As a graduate of film studies, my viewing pleasure has changed to minus “viewing” and adding “analytical” to make it now my viewing analytical. Taking classes on film sucks the fun at watching Michael Bay and Uwe Boll films which is not really a bad thing, but you’re programmed to pick out the flaws in every little detail. One thing we learned in class is that there is a purpose for everything in the mise-en-scene; every street lamp as a purpose so says Alfred Hitchcock. Obviously, these people who expect you to guess the significance of each action and every prop didn’t expect the killer tire film Rubber to ever be created.
Robert wakes up in the desert. He tries to move only to keep falling down. As he eventually gets the hang of it, he crosses paths with various objects and creatures in which he destroys…with his mind. Besides Robert’s murderous telekinetic powers, Robert other’s mysterious issue is that he is also a used vehicle tire. Robert becomes obsessed with a beautiful young woman and won’t stop killing folks until he gets what he wants.
How does that synopsis sound to you folks? This plot sounds just as avant garde as the content of the film itself. At the beginning of the movie, Stephen Spinella’s character Lieutenant Chad explains to the audience, which are also characters in the film, examples of random instances in previous films like Love Story or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He continues to say that these random instances will be in tune in homage form for this in a film film. Lieutenant Chad was correct. Hardly anything made damn sense in Rubber: Robert comes alive for no reason, the audience is there for no reason, the tire is named Robert for no reason, Robert kills little animals for no reason, and so on.
I will tell you all this, Rubber has most likely taken the top spot, overthrowing Scanners, as the best head explosion special effects scene. Trust me, the effects were chunky and gory as well as many examples of head splatting you could probably imagine in one film. Robert’s ability to blow up heads and small animals doesn’t come off as goofy and foolish as one might believe; he may kill animals for no reason, but when he turns his sights on humans, there lies a good reason. Robert is a sensitive rubber tire with feelings and when you degrade him, his actions are heard in a form of telekinetic head explosion. He becomes the star where as Spinella and 80’s action hero star Wings Hauser playing a crippled tough guy spectator are in the shadow of pointlessness in comparison to Robert’s motives.
As much as I want to like Rubber, I can not. The film embarks on a journey of random pointlessness and, for me, I would always see it as if a slasher that just contained kill after kill in each scene with no plot. By now, you know that I’m a reviewing who loves a plot and to have no plot, well, that won’t make much sense to this film studies graduate. On the good side though, the scene of French gal of the 2006 horror flick Sheitan, Roxane Mesquida, showing off her round bottom sure was pleasing.
Rubber was made very well by director Quentin Dupieux. Dupieux made a movie out of nothing, but nothing is usually avant garde with some kind of underlining meaning to it. With Rubber, the reason is just no reason which is all explained upfront making the film very forward before hand. This way you won’t be scratching your head wondering what the hell you just witnessed. The Magnet release of Rubber has been released on Blu-ray and DVD earlier this month.