17-year-old Zoya Magdalena Montoya dreams of being a revolutionary. She calls her writings the ‘SHE-WOLF MANIFESTO’ and it is this manifesto that becomes the playbook for her gang of best friends and their eventual rise to power -- but that’s the feature-length version.
Before they got a taste for blood and revenge -- Zoya and her friends, Cleo, Ronnie, and Hen, were just four teenage girls getting ready for the best summer ever. And that’s how we meet them first: against a backdrop of sweltering street corners, overcrowded housing projects, and the glittering lights of Coney Island at night. The girls strut their stuff in unison through a grimy subway underpass -- fierce, fabulous, undeterred by their less than glamorous catwalk.
The group’s status quo is derailed when Cleo’s on-again off-again boyfriend, Taylor, crosses the line of abuse -- the girls rally around their best friend and attempt to protect Cleo, and keep her from harm’s way. When they have a run in with Taylor at a Coney Island dance party, things take a violent turn. They dump Taylor’s body off the end of the Coney Island pier and jump into the Atlantic to wash the blood off their hands, changing their lives forever.
Big Bad Wolves is a coming-of-age crime film about a crew of teenage girls in New York City. It celebrates female friendship like ‘Now and Then,’ laughs in the face of violence like ‘Kill Bill,’ and makes light of drama as though we were destroying a dinner party in ‘Daisies’ -- with a cast of characters that’s as acidic and snotty as any you'd find in ‘Jawbreaker’ or ‘Heathers.’ The film will be seemingly vapid, heavily influenced by pop culture, and a turning of the tables on the exploitation film genre, all with the subtext of a heavier message about violence against women and the commodification of the young, female body.
As a Writer/Director I’ve always felt very strongly about the entire genre of female revenge fantasies that were written and directed by men, and portrayed violence against women in a way that sent me fleeing to the church of Laura Mulvey. I wanted to execute an idea for a film about violence against women that never explicitly portrays it.
We want to cast local NYC teenagers for this film, the Big Bad Wolves absolutely cannot look like polished actresses. They have to feel like real teenage girls in vulnerability, intensity, and aesthetics. That means that in the midst of a very hyper-real portrayal of the world, these characters will have zits, oily t-zones, and cheap clothing.
The fantasy of genre finally meets the realism of adolescence.