I invited all my friends over to my house for a Rubber party and no one came. In retrospect, I don’t think this is due to my lack of popularity or my poor hygiene, but I am working on those just in case. Rather, I feel the attendance issues were due to a misunderstanding — I should have been more specific that this was for a screening of the new independent “horror” movie Rubber, about a killer tire. Yes, that some, old, tired story.
No joke, the movie follows a discarded tire that becomes self-aware in the desert. It learns to walk — er, roll, rather — and forages for sustenance. It becomes vindictive, murdering harmless rabbitswith its telekinetic powers that allows it to make things heads explode. A careless driver runs the tire off the road, and then the tire kills him. The tire begins to stalk a pretty girl (Roxane Mesquida). The tire even gets a hotel room and watches hula girls on TV. It takes a shower. It kills the cleaning lady who throws him out. It flashes back to its origins. There’s a massive tire-hunt for this killer as the spree spreads.
As we watch Rubber, we are watching through the eyes of a bunch of a group of unrelated “spectators” who watch the tire through binoculars and comment like they are watching a weird film. One of the characters tries to kill the spectators so the events in the film will stop because it’s not real if they are dead. Or something.
Rubber is a weird film. I’ll call it avant garde. Now I’ll look up the word “avant garde” at Dictionary.com. Yup, avant garde is the right word.
1. the advance group in any field, especially in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods.
Is Rubber a good film? Nah. It’s not a campy b-movie like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, it’s trying to be high art and make some bizarre statement about reality voyeurism or tire safety. It’s full of bizarre ponderings (“Don’t you think it’s strange we can’t see the air around us?”) and has its tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Rubber never really finds a tone. It thinks just because it’s offbeat and quirky people will like it.
I watched the film with a sort-of half smile, like when someone starts telling a long story and you hope it’s going somewhere. You smile, expecting the story to have a point or a punch line, but it just keeps going and going and going. It’s like a bad Norm MacDonald bit sans punchline. There is no point, at least none worth wasting a second trying to figure out.
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