Peluca, the film that became Napoleon Dynamite

Open Culture has Jared Hess’ Peluca (2002) the short that Jared and Jerusha Hess turned into Napoleon Dynamite (2004). “You could say that Jared and Jerusha Hess got lucky. When first the husband-and-wife team got the chance to make a feature, it turned out to be Napoleon Dynamite, the movie that launched a million ‘VOTE FOR PEDRO’ shirts. But that visually, narratively, and culturally askew tale didn’t emerge fully formed into the theaters. Nor did its title character, an extravagantly nerdy and savagely defensive high-school student in small-town Idaho. Napoleon Dynamite has a predecessor in Peluca, the short film Jared Hess made for an assignment at Brigham Young University’s film school. Napoleon Dynamite himself has a predecessor in Seth, whose curly hair, enormous spectacles, severe awkwardness, and penchant for thrifting and faux cursing will look familiar indeed.”

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