Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Quentin Dupieux
Rubber made big waves among hardcore fans just a few short years ago. It’s been called everything from original to insane. I can definitely confirm that it is indeed original and insane. In fact, it’s preposterous, unfathomable, and well, quite humorous in a remarkably quirky way.
Here’s the gist: A homicidal tire roams rural roads and destroys all living things from scorpions to humans. I wasn’t aware rubber had such complex capacities either, but what the hell, there’s something to enjoy here.
What’s really fun about the film is the openly satirical mood that Quentin Dupieux, and the man’s understanding that this pic could not have taken itself too seriously. That would have exterminated everything that is great about this film. It’s really rather simple, sometimes horror is about fun, fear, laughs and nothing more. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Some of the sequences you’ll see unravel over the course of Rubber’s very brief 82 minute run time seem profoundly nonsensical. They’re supposed to. They’re just scenes designed to stimulate the mind and, Dupieux’s self-aware approach empowers the film as a whole. Rubber knows what it is, and what it wants to be. Does that mean it’s going to work for every viewer out there? No. But fans of the really strange and original should find this indie offering surprisingly engaging.
Don’t look for anything amazing in the performance department. The flick’s actual people are just living backdrops. The tire absorbs the full focus, and while that probably shouldn’t work at all, it does, in a trippy, artsy kind of way. Rubber is wildly strange with just enough endearing exploitation to lure in curious viewers, and the truth is, we don’t really need any major players in front of the camera. Somehow, Dupieux has created a tire with enough of the old it factor to hold the attention. Some will agree, and happily hop on for the ride, and some will welcome a pass. It’s just that kind of movie. Personally, I think it works.