I wrote this review a little while ago. Three weeks ago in fact. I was waiting for The405 to put it live before I posted it on here, but those boys have been busy. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this film for a while, and was even more excited to write about it.
Sometimes the unexplainable can make perfect sense. Such as a film about a tyre. Who just happens to be a serial killer. With telepathic powers. It’s a story that seems completely plausible when you consider it’s from the mind of a French electro producer who turned an orange puppet into household name 10 years ago.
Rubber was written, directed, shot and edited by Quentin Dupieux, otherwise known as Mr Oizo. This is his second feature film after 2007’s Steak, also the title of his second album, but he collaborated with the French duo Justice for this genre-blurring soundtrack. While Rubber states its intention as the ‘homage to no reason’, Dupieux is quick to celebrate and perhaps unwittingly mock the horror thriller genre, from the gory prosthetics to the tension filled shower scenes. It is well researched and as beautifully put together as a real homage should be, giving the impression that it could have been made 20 years ago.
The ‘film’ is introduced by a cop (Steven Spinella) to an audience in the middle of the Californian desert. From their less-than-leafy confines they watch Robert – a tyre – arise from the sand like a rubberised Frankenstein. The audience continue to watch in amazement as he first tramples and then explodes anything that crosses his way. When Robert’s attentions turn towards beautiful young woman (Roxanne Mesquida), the audience discovers the tyre isn’t the only one with murderous tendencies.
While it is a short feature running at 1.25, it does start to tire (ahem) towards the end, as the dialogue is predictably minimal and there isn’t enough road kill in the desert. There is enough movie trivia and a spectator/spectacle subtext to keep cult film fanatics jabbering in the pub for an evening, but it may leave the average joe a bit Lynch-faced. But keep with it, as the ending has a head-spinning twist.