Why would anybody make a movie about an inanimate serial killing tire with crazy telepathic powers? No reason. The no reason idea is the entire concept behind Quentin Dupieux’s, aka Mr. Oizo’s, latest film, RUBBER. If this is the first time you are hearing about Rubber then I can only assume you’ve read the first sentence at least four times to make sure that you weren’t tripping when you read it.
The story of this 85 minute comedy/horror/drama is about Robert, a tire that has been left in the desert and somehow comes to life. After shaking the sand off of his treads, Robert begins to wander the desert and comes to the realization that he has telepathic powers that enable him to blow things up. Starting with bottles, cans and working his way up to rabbits, crows and eventually humans, Robert leaves a wake of destruction everywhere he goes and becomes the first ever tire serial killer. While all of this is happening there is a group of people who watch all this from a distance. They are the audience, and it is really like a movie inside of a movie where we watch what they watch. Anything that happens in this movie pretty much happens for no reason and, like I said, is the concept that is explored throughout the film.
Quite possibly one of the most unique films I’ve ever seen, Rubber actually ended up being pretty entertaining despite how boring it may have been at times. I mean, let’s be honest, there are only so many human heads that can explode before the joke runs stale. What really made this film was Robert’s escapades, like when he would just be chilling on a chair watching NASCAR or when someone disrespected him and you saw that “oh no you didn’t” moment in the way he rolled. Ohh Robert you good ol’ tire.
As for the acting, the main actors in the film were actually pretty entertaining, especially since I barely knew any of them so that was a nice surprise-they added a lot of comedic relief to some of the lulling moments. Rubber also features B-movie legend Wings Hauser (Death Street USA) which was a nice surprise for fans of genre films like myself.
You may be wondering about the effects in the film and I tell you now, they weren’t bad at all. Much of the tire rolling was by hand and then a little bit was remote control but overall they did a great job capturing the rolling escapades of Robert (you can watch the Q&A HERE). The exploding heads were solid as well. That was the extent of the effects.
The one truly horrible thing about this film is the runtime. It was 85 minutes which is about 15 to 20 minutes longer than it should be. The ending was set up perfectly and then totally screwed itself when it kept going, kind of like the ending of LOTR: The Return of the King. So be prepared to get a bit anxious when you see the film.
Quentin Dupieux has managed to do what no man has done before, make you fear the wrath of a rubber tire. I almost feel as if he watched Dane Cook’s tire skit and thought to himself “yes! That’s my next movie, a tire that can kill people by hitting them in the head!”
Overall, RUBBER was an interesting experiment that, for the most part, was pretty successful and will generally please genre fans around the world. While definitely not for everyone, I think everyone should see it because it’s about a tire that kills people for absolutely no reason (until the end) and you just don’t really come across something like that every day.
Rubber is being distributed by Magnet Releasing and will be released on VOD on February 25th and will be in theaters on April 1st.
Rating: A mind-blowing rubber sh*t show that’ll leave you in wonder and awe…literally