Hurricane Bianca

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Hurricane Bianca
Hurricane Bianca Poster 2.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMatt Kugelman
Screenplay byMatt Kugelman
Produced byAsh Christian
CinematographyAustin F. Schmidt
Edited byScott Martin
Music byMark Vogel
Distributed by
Release dates
  • September 23, 2016 (2016-09-23) (VOD)
  • October 18, 2016 (2016-10-18) (DVD)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States

Hurricane Bianca is a 2016 American comedy film directed and written by Matt Kugelman. 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.[2] As well as being marketed as a comedy, the film touches on serious social issues, such as the fact that at the time of the film's release it was legal in 29 U.S. states for somebody to be fired from their place of work for being gay.


A school teacher named Richard moves from New York City to a small town in Texas, and begins work at a new school.[3] Shortly after this, Richard gets outed by the community in this town and is consequently fired, which is legal under state law in Texas. Following this, Richard feels the need to get revenge on the people that were hateful to him, so he returns as Bianca Del Rio, his drag persona, 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.[4]


  • Bianca Del Rio as Richard Martinez/Bianca Del Rio.
  • Rachel Dratch as Deborah Ward,[5][6] vice principal at Milford High School.
  • 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,[5][6] one of Richard's best friends from New York.
  • Shangela Laquifa Wadley as Stephen,[5][6] 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.
  • Jacob Audirsch as Tommy
  • Molly Ryman as Carly Ward, a teacher at Milford High and Deborah's daughter.
  • Ted Ferguson as Principal Wayne.
  • Alan Cumming as Lawrence Taylor,[5][6] president of the teaching ambassador program that sends Richard to Milford High.
  • Joslyn Fox as the barmaid.[5]
  • Alyssa Edwards as Ambrosia Salad.[5]
  • RuPaul[7] as RuStorm, a weather reporter.


Before 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. She 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."[3] The film was introduced and announced years before Del Rio's rise to fame on RuPaul's Drag Race.

After the two had decided to pursue the venture, a crowdfunding site was set up on Indiegogo and was sponsored also by Fractured Atlas. The film's budget was met largely through extensive crowdfunding.[1] 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.[8]

Speaking on the film before its release, Del Rio stated: "It's a serious topic, but it's done in a funny way."[9] 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."[10]


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.[11] Other Drag Race contestants announced to be cast via Del Rio's social media were fellow season 6 cast member Joslyn Fox, season 3 cast member Shangela Laquifa Wadley and season 5 cast member Alyssa Edwards.[12]

Outside of Drag Race, both Alan Cumming and Rachel Dratch were both announced via social media to be in the film.[13]


According to Del Rio's website, filming took place over a three-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.[14] After filming had commenced, Kugelman released footage online of Del Rio's 40th birthday roast. The almost two-hour show was put on sale for $14.99 and was used to help fund the post production of Hurricane Bianca.[15]


Following a limited theatrical release, the film was released on video on demand on September 23, 2016,[16] with a release to DVD in October 2016.[17]


A sequel film, Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate, was released on May 18, 2018.[18] Dratch returned as the film's antagonist, while Katya Zamolodchikova and Molly Ryman joined the cast.


In February 2019 GQ reported that a third film titled Hurricane Bianca 3 was in the works that would include several Drag Race alumni, as well as the return of Sykes and Dratch.[19] According to Del Rio, the third film is set in Africa although it would not be filmed there due to budget constraints.[20]


Chicago Review gave a positive review and wrote: "Crowd-funded on a teensy budget, the movie is not without its charms, including Ryan Matthieu Smith's inventive production and costume design and a cast of unknowns who prove worthy straight men to Del Rio."[21] An editor of Junkee rated the film a "B−", stating that the film "is occasionally spotty in its laughs, but fans of Bianca Del Rio won't want to miss their favourite insult factory."[22]


  1. ^ The total and most accurate budget is currently unknown. Source depicts the highest figure found online via the crowdfunding website for Hurricane Bianca.


  1. ^ a b "Hurricane Bianca". Fractured Atlas. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Why Bianca Del Rio Is The Best "RuPaul's Drag Race" Winner Of All Time". Logo TV. February 20, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Hurricane Bianca: The Movie". Indiegogo. July 16, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  4. ^ Scott, Mike (August 10, 2015). "Bianca Del Rio wraps filming on 'Hurricane Bianca'". Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Hurricane Bianca (2016) Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d Scott, Mike (August 10, 2015). "Bianca Del Rio wraps filming on 'Hurricane Bianca'". Advance Publications. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  7. ^ LeRoy, Jason (September 12, 2015). "Peaches & Bianca: The Ultimate Old Lady Drag Smackdown". Left Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Winfred, Tim (May 21, 2014). "BE A PART OF BIANCA DEL RIO'S NEW WEB SERIES 'BIANCA HATES YOU'". Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kwaku Roze Zondag en Bianca Del Rio in Amsterdam". OutTV via YouTube. July 31, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bianca Del Rio Prepares To Blow Moviegoers Away As Filming Begins On 'Hurricane Bianca'". July 27, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "Hurricane Bianca's Newest Cast Member!". YouTube. March 19, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "Filming for 'Hurricane Bianca' Has Started!". July 13, 2015. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Speegle, Trey (July 28, 2015). "#LookOut!: "Hurricane Bianca" Is Blowing into Theaters with Bianca Del Rio, Alan Cumming & Rachel Dratch". World of Wonder. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  14. ^ Garner, Glenn (July 16, 2015). "First Look: Hurricane Bianca Takes Dallas by Storm". Out. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  15. ^ Kugelman, Matt (August 18, 2015). "Bianca Del Rio Birthday Roast". Vimeo. Archived from the original on November 23, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  16. ^ "Hurricane Bianca - Wolfe on Demand". September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "Hurricane Bianca - Wolfe Video". September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  18. ^ "Batten Down The Hatches Because “Hurricane Bianca 2” Has A Release Date". NewNowNext, November 29, 2017.
  19. ^ "Bianca Del Rio talks about becoming the first drag queen to headline at Wembley Arena". British GQ. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  20. ^ Rudolph 6/10/2019, Christopher. "Bianca Del Rio Is a Bitter, Retired Old Queen—on the West End, That Is". LOGO News. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  21. ^ "Hurricane Bianca | Chicago Reader". Chicago Reader. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  22. ^ "14 Great Films That Never Made It to the Movies in 2016 (And Where You Can Watch Them Now)". 22 December 2016.

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