Bad Muthaz

Meet the Bad Muthaz, six badass mammas who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore! Bad Muthaz is a web-series that takes a sardonic look at mothering through the prism of 1970’s exploitation movies. Suburban Pam Grier-wannabes let out their aggressions on unsuspecting “good” citizens of the community and on anyone else unlucky enough to cross their path. The series opens with our six fine ladies bitching and brewing around the kitchen table about female sexuality, desire, and economic power: a sly reworking of the male-centered discussion that opens Reservoir Dogs. In Fallopia Minx vs. Organic Mom, Fallopia has a brush with one of those nosy, know-it-all, playground moms. In Mistress Head Gets Groceries, a proper English marm doles out a bit of discipline. And in Puffbutton Walks Her Dogs, the perennial battle between Italians and Germans plays out in a suburban doggy park. Bad Muthaz shines an amusing but sharp light on how society in the U.S. looks at motherhood, defines what a ‘good’ mother is, what a ‘bad’ mother is, and not just that, what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ woman. It asks what the consequences are of women breaking the rules, be it ever so slightly, or fierce n’ flagrantly (series, 30 min).

Year:

1989

Format:

16mm

Starring:

Cassis Henry

Katrin Hilbe

Myra Paci

Jennifer Payson,

Amy Russell

Spencer Snygg

Festivals:

Third Wave Film Festival, New York City, 1995
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1993
Melbourne International Lesbian and Gay Film & Video Festival, 1992
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Hamburg, 1992
London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1991
University of Virginia, Women’s Film Festival, 1991
Third Wave International Women’s Film and Video Festival, Austin, 1991
San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1990
City College of San Francisco, “History of Gay and Lesbian Film”, 1990

1. Mistress Head Gets Groceries (2:15)

A proper English marm doles out a bit of discipline.

2. La Llorona Treats a Patient (2:23)

La Llorona, Bad Mutha Therapist, has all the latest and most effective methods to manage problem patients… er, patients’ problems, that is. Check out her therapeutic toolbox!

3. Fallopia Minx vs. Organic Mom (6:10)

Fallopia Minx has a brush with one of those nosy, know-it-all, playground moms…

4. The Bad Muthaz Work It Out (6:35)

The Bad Muthaz bitch and brew around the kitchen table about female sexuality, desire, and economic power.

5. Le Due Cagne [Puffbutton Walks Her Dogs] (3:35)

The perennial battle between Italians and Germans plays out in a suburban doggy park.

6. Juicy Throws a Party (5:19)

Juicy handles her little princess’ birthday party with typical aplomb and hostessing flair, getting through it with some help from the (vodka) spirits and reaching a satisfying climax — for her, anyway.

7. Una Drops Science (3:37)

Una Planchette pays homage to the female (body) at all stages and shapes, and lays it on the line for any haters out there.

Rent the whole series! (30 min)

Bad Muthaz Store

Eco-friendly and compact, our 1.0L Stainless Steel Water Bottle provides both refreshment and style at home, at work, on campus or on the go.

Make your ride speak volumes! Our all-weather custom car door magnets promote your business or designate you as an official or volunteer, or share your beliefs, sense of humor, accomplishments and personality.

Bring it to the Bachelorette Party, or use it yourself for tailgating and camping. This personalized stainless steel flask makes the perfect gift for just about any occasion!

Eco-friendly and compact, our 1.0L Stainless Steel Water Bottle provides both refreshment and style at home, at work, on campus or on the go.

Our unique ceramic coffee mugs will soon be your new favorite way to consume hot or cold beverages. Coffee mugs also makes a perfect gift!

The Bad Muthaz Donna-festo

You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.

– Jawaharlal Nehru

Bad Mutha: definition of –

a) A woman perceived by self or others as being a bad mother for a variety of reasons.

b) A woman — she may be a mother or not — who follows her own interests or desires* and because of this is accused of causing — and sometimes does cause — suffering to those dependent on her emotional and physical ministrations, whether these be her children, her partner, society at large, and/or herself. But, in fact, this woman’s actions can bring about important, essential progress in our understanding of ourselves and the world.

(*An important caveat is that this woman does not intentionally set out to hurt anyone, because then she becomes a whole other thing. She becomes a bad egg, sometimes a very bad egg, rather than a bad mutha. Bad eggs are common and we all fall into this category now and then. Very bad eggs are less common, thankfully, and include serial killer Myra Hindley, or Ilse Koch, known as “the Bitch of Buchenwald,” or any number of psychopaths and sociopaths).

c) A badass who fights against those who are oppressing her or others in any shape or form. Often wears awesome outfits, especially harking back to that great era of sartorial splendor – the 1970’s.

