Isaacs Picture Conclusions

RUBBER (2010) FIVE TOP HATS

(retro post #2 – Good People – this movie is FANTASTIC!! Well, I guess this might be kind of polarizing if you’re really into mainstream stuff, but this is a big FUCK YOU to Hollywood type of movies. I can’t even believe how much I liked this…)

Well – this is really one of those movies that you’re either going to LOVE or HATE. This is a story (and a story within a story) about a TIRE (named Robert) who comes to life and realizesthat it / he has telekinetic powers which he uses to destroy small animals and blow the heads of human beings to pieces in beautiful, GORY detail. Also within, is a side story about a couple of the characters that know they are actors in a movie: one of them a deputy and the other the accountant for the movie production. As well, we have the audience of the feature watching everything unfold out on a hill and commenting on the production throughout. I was completely surprised by how much I liked this movie, especially the end, and I had no idea how bloody this thing was going to be – but I loved it. This whole movie is nothing but hilarious satire, making fun of itself and the big Hollywood movie productions (which the end vaguely hints at – but you’ll get it). Also – it’s nothing but a big Fuck You to the billion dollar productions dicks like Michael Bay put out, or the Saw franchise. Bravo RUBBER!

This is the story, filled with spoilers. The movie starts off with a prologue that a lot of people will dislike and likely cause them to turn this off. The sheriff character emerges from a trunk of a car in the middle of the desert and explains that life is full of “no reason” and the movie you’re about to watch celebrates the “no reason of life”. When you think the credits are going to roll, the camera pans and this guy wasn’t really addressing you, but about twenty average joes who are there to watch the movie unfold in the valley below them. The accountant character gives the crowd binoculars and then the credits roll. As the meat of the movie fires up, the audience is looking all around trying to find the action with comments of “this movie sucks” or “this is stupid” until we eventually wind up in a junk yard where a Tire comes to life. Just like in a big time movie, the protagonist staggers up, stumbles around in the dirt until he finally gets his “legs” and starts rolling around the sands. First he encounters a water bottle which he rolls over and then crushes a scorpion, establishing his destructive desires. Soon he comes across a beer bottle that he can’t break with his weight and, subsequently, his telekinetic powers are discovered; he starts to shudder and the music THWUB WUB WUBS and the beer bottle explodes. Now that that good fun is established,the next victims are: a tin can, a crow and a rabbit. At this, the audience up on the hill is getting into the movie thinking it might actually be cool.

Eventually Robert finds himself on a highway facing a stalled VW Rabbit with a good looking Mexican girl inside. As he is shuddering and THWUB WUB WUBBING he is knocked out of the middle of the road by a passing pickup truck and the VW speeds away. I’ll very happily say that the driver of the pickup becomes the first human victim with the exploded head and, eventually, Robert tracks down the woman at a local Motel. Here, I believe, the tire falls in love with the mystery woman and, as things unfold, more and  more people start to die. Later, as night falls one evening and Robert is watching TV, the accountant character (also at the Motel) gets a call from his evil overlord he calls “Master” (I assume the head of the production company of the movie) with some cryptic instructions.  The next morning the accountant shows up on the hill with a bag of turkey which the starving audience ravages. Soon enough, the cops arrive to investigate a headless cleaning lady and Robert stalks his mystery lady to the pool.  In the midst of the deputy’s interrogation of the Motel manager, his wristwatch goes off and he calls a halt to the whole movie production. Why? Because it’s been six hours and the audience on the hill is dead from eating poisoned turkey – time for everyone in the production to go home.

But the movie doesn’t stop yet – apparently a man in a wheelchair at the top of the mountain (Wings Hauser – you’ll know him if you see him) didn’t eat the turkey after all so the show must go on, despite a script or plot – this development is very funny. The next thirty minutes or so are very entertaining to me (especially the melancholy tire-burning Robert witnesses) until the climax when, the frustrated deputy character has had enough,  shoots the tire with a shotgun and throws it at the disabled man’s wheelchair. That’s a wrap! Wait – no! Robert is reincarnated as a tricycle and is out for revenge – a huge poke at needless and wasteful sequels.

So there you have it – it looks like they had a lot of fun making it – and I had a lot of fun watching it! But – maybe this is not for you.

14 comments

  1. goregirl

    I passed up the chance to see Rubber at the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival. I ended up renting it and really enjoyed it. I’m sorry I didn’t see it on the big screen with an audience. Just today I seen a trailer for Dupieux’s Wrong, which looks like it might be some wacky fun.

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  2. GaryLee828

    Yeah, I didn’t really like this one all that much; i was pretty bored, honestly. I did like the ending as the tricycle and gang of tires look to invade Hollywood. I didn’t pick up on as much as the satire as you did – probably b/c as I watched I was a little tired, so wasn’t paying as much attention as maybe I needed to. As bored as I was, I still appreciate a writer/director’s approach to making something creative and unique, so for that reason I can’t be too down on it. Maybe I will try to re-watch one day and pick up on some of the metaphors and symbolism. I will look into that “Wrong” film above poster mentioned, and see if that’s worth a watch.

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    • theipc

      I can see that. This one’s not going to be for everyone. Hey – if you didn’t like this I don’t think you’ll like WRONG at all – plus it’s kind of hard to find and you probably won’t want to waste your money on it.

      That being said – it’s one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

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  3. Cassiel

    I think it’s fair you know that this movie is an allegory about the fall of an angel (ophan or galgal, also called Wheels) related to Lucifer, king of Tyre, Watchers (spectators), a member of the Choir/warrior angel (“Classically Trained” hat) seeking just to retire and maybe just to watch, the relation between the surreal/simulation theory/film experience and how it applies to life, reincarnation, and the fall of other angels seeking to destroy what would keep them in a world of illusion or subservience, even making others amnesic. It’s not “no reason” as in none at all, but as in bad reason (lust and anger at being incarnated in a displeasing form), and being terrible to the audience, because they (Hollywood or the “elites”) only want your money and attention for a short time until they can get rid of you, and not to give you time/money back. Even not being able to eat without dying is related to Persephone’s story in the underworld, where she had to stay/remain dead forever, which is obviously preferred by somewhat forced actors that realize they’re actors, if she ate even a single pomegranate seed. I suggest you watch it again with this in mind, and learn not to be angry or impatient from this fun movie. It is more fun when you don’t know, though.

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