Rubber (2010 film)

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French release poster
Directed by Quentin Dupieux
Produced by Gregory Bernard
Julien Berlan
Kevos Van Der Meiren
Written by Quentin Dupieux
Starring Stephen Spinella
Roxane Mesquida
Jack Plotnick
Haley Ramm
Wings Hauser
Ethan Cohn
A Tire
Music by Gaspard Augé
Mr. Oizo
Cinematography Quentin Dupieux
Edited by Quentin Dupieux
Distributed by UFO Distribution (France)
Magnet Releasing (US)
Release date
  • 15 May 2010 (2010-05-15) (Cannes)
  • 10 November 2010 (2010-11-10) (France)
Running time
82 minutes
Country France
Language English
Budget $500,000

Rubber is a 2010 English-language French independent dark comedy horror film about a tire that comes to life and kills people with its psychic powers. It was directed and written by Quentin Dupieux. Executive Producer was Gregory Bernard. The film was produced by Realitism Films. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, where it received positive reviews from critics.



A group of people in a California desert are gathered to watch a "film". A sheriff, Chad (Stephen Spinella), points out that many moments in cinema happen for "no reason", that life is full of this "no reason", and that "this film" (presumably a dual reference to both the "film" to be watched by the assembled group and Rubber itself) is an homage to "no reason".

An accountant (Jack Plotnick) 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 return in order to gauge their reactions to what has taken place so far.

Film Synopsis[edit]

In the late 1990s, somewhere in a California desert, a tire named Robert suddenly comes to life. 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 then sees a woman (Roxane Mesquida) 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 pied crow, then finds the man that had been driving the truck which ran him over and blows up his head.

Arriving in a nearby 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 reenters the room and 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. The film then jumps to three days later showing the results of a 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 which he gives the tire to the man in the wheelchair. A tricycle emerges from the house and kills the man in the wheelchair. The tricycle begins rolling down the road; other tires begin rolling behind it and they eventually roll to Hollywood, where the film concludes.



The effects of the tire moving were done via practical effects such as remote controls.[1] Director Quentin Dupieux has noted that due to the inherent "emptiness" of a tire that making a remote-controlled tire was difficult as " you can’t really hide the mechanisms well".CGI effects were used for the shots of heads exploding, although during filming Dupieux used practical effects, he was unhappy with the results. [1]

During the writing process the tire, Robert, was designed solely as a bad guy with no redeeming qualities.[2] While shooting, however, Dupieux determined that this was the wrong approach realizing "there’s nothing evil about a tire" based partly on early camera tests. Robert was reworked to be "more like a stupid dog"[2]. WALL-E, specifically the first act, was also an influence on the character.[1]

The film begins with Ballard making a speech about how events in movies often happen for "no reason". Dupieux has stated he was inclined to put that speech in because he was not interested in explaining how the tire came to life, although he knew such a setup would be expected. [1] The meta element of the film came organically, as Dupieux quickly tired of writing about a killer tire. He was partly influenced by an experience where he snuck into a theater playing his previous film "Steak" only to find that no one else was in the theater, which he noted was "kind of scary." [1]


The film was shown on May 15, 2010 at Cannes Critic's Week.[3] After the film was shown at Cannes, it was picked up for US distribution by Magnet Releasing.[4] Rubber had its outside-France premiere on July 9, 2010 at the Fantasia Festival.[5]

Rubber was shown at the Sitges Film Festival where it had a positive reception.[6] 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."[7]

The DVD and soundtrack were made available to purchase from March 14, 2011, and the DVD and Blu-ray Disc from June 7, 2011.


The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 68% rating based on reviews from 78 critics.[8] 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."[9]

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".[10] 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."[11]

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."[12] 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."[3] Will Leitch from The Projector concluded his review by stating that "Rubber" is "a movie about how watching movies is stupid," giving the film a D score out of a traditional American grading scale.[13]

Gregory Bernard said of the film: "We’re really blessed to have so much attention on such a small film. We both took risks – [Quentin] artistically, me in production – and the fact that we had, in general, a very positive response from the public; we’ve had audiences who really loved it."[14]


Rubber OST Cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by Gaspard Augé and Mr. Oizo
Released November 8, 2010
Genre House

The official soundtrack for the film Rubber, by Gaspard Augé and Quentin Dupieux (the latter under his stage name "Mr. Oizo"), was released on November 8, 2010 on Ed Banger Records.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Sympho8" 1:28
2. "Rubber" 4:08
3. "Crows and Guts" 2:28
4. "Tricycle Express" 3:50
5. "Everything Is Fake" 1:38
6. "Room 16" 2:27
7. "Bellyball Road" 1:07
8. "No Reason" 2:10
9. "Sheila" 3:27
10. "Racket" 1:34
11. "Le Caoutchouc" 1:45
12. "Polocaust" 1:20
13. "Dump" 1:13
14. "Sunsetire" 1:30
15. "Tv Slut (Not Released)" 1:44


  1. ^ a b c d e Harley, David. "Interview: 'Rubber' Director Quentin Dupieux!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Nemiroff, Perri. "Interview: Rubber Writer-Director Quentin Dupieux". Cinemablend. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Felperin, Leslie (May 16, 2010). "Rubber". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  4. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (May 20, 2010). "Magnet burns US deal for Rubber with Elle Driver". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ Laperrière, Simon. "Rubber: International Premiere". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ Hopewell, John; Mayorga, Emilio (October 11, 2010). "'Neon,' 'Kidnapped' shine at Sitges". Variety. 
  7. ^ Parker, Trevor (August 24, 2010). "Toronto After Dark Report: "Rubber"". Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ Rubber at Rotten Tomatoes
  9. ^ Kohn, Eric (May 17, 2010). "Cannes Review : Bad Ideas In Close Up: Quentin Dupieux's "Rubber"". indieWire. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ Halfyard, Kurt (July 10, 2010). "Fantasia 2010: Rubber Review". Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  11. ^ Zaman, Farihah (October 12, 2010). "2010 Fantastic Fest #2: Good Movies, Stupid Plots". Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ Sukhdev, Sandhu (May 17, 2010). "Cannes Film Festival: Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ Rubber Movie Review Yahoo!Movies
  14. ^

External links[edit]