So now we know what a Bad Mutha is. But what about a Bad Mother?

Have you ever googled “bad mother?” Not too much comes up except the names of a few places you can order “bad mother fucker” wallets like the one Samuel Jackson shows Tim Roth in Pulp Fiction, or Ayelet Waldman’s book Bad Mother and reviews of same.

Now look up “good mother.” Or simply “mother,” or “mothering.” A treasure trove of entries awaits you, stretching on for page after page.

Why is that?

We Bad Muthaz have a theory about why that is. We believe there’s a fetishization of motherhood and all that motherhood represents. And that includes a fetishization of what it means to be a good woman, and — before that — a good girl. In this fetishization, motherhood is sacred. And it’s sacred because a good woman is meant to uphold the social order as it stands by joining with one man, bearing children with that man, taking care of those children and that man and the home, while often having a job or a career or some sort of work that is usually considered of secondary importance to that of the man’s, and not doing anything to upset that social order because doing so makes it difficult for men to work, and govern, and make wars, and make money, and make more money, and then play sports, or watch sports, and drink some beers, and have a few girlfriends, or even a few wives.

A few wives? Come on.  That’s illegal in this country — well, except in Utah, sort of. But we’re not talking just about the U.S. Nor are we talking just about having multiple wives — because some might argue that it’s those ladies’ choice to marry that one fine fellow!  We’re talking about the lives of women and girls, and about the lives of women and girls around the world, not just in the U.S.

Motherhood is sacred, say many of these guys with the important careers or those with the multiple wives, or even just one wife. We agree with that. Being a woman is sacred. Being a girl is sacred. It’s sacred because as the Chinese proverb (for which married New York Times correspondents Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn named their recent, excellent book) says  – “Women Hold Up Half the Sky.” But then why is it that women are 50% of the population of this country but there still has not been a female president? (props to Hillary and Condoleezza and Madeleine for getting as far as Secretary of State) Why is rape still a huge and devastating weapon not just of war and but of daily life around the world? Why is it that women in this country and likely everywhere else earn less than men?  Why is it that, as Vulimiri Ranalingaswami says in The Asian Enigma, “however much a mother may love her children, it is all but impossible for her to provide high-quality child care if she herself is poor and oppressed, illiterate and uninformed, anemic and unhealthy, has five or six other children, lives in a slum or shanty, has neither clean water nor safe sanitation and if she is without the necessary support either from health services or from her society or from the father of her children.” And this despite the fact that when in that same shanty or slum, for every year beyond 4th grade girls go to school, family size shrinks 20%, child deaths drop 10%, and wages rise 20%.

But wait, what does all this heavy shit have to do with a silly video web series called Bad Muthaz, you’re wondering.

The heavy shit has to do with this series emerging out of a group of wildly privileged — comparatively speaking — middle-class and middle-aged women in a small city in the U.S. questioning the expectations placed on women.

This questioning encompasses such inquiries as:

• Can women pursue their deepest desires as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?

and…

• What happens when those deepest desires are let out into the open and given voice or action?

and…

• What happens when women don’t follow the rules?

and…

• What happens when women question the roles they’re meant to play — whether that be in how they’re meant to look, speak, act, mother, be an appropriate spouse, or be an appropriate worker in society?

in sum…

• What happens when you let the cat, emphatically not the (sex) kitten, out of the bag?

The Bad Muthaz believe lots of stuff can happen when you let the cat out of the bag, or let women live their dreams. And we know that many people believe this too, or there wouldn’t be so many efforts spent on keeping cats — or women — in those bags, which often as not end up being body bags when women don’t have the rights or value which they inherently deserve. We’re here to help more women, of all ages, races, classes, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual preferences, abilities, sizes, and shapes get out of those bags. (And, by the way, if there are men and boys, and animals, in those bags, we’re happy to get them out too).

We’re going to do this with the tools we have and which we believe can accomplish an astonishing amount: humor, education, and media.

