Monday, October 29, 2012

The Third Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #5: Rubber

Believe me when I tell you that Rubber is one of the weirdest movies I've seen, probably ever.  It is so strange that the main premise - a psychokinetic car tire who rolls into town and blows up people's heads - is not the weirdest part about it.

The main storyline: somewhere out in the California desert, a junk tire comes to life, pulling itself out of the sand. As it rolls towards civilization, it displays a certain amount of belligerence, crushing crushable things in its path like plastic water bottles and scorpions.  When it comes up against something it can't crush (a glass bottle), it becomes enraged and manifests a psychokinetic power, breaking the bottle with its will.  It escalates from there (tin can, bunny-rabbit, crow, redneck truck driver's head), exploding everyone who tries to thwart its desires.

The extra weirdness: there is a framing story around the tire's story, sort of.  A group of volunteers are brought out to the desert and given binoculars so they can watch the tire, like a movie.  The cop investigating the tire's rampage is in on the joke, that the tire's story is a movie, until it isn't any more and he has to investigate the tire for real.  Then the guy running the focus group starves the people watching the tire, and then kills them with a poison-laced turkey carcass.

It just gets more absurd from there, breaking the fourth wall with abandon and usually providing the characters with little or no motivation for the things they do.  And yet, most bizarrely of all, I enjoyed the movie enough to see it through to its run-of-the-mill conclusion - which is much more mainstream than the craziness that precedes it.  I think it would have worked better as a short film (only 85 minutes as it is) because the conceit gets a little tiresome, but if you're in the mood for something completely weird, Rubber has your number.  Plus the exploding heads are pretty good.

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