In Their Halfway to Halloween Special, The Boulet Brothers Are Reaching Maximum Power

· Updated on October 4, 2023

Forget Christmas in July. It’s time for Halloween in April. Fresh off The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans, a smash-hit spin-off of their horror-themed drag competition, Dracmorda and Swanthula Boulet (aka Drac and Swan) are tackling a different kind of hosting with The Boulet Brothers’ Halfway to Halloween TV Special. The variety show promises scripted skits, musical performances, and guest appearances from famous faces throughout the world of horror, all dreamt up in the twisted minds of the Boulets.

INTO caught up with the Boulet Brothers after the first stop of their The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans Tour, which features fan-favorite contestants including Victoria Elizabeth Black, HoSo Terra Toma and Koco Caine. The duo delved into bringing new eyes to classic horror icons, delivering on a long overdue crowning, and what’s in store for the next season of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula.

Hey Drac and Swan! Congrats on completing the first night of your world tour. How does it feel to be back on the road?

DRAC: We really enjoy touring. It’s sort of what it’s all about, right? Because all the competitors come on the show and they go through what they go through and compete. And it’s all for moments like this, where you’re no longer competing, you’re just a star from the show, and you get to showcase your art. And there’s no drama or judgment or anything involved.

SWAN: As far as specifically the experience at our first show in Orlando, I think it was kind of exactly what it should have been. You know, it’s the first time that the crew comes together and the cast comes together and all these little pieces sort of click in to make the dream of the touring show a reality. And of course, there are some kinks that need to be worked out — laptops explode and certain things happen that there’s no way to anticipate. But Orlando was a sold out show. 

Amazing! I heard you also crowned Victoria Elizabeth Black, the winner of Titans, on stage at the show. What was that like?

SWAN: Because Titans was a special season, we wanted to crown it in a different kind of way, so we crowned her live on stage in her hometown. It was just a magical moment, and I think everybody could feel that.

It was the first time that she got to see the crown; it was the first time that the audience got to see the crown. To kick off the second act of the show, we kind of teed it up and we were like, “But before we go on, there’s a little piece of business that is long overdue.” The realization crackled through the crowd, and you could feel the excitement build and we invited Victoria out. She had her moment and bowed between us, and we crowned her and gave her a huge bouquet of flowers. She got to do sort of a traditional queen’s walk, and everybody was applauding the moment. And then it was on with the show, but I think it was something that people were anticipating, and we delivered.

It sounds fabulous. Let’s move on to your latest project, The Boulet Brothers’ Halfway to Halloween TV Special. What were your influences as you put the show together?

DRAC: It’s sort of like a Halloween-themed SNL hosted, written and directed by us. So there’s a lot of little segments with acting and musical guests and things like that. It’s a full variety show. 

The inspiration came from those sort of old TV specials that would come out in the ‘80s where it would be like, “It’s the ABC Christmas Special!” And it would star everyone from ABC’s network and then they’d bring in musical guests and all that. The packaging for it and the marketing was always so exciting. And, you know, I don’t know how great the shows actually turned out to be —

SWAN: They never lived up to it! It was all hype. And the hype was amazing, but you watched it, and you were kind of like, “Okay.” [laughs]

DRAC: It was always a little weird. And I think that’s because you were seeing actors playing themselves instead of the roles you are used to seeing them on TV, and it was just kind of awkward. But we thought about all that when we were putting this special together, and I am happy to say, we don’t have any of that energy with our special. It’s very entertaining. It’s not awkward or weird. It’s very fun. And people are loving it. 

The poster for The Boulet Brothers' Halfway to Halloween TV Special.
Courtesy of Shore Fire Media.

How was hosting this special different from hosting Dragula?

DRAC: I think this centers us more in the horror host space. We’ve been horror hosts hosting our own show for years now, and now this I think firmly plants us in a different arena where we’re hosting scripted content.

SWAN: You’ll see the Boulets in a few different lights, I think, when audiences and fans experience the Halfway to Halloween TV Special. You’ll see us very much as Halloween hostesses in all of our power. We’re in some of the skits; we wrote a lot of it. Our dark sense of humor comes through. It’s just a fun celebration. I think that warm, fuzzy celebration of darkness and Halloween will come through and fans will love it.

I love that for the Boulet Brothers, “warm and fuzzy” and “darkness” go hand in hand.

DRAC: You know what I think it is? It’s warm and fuzzy for people that love horror and weird stuff. You feel very at home if you’re interested in horror or Halloween or anything like that.

And what was your favorite part of the production process?

SWAN: For me, it was working with some of these actors and stars. It was just such a joy to have them on set and have them bringing their expertise and their artistry to the scene. Being able to direct and mold those scenes with seasoned actors was a serious joy.

DRAC: Yeah, I agree with that. We’ve written and directed things before, but this one is sort of our pet project that we got to write and direct the majority of it. Being able to come up with a concept and then the next day work with really talented actors who execute that concept and seeing how they elevate the material was extremely satisfying.

I also really appreciate that you’re highlighting some classic horror stars of the ‘80s like Barbara Crampton from Chopping Mall and Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp. Given how much of your audience now is Gen Z, how do you feel about potentially reintroducing these stars to your fans?

DRAC: I love it. Swan and I both, that’s the kind of stuff that we love. Barbara Crampton is just timeless and iconic. She’s been in so many horror movies and to just have her come on set and be a part of this was fantastic. Felissa, and I know I speak for both of us, was incredible — I don’t want to spoil what we did with her, but you will see her in a very different light than you’ve never seen her before. And she was so much fun to work with.

SWAN: Yeah, huge positive energy. I mean, being on set with Barbara, I was kind of giddy. I was a little bit gagged myself. I was like, “This is happening.” And I love the idea of introducing younger audiences to stars like Barbara Crampton, which brings me back to the first time I ever saw Chopping Mall. She was so hot then, and she’s still hot now. And then Felissa brings such a positive energy to set. We were out in the woods all day, and she never let up. It was just a joy to work with her.

Sleepaway Camp is one of my favorite ‘80s slashers, so I’m definitely going to be tuning in for her.

DRAC: You’re gonna like what she did in this if you like Sleepaway Camp!

I’ve also gotta ask: can you share any news about Season 5 of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula?

DRAC: It’s in pre-production right now. I can share that it’s going to be very different from Dragula seasons people are used to. We, as artists, pride ourselves on keeping the format rolling and changing and adapting. When we said at the end of Titans that this is sort of the closing of chapter one of Dragula, we will be opening a new chapter. And it’s going to look a little different, but I think it’ll have all the things that fans love about it and more.

That’s very exciting! And just vague enough to keep people theorizing.

DRAC: It’s a fine balance, because fans, they like what they like. We learned last year that people get very attached to the format in ways that we just didn’t expect. There were people that really wanted us to dump blood on Victoria at the end of the Titans season. And as artists we were just like, “We’re not going to do that. Like, it’s not happening, no matter what.” ◆

The Boulet Brothers’ Halfway to Halloween TV Special premieres on Shudder and AMC+ on April 25.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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