Director – Quentin Dupieux
Cast – Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida, Ethan Cohn, Charley Koontz, Daniel Quinn, Devin Brochu, Hayley Holmes, Haley Ramm, Cecelia Antoinette, David Bowe, Remy Thorne
Release Year – 2011
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I had to wait a long while since the film’s September 10, 2010 debut at Austin’s Fantastic Fest to get my hands on this one, and after finally giving the film a watch I can say it is every bit as unique and innovative as I expected it to be. Never in my life have I viewed nor even heard of a film involving a killer tire, but Rubber delivers such a plot and with fun and gory results, making this awesome flick one of the most creative horror films I have ever seen.
Robert, an inanimate tire of unknown brand, one day inexplicably awakes from his slumber and discovers he has the ability to use telekinesis. Frustrated with the world he lives in, he practices his brain-splattering telekinesis on native animals in the area and soon makes his way to a small desert town in search of a young woman who caught his attention. Soon after entering the town Robert’s temper and murderous antics catch up to him, prompting the local police force to track down the town’s one and only killer…a tire.
The plot sounds unreal, but it isn’t. From the get-go we are thrown into this awesome plot with a captivating introduction that is only made even more awesome when Robert awakens and rumbles around the desert blowing up animals until he makes his way to the city, where humans who mistakenly cross his path become his new victims. The usage of Robert is pretty straightforward, consisting of him making his way about town and blowing people up, and for the most part it worked for me as I would expect no more from a plot about a killer tire. However this seemingly simple film is not so simple as it consists of pretty much two interchangeable plots going on, one following Robert and the other dealing with a movie being filmed…about Robert. The second plot was a bit odd to me, and it never fully developed as to why it was even necessary for inclusion into the film, although I would not regard it as a complete waste of time. While the overall story is a cool one it eventually looses steam during the latter half of the film, and much like the second plot it never fully developed into a truly solid watch for me. Running just under 80 minutes including credits, it could be that there simply was not enough room for scenes that would turn this film into a more cohesive piece, but it is what it is and the film admittedly suffered faults in its story despite a strong claim of how some things are simply done for “no reason”, which could be the inception behind Rubber.
Writer/director Quentin Dupieux did a fantastic job selling this film with his superb direction, which included supreme awesomeness in the execution of Robert. While reading on this film it seems every single viewer has asked the question “how the hell did he do that?”, including myself. What seemed like seemingly impossible scenes were made possible by Dupieux’s innovative filming techniques, which are best learned of after the film, not before or during the experience. As far as human characters go his execution is quite quirky, which is expected given the film’s nature, and I think it worked well also. We are given many awesome death scenes, and while some consisted of CGI gore there was a fair amount of live-action FX as well, making for some truly hilarious kill sequences in this truly memorable film.
Overall, Rubber is a fun watch that gives us a storyline you are guaranteed to have never seen before in the genre. While the story is unique and consists of many awesome elements it does fall flat at times and will take a forgiving viewer to see it as well as I did. However, Quentin Dupieux’s direction is fantastic and is guaranteed to leave you marveling at how he attained the awesome usage of an inanimate tire as a killer, and gives us plenty of scenes of killer tire carnage to enjoy.