RUBBER

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

When Robert, a tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession.

 

WHAT WE THOUGHT

Rubber is one part B-movie schlock, one part David Lynch, and one part Hitchcock. On my first watching of the movie, I appreciated its style. The camera angles, the homage to Psycho, the riveting and unnerving sound track were somehow quite effective in producing suspense. Quite remarkable when the serial tire is a generic tire! Juxtaposed against this atmospheric cinematography was a very healthy dose of absurdity and dark humor. This makes for an extremely interesting viewing experience, where the audience switches abruptly from anticipation to laughter to abject confusion.

The movie within the movie begins with a sequence that could have come straight from Leone’s scrapbook. A man lies face down in a desert. Slowly, he rises, and shakes himself off. He staggers along, and falls. He rises again, and continues to stagger on, through the endless desert. Except that the “man” in question is a rubber tire. This is the brilliance of Rubber; that it can appropriate the cinematic language that we are so familiar with, and apply it to situations that cannot be anything but utterly absurd.

Other scenes lift from a variety of sources, including a sequence that takes place in what is clearly the Bates hotel from the original Psycho. For a film that claims to be dedicated to meaninglessness, it is ironic that not a single frame is without a clear purpose. Every shot serves to either ensconce us in the impossible world of a rubber tyre who murders people, or tear us forcibly out of it, as we return repeatedly to the plight of the poor audience, stranded in the desert with no food, and prey to depredations of a murderous cast member, or possibly character. It’s never clear whether the antagonist is an actor who wants to stop playing his role.

The DVD comes with featurettes, interviews and camera tests. Basically, the director has allowed the studio to help show how an intense horror film about the tenacity of a killer tire was created. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for DVD, but it lacks the visual punch-up that comes with a 1080p transfer. The Dolby 5.1 track is strong, but falls very flat in the back channels. But, I guess that you don’t get a surround experience with your killer tire movies. I’d recommend a cautious purchase.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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