DVD Review: Rubber

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount Sunday, 08 May 2011

DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

Rubber. Stop sniggering at the back…  According to the DVD cover blurb Rubber is “the best killer tyre movie you’ll ever see” and, frankly, who are we to disagree? Understandably bypassing your friendly neighbourhood Cineplex and making its way straight to DVD, Rubber, directed by  Quentin Dupieux (who in a former life was the electro-pop monster known as Mr Oizo whose gift to the musical world was the staggeringly-irritating Flat Beat a few years ago) is a film which has enormous affectations towards artiness with its surreal sense of knowing self-awareness but is, when all’s said and done, a movie about a tyre which comes to life and blows up people’s heads. Rubber isn’t concerned with explaining exactly how this happens; it just does. For no reason.

The tyre - known as ‘Robert’ - heaves itself out of the dust and trundles across a barren mid-West landscape blowing up birds, rabbits and eventually the odd human. This uncharacteristic behaviour is viewed from a distance by a random group of observers who watch the action as it’s a slowly-unfolding film and they’re the audience. Add to the mix the local Sheriff (Spinella) addressing you at home about classic films where important plot points happen “for no reason” and it’s hard not to come to the conclusion either that Dupieux is aware that the film’s conceit is so utterly absurd and that it’s best to subvert the whole thing with some knowing self-modernism or that there’s a bit too much clever padding designed to bulk out a brief running time. But the main attraction is always Robert and his cheeky behaviour. As well as vibrating alarmingly and turning people’s heads to mush, Robert takes a shower, goes for a dip in a hotel pool, watches TV (motor racing, of course!) and, rather ungallantly, spies on a naked lady in the bathroom. Shame on you, Robert!

It’s not been a good year (what?) for horror films so if you’re tyred (ahem) of samey slasher flicks and vapid vampire movies, Rubber at least tries to bring something new to the horror table even if it’s just too silly to carry it off. Tread carefully (ouch) when approaching Rubber because, despite its pretensions, it’s wheely (stop it now) just a B movie with ideas way above its station.

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0 #1 B-Stank 2011-05-16 20:27
Taking it for what it was (a goofy entertainer), I liked it. I thought the sheriff was hilarious.

Plus, being a fan of exploding heads, this film had plenty to offer! But the story is probably more suitable as a "short" not a full length feature.

Great review!!

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