The Short List: "Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell" (1996, dir. Rian Johnson)

The Short List: “Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell”

Golf balls, man.
The Short List: "Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell" (1996, dir. Rian Johnson)

Leave it to Rian Johnson—a filmmaker whose smarts seep through the thickest of material—to successfully craft a story about a demonic golf ball torturing a young hooligan out of his wits. 

His nine-minute student short, Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell, could very well function solely as a reel of what he can do as a filmmaker. Shooting in 18mm B&W film, Johnson pulls tightly wound sequences and imagery, all anchored around the zany premise of a sentient evil golf ball.

In ditzier heads, the film’s off-kilter charm would easily fizz out. Johnson, luckily, is able to isolate and hone in on the pathos of a young crook committing murder the first time from the absurdity of his unlikely nemesis. This resoluteness becomes even more apparent in his recent works, in the way he tackles the space opera in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the way he subverts the whodunit in last year’s Knives Out.

It’s clear that Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell is one of those precious shorts that map its filmmaker’s positively crazy antics. I’m glad it’s up online (via Dust) for everyone to see, including toxic Star Wars fans.

Watch the full short by hitting the “play” button above. Or by using the embedded video below.


The Short List is our running list of noteworthy short features available online. Each week, we recommend a short film worth watching. 

Click here to see the full list of short films—you can also submit your own.

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