On a recent episode of IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast, Dear White People‘s Justin Simien gave an update on his upcoming horror film, Bad Hair, which will speak to the black woman’s experience with beauty and racial discrimination.
“(Bad Hair) follows a girl from Compton who doesn’t have the right look. She doesn’t have the right hair, she doesn’t have the right face, she doesn’t have the right skin color,” said Simien. “She wants to be a VJ in the late ’80s, early ’90s, and she makes a bit of a Faustian bargain with this woman who takes over the network where she’s at, and she ends up with this hair, this weave in her head, that may not have a mind of its own.”
The film, said Simien, is a tribute to his mother, aunts and other black women who have defined his life. He said it would be “cheeky” and in the vein of films like Rosemary’s Baby, Get Out, The Stepford Wives and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
“It’s my way of taking my frustration of what I feel like black women are going through, who we rely on for so much–politically, culturally, just in terms of the family dynamic–and we put them through hell,” he said. “We make them suffer quiet little deaths just to be seen in our culture and I wanted to translate that, in my own way, into a very weird horror-satire love letter to that experience.”
No release date has been set.
The initial film description reads: Paralleling the rise of New Jack Swing in 1989, Bad Hair is a horror satire that follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to survive the image-obsessed world of music television. Her professional success comes at a higher cost than anticipated, however, when she discovers her new hair may have a mind of its own. Simien has retained the biting satirical commentary but added genre-bending thrills.