08 July 2011

Movies: Rubber

Rubber (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1612774/

Indie Comedy / Horror. A sort of revenge horror flick, I suppose.

Robert is a tire laying in a junk pile in the middle of the desert. Robert picks himself up and, after a few wobbly attempts, finally starts rolling along on his own. He encounters a plastic water bottle and tentatively rolls over it. It makes a nice crackly sound as he crushes it. He encounters a scorpion, rolls over it, nice crackly sound. He encounters a beer bottle. No nice crackly sound. Robert gets angry, shakes, and the bottle shatters. Robert encounters a rabbit, shakes, rabbit explodes. Robert discovered he has psychic powers of destruction. He sees a pretty young brunette drive past him in her car, he stops her car. He seems enamored with her. As he's rolling up to the car a man driving a truck hits him, releasing his hold. She continues on into town. Robert recovers, follows the road into town, and explodes the truck driver's head.

Yes - the film is about a rubber tire that has psychic powers and goes on a rampage exploding the heads of people that anger him. But that isn't all. There are spectators. Spectators in the middle of the desert with binoculars and watching the film unfold. Those spectators represent us, the viewers. In actuality - during the opening sequence one of the characters pretty much breaks the fourth wall and makes a long speech telling us, the viewer, exactly what sort of film we will be watching. We are returned to the spectators from time to time during the film to remind us of that.  By constantly breaking the wall between the spectators and what they are watching they continue to include the viewing audience as a participant. There's even times when I, as a viewer, was about to gripe about something, then the film cut to the spectators and they voiced it. Which tells me the film maker knew exactly what he was doing to his audience.

A mix of bad to okay acting, a mix of a few lesser-known actors you may have seen in other films and complete unknowns. The rolling tire effects are actually accomplished well. Technically the film is put together well, especially considering the budget and equipment used.

It is a low-budget revenge horror film that is an amusing commentary on low-budget revenge horror films and, to a lesser extent, a commentary on the people that watch them. There can't be any surprises because they explicitly tell you up front exactly what the movie is, then they do it. Heck - just watch the trailer. That's a good summary of the film. In the full feature a little more exposition that takes place, and it has more scenes and you see the spectators, but the whole of the movie is basically more of what you see in the trailer.

But it does have its charm, when you view it with the right frame of mind. I did like it in some fashion, it has its amusing moments, but I would never be one to claim it's a brilliant must-see film.  It's still better than Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.  The longer I reflect on the film, the more I like it. It's a grower. Weird.

I mean, come on, it's a tire. With psychic powers. It kills people. What level of entertainment expectation can you have with a premise like that? Just enough for me, apparently.

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