There’s an episode of Family Guy where Stephen King is meeting with his agent. He’s looking around the desk madly. “What about…a pencil sharpener is possessed by evil spirits and starts killing people?” “You’re not even trying anymore are you,” deadpans his agent.
Rubber is a film about a car tire that inexplicably comes to life, works out that it can make people spontaneously combust and goes on a murderous rampage. We’ve had Christine, Chucky, reanimated dead animals, so why not a tire?
Sure it’s stupid. A little bit strange, but that’s not all.
There’s also a few other elements and they’re all equally odd, all quirky attempts to subvert cinema and stretch its boundaries. For instance there’s the presence of the Greek chorus, seemingly outside of the narrative, watching through binoculars and commenting on events. Then even that’s subverted. Later some of the characters break down the fourth wall, referring explicitly to the film, joyfully exposing its artificially. Almost every image is surreal. It feels like these images are equally as important as narrative. In Rubber weirdness reigns. In Rubber weirdness is normal.
It’s the debut film from quirky electronic artist Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr Oizo, and to be honest it’s wronger, weirder and much more inventive than most folks who have been in the business for years. It misses as much as it hits, but it’s fun, absurd, and silly. But then if you think about it so is cinema. So why hide it?