‘Acid Test’ is a trip back to the ’90s through the eyes of a teen redefining her identity

The film was shot in Houston and features Texas-based riot grrrl and punk bands.

By Laura RiceOctober 20, 2021 11:16 am, , ,

As a teenager in the 1990s, Jenny Waldo discovered her own feminism through riot grrrl music. She also experimented a little with drugs. Her own experiences inspired her feature film “Acid Test“. Waldo shot the movie in her current hometown of Houston. It’s showing for the first time in theaters at the Austin Film Festival, before a screening through the Houston Cinema Arts Society.

Courtesy Acid Test

“I was really inspired by riot grrrl music … and I was really inspired by this struggle of a femalehood and kind of what that meant. And I had always struggled a bit myself with my own gender identity. … I liked a lot of different things, and I felt somewhat prescribed by this idea of what a girl or a woman should be.”


“And Riot Grrrl was this very angry, feminist punk music that just felt like such a release and a reflection of what I was feeling inside.”


“When I was casting… I really wanted to make sure that I kept the kind of immigrant profile because that was such a huge part of my family experience, with my mother being an immigrant. But I didn’t care necessarily about it being an immigrant from Eastern Europe or kind of replicating exactly what that looked like. … So as I was casting and just being very kind of open. … I just kind of fell in love with Mia Ruiz, who plays the mother in both the short and the feature. And she has a Mexican heritage. And so I worked really hard with my production designer from the short, who was of Mexican descent and a friend of mine, as well as my actors, to really make sure that whatever was my story could remain authentic, but that we made sure that it also kind of bridged and was authentic for, you know, this Latinx experience as well.”


“I’m just so excited to see what other people think about it, whether it helps them feel like they find their voice or a call to action and to use it for the greater good.”

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