Rubber (2010 film)
French release poster
|Directed by||Quentin Dupieux|
|Produced by||Gregory Bernard
Kevos Van Der Meiren
|Written by||Quentin Dupieux|
|Music by||Gaspard Augé
|Editing by||Quentin Dupieux|
|Distributed by||UFO Distribution (France)
Magnet Releasing (US)
|Running time||82 minutes |
Rubber is a 2010 French comedy film about a tire that comes to life and kills people with its psychic powers. It was directed and written by Quentin Dupieux. The film was shown at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, but it was a box office failure, grossing only US $100,370 on its US $500,000 budget.
A group of people in a California desert are gathered to watch a "film". A sheriff, Chad, points out that many moments in cinema happen for "no reason", that life is full of this "no reason", and that this film (both the "film" to be watched by the assembled group and presumably those watching Rubber) is a homage to "no reason".
An accountant then passes out binoculars to the group and rides off on a bicycle. The spectators then start looking through their binoculars into the distance, waiting for the "film" to start. Throughout the film, this group of people is returned to in order to gauge their reactions to what has taken place so far.
In the late 1990s, somewhere in Claremore Oklahoma, a tire suddenly comes to life and embarks on a killing spree. At first, it learns how to stand upright and then how to roll. It comes across a plastic water bottle and, after hesitating, crushes it. It then comes across a scorpion and crushes it. It then comes across a glass beer bottle, but is unable to crush it by rolling over it. It then starts to vibrate intensely and psychokinetically causes the bottle to fracture. It then induces a tin can and a rabbit to explode.
The tire (billed as "Robert" in the credits) then sees a woman drive by and attempts to use its powers on her. However, it only succeeds in making her car stall. As the tire begins to roll towards her stalled car, a truck comes by and runs the tire over. This breaks the connection, allowing the woman's car to start again, and she continues on her way. The tire explodes a crow, then finds the man driving the truck which ran him over. Using its psychokinetic powers, the tire blows up the man's head.
Settling into an obscure desert town, the tire comes across the woman in the car. She is staying in a motel and, after watching her shower through an open door, the tire goes into the room next to hers. After the motel maid finds the tire showering and throws it out of the room, the tire blows up her head. Chad, the sheriff from the opening of the movie, shows up to investigate the murders. Chad is both inside and outside the diegesis, sometimes participating in the narrative action and sometimes commenting on it.
The accountant tries to end the movie early by feeding the audience a poisoned turkey, but one of them, a man in a wheelchair, does not partake and survives. The accountant then informs Chad. Chad witnesses the tire kill the motel owner (who has mistreated it) and leads the cops on a "tire hunt". Meanwhile, the accountant tries to poison the man in the wheelchair with more food, but ends up eating it himself and dying.
As the tire is running from the police, it comes across a group of people burning a large pile of tires. As a result of this, the tire embarks on a large killing spree. The cops find the tire watching an auto racing program in a house, having killed the occupants. Chad rigs a mannequin (resembling the woman the tire is interested in) with dynamite, intending for the tire to blow the mannequin's head up, thereby detonating the dynamite and destroying itself. However, when the tire destroys the mannequin's head, the dynamite does not explode. Enraged, Chad shoots and kills the tire with a shotgun. After Chad leaves, the tire is suddenly reincarnated as a small tricycle. After killing the last audience member (the man in the wheelchair), the tricycle recruits several tires and rolls to Hollywood, where the film concludes.
- Stephen Spinella as Lieutenant Chad
- Jack Plotnick as Accountant
- Roxane Mesquida as Sheila
- Wings Hauser as Man in Wheelchair
- Ethan Cohn as Movie Buff Ethan
- Charley Koontz as Movie Buff Charley
- Hayley Holmes as Cindy
- Haley Ramm as Fiona
- Daniel Quinn as Dad
- Devin Brochu as Son
- Tara Jean O'Brien as Martina the Cleaning Lady
- David Bowe as Mr. Hugues
- Remy Thorne as Zach
- Cecelia Antoinette as Woman
- Thomas F. Duffy as Deputy Xavier
- Blake Robbins as Deputy Luke
- Pete Dicecco as Deputy Pete
- Courtenay Taylor as Deputy Denise
- James Parks as Deputy Doug
- Gaspard Augé as Hitchhiker
- Pedro Winter as Tyre Burner
- Robert the Tire as Himself
The film was shown on May 15, 2010 at Cannes Critic's Week. After the film was shown at Cannes, it was picked up for US distribution by Magnet Releases. Rubber has its premiere outside of France on July 9, 2010 at the Fantasia Festival.
Rubber was shown at the Sitges Film Festival where it had a positive reception. The film was shown in Toronto at the After Dark Film Festival. Fangoria magazine stated the film "deeply split" the audience reaction saying that Rubber earned "huge laughs and applause as well as the only boos heard by Fango at the fest."
The DVD and soundtrack were made available to purchase from March 14, 2011 from Ed Banger merchandise website coolcats.fr. The DVD and Blu-ray Disc were also made available to pre-order from other online retailers such as Amazon and released June 7, 2011.
The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it is currently holding a 68%. indieWire called the film "one of the more bizarre experiments with genre in quite some time" and that it "does begin to wear out its welcome around the sixty-minute mark, but you can't blame Dupieux for giving it a shot." The Telegraph wrote a negative review of the film, saying "How could it not be brilliant? By, at 85 minutes, being an hour too long. By being arch rather than schlocky. And by wasting too much time on dull dialogue celebrating its 'No Reason' philosophy." Variety also gave a negative review, saying that Rubber is "Neither scary, funny, nor anywhere near as clever as it seems to think it is, pic offers auds few reasons to want to see it beyond its one-joke premise."
Outside Cannes, the film received positive reception at other film festivals. Twitch Film gave the film a positive review saying it was "impeccably shot, scored and designed", and "the film is intellectual wankery of the highest order in the sheepskin of a B-film of the lowest order". The Huffington Post wrote that Quentin Dupieux "succeeds in creating an entertaining, sometimes even tense horror film with the very same footage he lightly mocks. The result is an uber-cerebral spoof that is at once silly and smart, populist like a mildly trashy B-movie yet high brow like absurdist theater."
- "Rubber (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- Felperin, Leslie (May 16, 2010). "Rubber". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Mitchell, Wendy (May 20, 2010). "Magnet burns US deal for Rubber with Elle Driver". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Laperrière, Simon. "Rubber: International Premiere". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Hopewell, John; Mayorga, Emilio (October 17, 2010). "'Neon,' 'Kidnapped' shine at Sitges". Variety.
- Parker, Trevor (August 24, 2010). "Toronto After Dark Report: "Rubber"". Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- "Rubber – DVD + OST special pack".
- Kohn, Eric (May 17, 2010). "Cannes Review : Bad Ideas In Close Up: Quentin Dupieux's "Rubber"". indieWire. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Sukhdev, Sandhu (May 17, 2010). "Cannes Film Festival: Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Halfyard, Kurt (July 10, 2010). "Fantasia 2010: Rubber Review". Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Zaman, Farihah (October 12, 2010). "2010 Fantastic Fest #2: Good Movies, Stupid Plots". Retrieved October 17, 2010.
- Official website
- Rubber at the Internet Movie Database
- Rubber at allmovie
- Rubber at Box Office Mojo
- Rubber at Rotten Tomatoes