this sudden psych out does take the sting out of it a bit. What exactly does this mean? Saint is revealed as the winner via an interstitial, which states that she indeed won the cash prize and the right to return, but does this mean that Dahli is returning as well? Will the out-loud thinking of Victoria Black belonging among champions and the highest-performing monsters come true, and if so, does this mean that Dahli will be part of that?

If this is the case, I’m all for it. As much as I adore Priscilla Chambers, Dahli did bring it bigger and better here. Looking back, Dahli went outside of her comfort zone and brought excellent craftsmanship to her floor shows. All in all, I can’t bitch too much, as we can at least be grateful that we got any amount of Boulet Brothers in this hellscape of a year, and with the winner we have for Resurrection, season four is already off to a hot start before production has (presumably) begun.

The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection is streaming exclusively on Shudder.