The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I've been intrigued by the concept of this one for a long time. Our buddy Mr. Gable at Mr. Gable's Reality had mentioned it and gave it a thumbs up, and I saw that it also had DTVC Hall of Famer Wings Hauser, which is always a good thing. Besides, the idea of a campy horror flick about a killer tire is right up my alley.
Rubber is about the making of a film about a killer tire, where an audience in the desert tracks the plot developments from afar with binoculars. From there things go crazy, as our tire, in trying to comprehend his existence, discovers his capacity to destroy, and attempts to make sense of his surroundings through that capacity; and then there's the people making the movie, who need to get rid of the audience so they can stop making the movie.
Let's get one thing straight before I go too far: this is not a campy horror flick. The descriptions on Netflix or whatnot may tell you this is something in The Asylum range, but it isn't. Think more Jean-Luc Godard late 60s French New Wave to the extreme. Or maybe more a parody on that style. I enjoyed it, and it does have some funny gore, but what you're looking at is a tire going through an existentialist crisis, and using that as a vehicle through which to mock various film conventions. In a sense, by poking fun at Godard, director Quentin Dupieux might be embracing him better than anyone who has tried to emulate the great French film maker. Of course, these are all film conversations that don't exactly fit here at the DTVC.
One dude who does fit here is DTVC Hall of Famer Wings Hauser, and he was great. He played an old man in a wheel chair as one of the audience with binoculars, but he's the one that sees something's afoot with the people making the movie. It's not the action packed 80s-90s DTV role we're used to from him, but he's still every bit Wings Hauser, which is all we can ask for. I don't want to get too far into his role, because I don't want to give away too much of the film.
At the very beginning of the film, one of the characters discusses with us and the audience the phenomenon of "No reason". "Why does such and such happen? No reason." The thing is, in a lot of the cases, there is a reason. For instance, he says "why can't we see all the air around us? No reason." Actually, there us a reason, many reasons in fact, but I don't have the science background to say exactly why. Some of the other ones were meant to be ironic, like "why does Adrian Brody's character in The Pianist have to live like a bum when he's a famous piano player? No reason.", and maybe it was that that set the stage for what we were in for more than anything. He said the film is a celebration of that "No reason.", but it appears to have many reasons for being made.
Yes, people's heads explode in this movie, but does that in and of itself make it a horror film? I don't think so. As Americans, that's the best thing we can latch onto as viewers, especially when the rest of the film appears to make no sense. The blood and guts is where we always go first. A comedy is probably a better assessment, and I think we have to take the heads exploding in a comedic vein as well. I don't even know if I'd call this a comedy though, that just feels like the closest fit.
I'm always torn when I review any movies here at the DTVC, between writing about events that I really liked at the expense of giving away parts of the movie, or keeping them to myself and telling you I don't want to give it away. I usually only do the former if the movie is really bad, so I can explain what I didn't like about it-- I've always hated the idea of just saying "this is the worst example of film making ever!", and leaving it at that--, but when I enjoyed it, like this one, I'm afraid of robbing anyone who reads this of that experience. There are so many things I'd like to tell you, but I think you're better off seeing it for yourself.
That is if you still plan on seeing this film upon finding out it isn't a horror film per se. It's currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly for my American readers, and at less that 90 minutes, I'd say it's worth checking out. Think of it more as a spoof on the art house picture than a campy horror flick, and if you go in with that mindset, I think you'll be fine.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1612774/