From “Spy Kids” to “Sin City,” filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is known for his all-encompassing production method and aesthetically flamboyant style, traits that only the most seasoned of directors hope to gain after decades of work. But Robert Rodriguez’ 1991 short film “Bedhead” proves he’s had the same flair since day one.
Starring Rodriguez’ younger siblings, “Bedhead” follows a young girl named Rebecca and her ongoing squabbles with her rowdy older brother, David, and his unruly bedhead. After receiving telekinetic powers following a slight head injury, Rebecca vows to end David’s bedhead once and for all. Another bump to the head makes her a “straight-thinking kid again,” and she promises to never abuse use her newfound powers again (but the dazed and wary David remains unconvinced.)
Though the plot is less eccentric than his more recent work, the undercurrents of Rodriguez’ signature style are clear – cartoonish sound effects and the use of sped-up and stop motion footage give the lighthearted short an air of cinematic expertise. “Bedhead” was shot on black and white 16mm film while Rodriguez was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, and its success at numerous film festivals helped fund his debut feature, “El Mariachi.” Check it out below.