… or If You Can’t Love Yourself, How in the Hell Are You Gonna Love Anybody Else?
This week’s pick is mine and *disclaimer* it is self-servicing AF. As a disciple of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (and let me tell you, there’s nothing more extra than a new convert), of course I was going to get round to reviewing Hurricane Bianca eventually.
So without further fanfare, let’s get lost in Bianca Del Rio‘s world.
Hurricane Bianca (2016)
A New York teacher, who moves to small town Texas where he’s fired for being gay, returns disguised as a mean lady to get revenge on the nasty town.
Poor old Richard (Roy Haylock) is having a shitty time of it. His teaching career isn’t exactly molding the future of the next generation, while his part-time entertainment gig has just crashed and burnt to the ground. His best friends Bailey (Willam Belli) and Stephen (D.J. ‘Shangela’ Pierce) love him dearly and are willing to bail him out but he’s had enough.
When he’s offered a teaching role in small town Texas, Richard packs up and leaves the Big Apple hopeful of a fresh start. Well, a new beginning is exactly what he gets but not quite in the ways he expects. For a start, the kids in his class are all arseholes. The halls are terrorised by mean bitch Deborah Ward (Rachel Dratch) and her fake ho daughter Carly – and the locals aren’t exactly welcoming either. Guess the school just isn’t ready for a gay chemistry teacher, eh?
Luckily for Richard he quickly meets kind-hearted radio DJ Karma Johnstone (Bianca Leigh), a trans woman who understands him only too well. She introduces him to the town’s LGBT community and when he is outed by the locals and subsequently fired for being homosexual, an idea is born.
Richard returns to the classroom as fierce bitch Bianca Del Rio (nobody knows she’s Richard in drag) – and boy are things about to change.
Let me make something very clear TO YOU, Debbie. I’m fuckin’ this cat. You just hold the legs. ~ Bianca Del Rio
Bianca takes no prisoners and quickly makes an impression on the school, in more ways than one. She has a sharp tongue and a wicked way with words, plus she tells everyone that Cher is her cousin and Gaga is her best friend so they’ll like her.
There’s a loose story line about a mystery female teacher taking male students’ virginity and a Teacher of the Year competition but really this is a showcase for Bianca’s one liners as she licks her students into shape, tackles in-class bullying and tries to help her new BFF Karma with her family issues. All the while taking down that awful c**t Deborah.
Hurricane Bianca isn’t by any means a perfect movie but it is fun and I think Bianca Del Rio has real stage presence – and those dimples! While it could be funnier, there’s enough in it to make you want to watch and in the end its message is a good (if simplistic) one. Evil will not win and small-mindedness will not to be accepted.
At times it does turn very dark (Richard/Bianca is kidnapped by a bigoted neighbour) and that’s not an easy watch. Luckily in this instance it doesn’t come to anything more sinister but it probably does play quite close to the bone.
The appearances by Del Rio’s fellow queens are joyful though. I’m a big fan of Shangela and loved seeing her on-screen. Alyssa Edwards is also wonderful as Ambrosia Salad. They might not be the most seasoned actresses but I don’t care, I want more Drag Queen movies please!