Art and horror collide in Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, a clever and uniquely interesting “f*ck you” to Hollywood.
The film opens with a car driving towards a group of people, and as it approaches, it veers left and right knocking down a bunch of chairs littered across the dirt. The car parks and out from the trunk comes the narrator. He talks about film, and asks the audience why things are the way they are in movies (“Why is E.T. gray?” he rants. “Why doesn’t anyone stop to wash their hands in Texas Chainsaw Massacre?”). The answer: No reason.
In an exercise in filmmaking (directing a movie without the intent on making money; the biggest f*ck you to Hollywood), Rubber takes the simple concept of “no reason” and attempts to tell an engaging, one-of-a-kind story.
This bizarre black comedy horror is completely self-aware, combining never-before-seen narration with a cute, yet terrifying narrative story about a tire that likes to kill…for no reason. Manned with a pair of binoculars, the narrators watch the same thing that the audience is shown: the life and death of a serial killer tire. A tire wakes in the desert sun only to learn that it has the ability to blow things up with its new-found psychic ability. Bottles explode, birds pop, and human heads splatter across windshields. It’s funny, gory and downright INSANE.
Rubber’s biggest accomplishment isn’t that it’s weird, it’s that it’s visually striking; like true art, it’s a story told with pictures, not words. The tire doesn’t talk or breathe yet Dupieux gives life to this inanimate object. You can tell it has thoughts, feelings, and desires (watching it play peeping tom with a girl in the shower is hilarious).
The biggest challenge Rubber presents is daring you to get your jaw off the ground. It’s a triumph of filmmaking that earns the right to be a pretentious prick. Most of Hollywood is all talk and no do; Dupieux came, saw and conquered. Hollywood better watch out.