To kick off this campaign, and listed in no particular order, we are honoring the women — real fictional, and mythological — whom we’d like to include in the hallowed halls of Bad Muthahood for all they have done or inspired:

Hamlet’s mother Gertrude; Susan Sontag; Alice Walker; Eve (the original); Hillary Clinton; Tilda Swinton; Sylvia Plath; Zora Neal Hurston; Patti Smith; Nina Simone; Margaret Mead; Esperanza Spalding; Oedipus’ mother Jocasta; Bessie Smith; Queen Elizabeth the First; Angela Davis; Amy Winehouse; Alice Coltrane; Audre Lorde; Madonna; Cleopatra; Angelina Jolie; The Virgin Mary; Rosie O’Donnell;  Eve Ensler; Sinead O’Connor; Aung San Suu Kyi; Meshell Ndegeocello; Anna Karenina; Pam Grier; Susan B. Anthony; Mother Theresa; Gloria Steinem; Eleanor Holmes Norton; Maxine Hong Kingston; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; bell hooks; Marian Wright Edelman; Jane Goodall; Madame Curie; Betty Friedan; Janis Joplin; Maya Angelou; Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Shirley Chisholm; Christine Vachon; Anita Hill; Adrienne Rich; Toni Morrison; The Goddess Athena; Martha Graham; Pina Bausch; Louise Bourgeois; Jane Campion; Carol Gilligan; Agnes Varda; Margaret Sanger; Anna Magnani; Sojourner Truth; Natalie Zemon Davis; Ingrid Bergman; Hedy Lamarr; Anna Politkovskaya; Veronica Guerin; Katherine Hepburn; Anne Frank; Bette Davis; Marlene Dietrich; Lisbeth Salander aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Oprah Winfrey; Martina Navratilova; Billie Jean King; Vanessa Redgrave; Virginia Woolf; Janet Flanner; Judy Garland; Elizabeth Taylor; Colette; Meena Keshwar Kamal; Rosa Parks; Arundhati Roy; Zainab Salbi; Rachel Carson; Yoko Ono, and countless others….

We’d like to know…

Who do YOU consider a Bad Mutha?

Download stills here.

Bios

Jen Bradwell, Editor:

Jen Bradwell is a San Francisco Bay Area-based editor, dividing her time between feature documentaries, commercial projects, and the occasional narrative short. Bringing a strong storytelling ability and stylistic playfulness to her work, recent films she has edited have received Sundance and SXSW film festival premieres, major media attention and a number of audience awards. Since graduating from the University of Southern California’s film school, Jen has worked in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. She currently lives in Berkeley with her husband, film composer Todd Boekelheide, and their soon-to-be Baby Boekelwell.

Blake Facente, Editor:

Blake discovered his love of editing in the late 80′s, making underground skateboard videos with 8mm video cameras, consumer VHS decks and borrowed cassette players. More recently, he worked as a staff editor at Varitel in San Francisco, followed by two years at Rough House Editorial.  Freelance since 2005, he has cut feature docs, nonfiction TV, commercial spots, music videos, network promos, and a whole lot of corporate videos.  Clients include HBO, NBC, ABC, National Geographic Channel, Smithsonian Network, Sony, Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, and Visa.

John Behrens, Cinematographer:

Television Clients: ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS, ESPN, MTV,HBO, Current TV, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Disney Pictures, Discovery Channel, DIY network, History Channel, Learning Channel, National Geographic Channel, Etc.

Corporate Clients: Avid, Apple, Adobe, Alameda County Health Care Foundation, Digidesign, Electronic Arts, Experian, Ford, Hewlett Packard, Levis, Subaru, General Motors, Welpoint Etc.

Musical Acts: Metallica, Michael Jackson, Booker T Washington, SADE, Smashing Pumpkins, Cake, Tom Petty, Etc.

Norman Bonney, Cinematographer:

Commercials:
Numerous national campaigns including Volkswagen, Hyatt Hotels, Best Buy, Dockers, Macy’s, Disney, Sony, Heinz, Chili’s, Nintendo, Pillsbury, JC Penney, ESPN, Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Total Cereal, Cellular One, Aleve, Cost Plus, Southwestern Bell, California Lottery, Jordache Jeans, Gillette, Lowe’s, Famous Footwear
Music Videos:
Videos with many labels including Atlantic, Warner Brothers, Virgin, EMI, Dreamworks, Sony Music, RCA
Examples:
Carrie Underwood Before he Cheats Longest running number one video on CMT
LeAnn Rimes Wouldn’t Have to be This Way Curb Records
Dierks Bentley Come a Little Closer A and R Records
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Last Goodbye Warner Brothers Records
Alabama I’m in the Mood RCA Records
Vince Gill Next Big Thing MCA Records

Cast and Crew

Directed by:

Myra Paci

Produced by:

Myra Paci

Co-Produced by:

