Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida, Wings Hauser
Review by Brian M. Sammons
When this film begins a car drives through the desert, knocking over chairs as it goes. When it stops, a cop gets out of the trunk, the driver hands him a full glass of water, and then the policeman address the audience directly, breaking the fourth wall. He then goes on a long monolog about how all movies have elements of “no reason” in them before getting back in the car’s trunk and driving away. Thus begins an 83 minute exploration of things happening for … you guessed it … no reason. And by that I mean a group of people in the desert using binoculars to watch a film about a tire that comes to life, starts rolling around on its own and blowing people’s heads up with its psychic powers. And well, that’s all there is to the story. The tire rolls here and there and occasionally takes a shower, people’s heads go boom in gory glory, the fourth wall is continually shattered, and more strange, odd, and completely WTF moments happen per minute here than in any other movie I can remember.
Now I love strange movies, and a film about a living, breathing (yes, it breathes, not to mentions sleeps) psycho killer tire is about as strange as it comes, but Rubber is a one joke film and even though it’s not even an hour and a half in length, it starts to feel a little long around the halfway mark. Just watching the tire roll around and kill folks isn’t enough substance to fill up a feature length movie.
Sure there are a bunch of characters, but none of them are ever fleshed out past the stock cardboard cutout stage, and most just serve to be victims of the tire’s rolling wrath. Yes, there are some good head blowing up scenes, lots of silly bits of “huh?” that will make you giggle, and even some T&A for the audience (both the in movie audience and those out of the movie) to enjoy, but that’s it. It’s weird solely for the sake of being weird and I honestly don’t know if writer/director Quentin Dupieux first had the idea of wanting to make a movie about a killer tire, or he wanted to make the strangest film imaginable and only later came up with the idea of using a sentient tire as the lead. Whatever came first, the idea works, but only for so long.
The Blu-ray from Magnolia’s Magnet home video arm does make the movie look a lot better than any film about a killer tire should. I mean you just haven’t seen a tire rolling around until you’ve seen it in High-def. Unfortunately the extras on this disc are only so-so. There’s no commentary track and if ever there was a film that could have used one, it’s Rubber. There is an interview with the director and three more with three of the actors, although sadly no one thought to interview the tire. There are some camera tests, a trailer, and a short HDNet behind the scenes look at the movie but that’s it for the goodies, folks. So it’s not a completely barebones release, but it is far from stuffed with extras.
Rubber is a fun, goofy, and dare I say even zany flick that I enjoyed quite a lot, but I do think it would have worked better as a short film rather than a feature. That said, it is certainly worth a watch and I guarantee you won’t see another movie like it … well, ever.