| 5.8/10 |
Austin F. Schmidt
3 June 2016
| Bianca Del Rio
Shangela Laquifa Wadley
September 23, 2016 (VOD)
October 18, 2016 (DVD)
Bianca Del Rio, Willam Belli, RuPaul, Rachel Dratch, Alan Cumming
Teacher movies, Comedies
Hurricane Bianca is an American independent comedy and LGBT film, directed and written by Matt Kugelman, an editor for CBS This Morning. The film's title derives from the starring actor, Bianca Del Rio (Roy Haylock), an American costumer and drag queen, best known for winning the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. As well as being marketed as a comedy, the film touches on serious social issues, such as the fact that it is legal for somebody to be fired from their place of work for being gay, in 29 U.S states. Speaking on the film before its release, Del Rio stated "It's a serious topic, but it's done in a funny way." Kugelman stated he hopes the film will shine a light on employment discrimination in the United States, saying "My hope is that Hurricane Bianca will change minds and bring awareness to the issue. The film deals with a serious topic in a comedic way."
The film's budget was met largely through extensive crowdfunding,. It was introduced and announced years before Del Rio's rise to fame on RuPaul's Drag Race. In winning that show, Del Rio was awarded a cash prize of $100,000, garnering as yet more attention for the film. He was able to bring additional attention to it with the casting of other well known Drag Race alumni; Willam Belli, Shangela Laquifa Wadley (Darius J. Pierce), Joslyn Fox (Patrick Joslyn), and Alyssa Edwards (Justin Johnson).
Following a limited theatrical release, the film was released on video on demand on September 23, 2016, with a release to DVD in October 2016.
Hurricane Bianca Wikipedia
A school teacher named Richard moves from New York City to a small town in Texas, and begins work at a new school. Shortly after this, Richard gets outed by the community in this town and is consequently fired, which is legal under Texas state law. Following this, Richard feels the need to get revenge on the people that were hateful to him, so he returns as Bianca Del Rio, the drag persona of Richard, and spreads his hate and causes mayhem to those that were mean to him, who are oblivious to the fact that Del Rio is actually the previously fired Richard.Bianca Del Rio as Richard Martinez/Bianca Del Rio.
Rachel Dratch as Deborah Ward: Milford High School Vice Principal
Bianca Leigh as Karma Johnstone: A trans woman Richard befriends in Texas. She runs her own radio show
Denton Blane Everett as Coach Chuck: Gym teacher and football coach at Milford High and Karma's brother
Willam Belli as Bailey: One of Richard's best friends from New York
Shangela Laquifa Wadley as Stephen: One of Richard's best friends from New York
Téa Mckay as Keeley Carson: A student at Milford High
Kaleb King as Bobby: A gay student at Milford High
Molly Ryman as Carly Ward: Teacher at Milford High and Deborah's daughter
Ted Ferguson as Principal Wayne
Alan Cumming as Lawrence Taylor: President of the Teaching Ambassador program that sends Richard to Milford High
Joslyn Fox as Joslyn the barmaid Bobby Sterling
Alyssa Edwards as Ambrosia Salad
RuPaul as RuStorm: A weather reporter
Prior to winning RuPaul's Drag Race, Del Rio had already garnered attention as a comedian and drag queen in the New York City and New Orleans drag scenes. He would often host and MC events, including Mardi Gras and Southern Decadence. Del Rio became friends with Kugelman, who wrote the film specifically based on him, stating "Tall, slender and glamorous, but with the mouth of a truck driver, I immediately thought that Bianca was a total movie character, and that this would be the story that I develop for my first feature." After the two had decided to pursue the venture, a crowdfunding site was set up on Indiegogo and was sponsored also by Fractured Atlas. Del Rio began promoting the project during her shows, encouraging fans to donate to the project. Other methods of funding included Del Rio making personalised videos to contributors, in a video series titled "Bianca Hates You". As Del Rio is an insult comic by trait, those who donated high amounts of money received these videos, as a lot of fans enjoyed being verbally attacked by Del Rio.
After being cast and ultimately winning RuPaul's Drag Race, Del Rio was elevated to international fame. He also received a cash prize of $100,000 which solidified the making of Hurricane Bianca.
Kugelman and Del Rio enlisted various known names for the movie following Del Rio's appearance on RuPaul's Drag Race. Actor and Drag Race season 4 contestant Willam Belli was first announced to be joining the cast via a YouTube video, playing Del Rio's on-screen best friend Bailey. Other Drag Race contestants announced to be on the show via Del Rio's social media was fellow season 6 cast member Joslyn Fox, season 3 cast member Shangela Laquifa Wadley and season 5 cast member Alyssa Edwards.
Outside of Drag Race, both Alan Cumming and Rachel Dratch were both announced via social media to be in the film.
According to Del Rio's website, filming took place over a 3 week period in mid July and August, in Garland, Texas, at Garland High School. Behind the scenes footage posted on social media from some of the actors showed a scene at a roller rink (Texas Skatium in Garland) and a school. After filming had commenced, Kugelman released footage online of Del Rio's 40th birthday roast. The almost 2 hour show was put on sale for $14.99 and was used to help fund the post production of Hurricane Bianca.