Maris Curran

Margaret Silverman

Written by:

Myra Paci

Co-written by:

River Abeje

Lesley Jones

Liz McBee

Paula Grech

Renee Orozco

Neil Levy

Cinematography by:

John Behrens

Norman Bonney

Jessica Fisher

Carmen Osterlye

Myra Paci

Edited by:

Jen Bradwell

Blake Facente

Music by:

Jerry Kennedy

Todd Boekelheide

Chris Brown

David Bramfitt

Joel Goodman

Sound Recording by:

Alrik Bursell

Darcell Walker

Cast:

Fallopia Minx

Juicy

La Llorona

Mistress Head

Puffbutton

Una Planchette

Liza Malm

Debbie Stein

Ricardo Orozco

Lauren Padilla-Valverde

Blake Padilla

Theresa Pepin

Matthew Hooven

Willa Hooven

Anne Marie Elliot

Polly Lockman

Tom Yeadaker

Nathan Carter

Ruby Carter

Ry Carter

Patrick Fisher

Adriana Furlong

Nora Furlong

Billie Hooven

Lila Jin

Michele Jin

Jenny Lederer

Mabel Lockman-Ferguson

Olivia Martinelli

Mila Matos

Remi Matos

Ava Pearson

Eric Pearson

Mary Ann Pearson

Miles Pearson

Lorenzo Vicisano

Luca Vicisano

Emily Yeadaker

and others who will remain mysterious.

Directed by:

Myra Paci

Produced by:

Myra Paci

Co-Produced by:

Maris Curran

Margaret Silverman

Written by:

Myra Paci

Co-written by:

River Abeje

Lesley Jones

Liz McBee

Paula Grech

Renee Orozco

Neil Levy

Cinematography by:

John Behrens

Norman Bonney

Jessica Fisher

Carmen Osterlye

Myra Paci

Edited by:

Jen Bradwell

Blake Facente

Music by:

Jerry Kennedy

Todd Boekelheide

Chris Brown

David Bramfitt

Joel Goodman

Sound Recording by:

Alrik Bursell

Darcell Walker

Cast:

Fallopia Minx

Juicy

La Llorona

Mistress Head

Puffbutton

Una Planchette

Liza Malm

Debbie Stein

Ricardo Orozco

Lauren Padilla-Valverde

Blake Padilla

Theresa Pepin

Matthew Hooven

Willa Hooven

Anne Marie Elliot

Polly Lockman

Tom Yeadaker

Nathan Carter

Ruby Carter

Ry Carter

Patrick Fisher

Adriana Furlong

Nora Furlong

Billie Hooven

Lila Jin

Michele Jin

Jenny Lederer

Mabel Lockman-Ferguson

Olivia Martinelli

Mila Matos

Remi Matos

Ava Pearson

Eric Pearson

Mary Ann Pearson

Miles Pearson

Lorenzo Vicisano

Luca Vicisano

Emily Yeadaker

and others who will remain mysterious.

Directed by:

Myra Paci

Produced by:

Myra Paci

Co-Produced by:

Maris Curran

Margaret Silverman

Written by:

Myra Paci

Co-written by:

River Abeje

Lesley Jones

Liz McBee

Paula Grech

Renee Orozco

Neil Levy

Cinematography by:

John Behrens

Norman Bonney

Jessica Fisher

Carmen Osterlye

Myra Paci

Edited by:

Jen Bradwell

Blake Facente

Music by:

Jerry Kennedy

Todd Boekelheide

Chris Brown

David Bramfitt

Joel Goodman

Sound Recording by:

Alrik Bursell

Darcell Walker

Cast:

Fallopia Minx

Juicy

La Llorona

Mistress Head

Puffbutton

Una Planchette

Liza Malm

Debbie Stein

Ricardo Orozco

Lauren Padilla-Valverde

Blake Padilla

Theresa Pepin

Matthew Hooven

Willa Hooven

Anne Marie Elliot

Polly Lockman

Tom Yeadaker

Nathan Carter

Ruby Carter

Ry Carter

Patrick Fisher

Adriana Furlong

Nora Furlong

Billie Hooven

Lila Jin

Michele Jin

Jenny Lederer

Mabel Lockman-Ferguson

Olivia Martinelli

Mila Matos

Remi Matos

Ava Pearson

Eric Pearson

Mary Ann Pearson

Miles Pearson

Lorenzo Vicisano

Luca Vicisano

Emily Yeadaker

and others who will remain mysterious.