There’s something decidedly Beckettian about this darkly comic piece which gently mocks the horror genre and medium of film in general.
It may be hard to swallow at first, but Rubber‘s plot is centred around a tyre that comes to life and escalates into a callous murderer. Containing this unusual focus within a story of peculiar film-makers presenting their work to a live binocular-wielding audience, Rubber interrogates the way in which we digest cinematic norms and the assumptions we make when processing a narrative.
Too self-evaluative to completely enter parody status, the production acts out the process of film-making as much as the implausible rubber violence. As the on-screen audiences stare – with one boldly declaring ‘I’m not a character. I’m just watching’ – we stop focusing on the special effects and become influenced by the naked eyes of the representational spectators. Similarly, when the on-screen audience interrupt the narrative to offer their own tips and criticism, Rubber delivers a refreshing exploration of SFX and plot development.
The mannerisms attributed to the central object add to this mood of humorous analysis. Reduced down to mere symbol of criminal masculinity, the tyre is made to represent all the desires of a misogynistic villain. Mocking filmic conventions, the tyre is treated with lingering close-ups which play with the male gaze and award the animated inanimate object with the undeniable pronoun, ‘he’.
Quirky, intelligent and light-hearted, Rubber may be obscure but it certainly isn’t ridiculous.
Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC. Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.