Jenn Wexler made a splash at SXSW last year when the movie she produced, Most Beautiful Island (a drama about an undocumented immigrant living in New York City), won the prestigious Grand Jury Award. Now she’s back at the Austin-based festival with a film she directed and co-wrote: The Ranger.
The indie horror movie follows a group of teenage punks, including pink-haired Chelsea (Chloe Levine), who flee to a cabin in the upstate New York woods after getting in trouble with the cops. While on the lam, they meet a deranged park ranger (Jeremy Holm) who has a history with Chelsea. The Ranger is trashy, violent fun, or as Wexler described it during a recent Uproxx Talks with cultural critic Steven Hyden, “I wanted to make a ‘kids lost in the woods’ movie, but I really wanted to infuse it with lots of glitter and Lisa Frank-type colors.”
Later in the interview, Wexler evokes The Ranger‘s DIY, punk rock spirit when she’s asked how she broke into movie-making. “Somebody gave me the advice once and I think this is really important advice, which is, don’t wait for permission,” she said. “If that’s something you want to do and you feel passionate about it… I think sometimes people are waiting for someone else to hold their hand and teach them how to do it, and I think you should just forget that notion and just be like, I’m going to figure this out on my own.”
For previous Uproxx Talks, head here.