Monday, June 13, 2011

RUBBER


Quentin Dupieux, 2010
Starring: Stephen Spinella, Roxanne Mesquida, Jack Plotnick, Haley Ramm, Wings Hauser

I saw this late last year at the Philadelphia Film Festival and haven't gotten a chance to write about it yet, mostly because I'm lazy. If Rubber comes your way any time soon, you owe it to yourself to see it immediately. Part horror, part comedy, part absurdist wonder, Rubber is another reminder that French horror film has a prominent place in contemporary horror cinema for a very good reason -- though this film certainly won't please everyone.

Yes, the rumors are true. It's a movie about a killer tire who becomes self-aware and uses its new found psychic powers to do away with some unassuming citizens in a small desert town. What's particularly crazy about this is that the movie is incredibly meta-theatrical. An "audience" comes along to watch the events unfold. They are given a limited amount of food and some binoculars. They camp out in the desert to watch the tire roll around and do its dirty work. The film jumps back and forth between the tire and the audience, eventually uniting the two.

Somehow this received negative criticism at Cannes. It did much better at Fantasia and Toronto's After Dark festival -- to no one's great surprise -- and I'm pretty sure it belonged at a genre festival in the first place. If you're dying to see it and it isn't coming to a festival near you any time soon, you're in luck. It was picked up by Magnet Releases for DVD distribution and will be out in time for an early June release on DVD and Blu-ray. Edit: here it is!

Sure, I've talked to people who didn't really like Rubber, but I'm convinced that none of them have a sense of humor. I thought it was a breath of fresh air and borrowed some great elements from '70s exploitation cinema, while also containing some great death scenes and wonderful comic moments. Basically, if you crack up every time you see Evil Dead II, definitely check this out.

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