They say that variety is the spice of life. In a continuing attempt to embrace that variety here with One Movie Each Day, I’ve decided to dedicate each Wednesday review to the stranger side of cinema, the type of movies that I’d never normally watch, but that I’m kind of secretly glad exist. In celebration or in condemnation of the eccentric, the odd, the freaky, the kinky, the ghastly, the freaky, the fearful, the flaky, and the freaky and as part of my 13 Days of Halloween movie series , I now present this the ninth and perhaps weirdest yet installment of Wednesday Weirdness.
I’ve watched some strange movies for this series, but today’s entry is right up near the very top of the weirdness scale. There’s no question that today’s movie, Rubber is a weird one. Here’s the official description: “A homicidal car tire comes to life possessing the terrifying psychic ability to explode people’s heads at will, and goes on a rampage through the desert.” And that, indeed is exactly what this film is about. However, that’s not all it’s about. It’s also about this weird meta-fictional “film” within the film, where a group of people are gathered in the desert watching the events involving the killer tire through binoculars and acting as if they were watching a movie. Then there are other characters, like the Sheriff investigating the tire killings, who are fully aware that they are within the movie that the observers are watching, and that they only have to continue until all the observers are dead. Which is apparently necessary because the movie about the tire that they are in has no ending. There is also some unseen and only vaguely alluded to “master” who’s sending instructions to the people facilitating the observers, and possibly behind the whole thing. I’m not sure I’m doing a great job of explaining all this, but frankly, I’m also not sure that it’s even possible to do a good job of explaining all this. It’s all very weird.
So the film is simultaneously a ridiculous, campy “monster” movie, and a even more ridiculous parody/meta-commentary on campy monster movies. On the whole, it just doesn’t work. The film tries to be both scary and funny, and winds up being neither. There’s some potential in the premise but its not realized here, instead it becomes tired after about 40 minutes, unfortunately the movie is 83 minutes long. It might have been possible to make a pretty decent short, campy horror movie about a killer tire. That might have been fun enough to be worth seeing. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of that movie. Instead we get this bizarre pile of junk, with layer upon layer of half-thought-ideas heaped upon the screen. As movies go Rubber is definitely weird, but it’s definitely not worth seeing.