Turkey’s, Trailer Trash and Tires : Rubber (2011) Review

I held a poll on my twitter to see what type of movies I should review for Halloween. Good Movies, Bad Movies, Weird movies or Candy!  Two people wished me to review good movies, one person wished candy reviews and the rest of you were quite neatly evenly divided between bad and weird movies. With weird movies taking the win! So for my first movie review of Halloween month I picked one I think is both weird and bad…. but the movie reviews fairly well…That movie is 2011’s Rubber

Who Directed This Movie Pinkie?

Rubber is this quasi-artistic horror comedy created by Quentin Dupieux! A director known for …… some french movies I never saw! It “stars”  Jack Plotnick…who plays a failed Superhero in Mystery man! Roxanne Mesquida known for “other French Stuff” and Stephen Spinella who was a barely named character in Sean Penn’s Milk. The chubbier supernerd from CSI Cyber is also here …for a bit. Getting a 5.8 on IMDB a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes with a whopping 69% critic approval and a 5.9 on Metacrtic.. this might oly be a weird movie. .I really REALLY dislike it quite a bit more though.

What is this movie about Pinkie?

Well the plot of this movie is a bit complex. A cop/actor is trapped in a scenario where he has to solve a series of mysterious murders..realising he is in a movie he tries to manipulate the audience into dying so the movie ends prematurely so he can go home. On a second level the actual Movie is about a Tire coming alive and it discovers it has quite a bit of homicidal tendencies. Having fun killing things the tire travels across a desert state blowing people up with psychic power it discovers after being unable to destroy a beer bottle with normal means. It’s murderous travels allow it to cross paths with the beautiful Sheila who it wants to win over. However his killing spree has attracted the attention of a very persistent cop!

Haha Funny Joke Pinkie, No Seriously what is this movie about?

No no! I wasn’t actually lying, that is actually the plot. It’s a story about a killer tire blowing up people’s heads with it’s psychokinetic powers! With a subplot of a cop finding his movie to dumb and trying to boundary break it. Topped of with a sauce of the movie trying to be pretentious while actually being dumb. Which is my biggest gripe with this movie. While it might not be actually pretentious and clearly fakes this in a self proclaimed homage to ‘No reason”  there is something really vexing about that pretentiousness The way it is shot almost feels as if the creator is trying to say “ooooh look at me.. I am so artistic” and while he does say that it is in a sarcastic tone.Which could work..but for me a story about a killer tire played off as something more and smarter than that…doesn’t really connect.

So… you aren’t joking?! Really?!

Listen guys you wanted me to do weird or bad movies! But yes! This movie starts with the main policeman played by that guy from Milk..talking about movies I would much rather see! But not before he drives his copcar to hit some chairs spread out on a desert road. Or well excuse me.. his driver is doing that while he is riding in the trunk. Why?! Well he explains it trough those movie questions! “Why is the Alien in E.T. Brown?  No Reason…Why doesn’t anybody go to the bathroom in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre… No Reason!” This keeps going on and on telling things in movies that happen for no reason. He then tells us the movie we are about to see is made for no reason and made in the spirit of no reason. We then see the camera pan to where we the audience would be..and suddenly there is a group of desert tourists… called the audience who are going to watch the movie as a live experience.. They are given binoculars and someone mentions it is starting and we pan to a title screen and meet our main character.Note from here on out there will be spoilers but also notes .. I don’t think spoilers matter at all for this movie. Just I can not discuss how weird it is without discussing the plot.

The screen shows a tire covered in sand that for no reason wakes up.. it straightens up and tries to roll by itself. An art it has not fully mastered yet. So Bambi style we see a tire rolling a few feet ahead and then falling over again…….. until it is good enough to travel of course. Yet we find the first obstacle in his path! An empty water bottle! The tired seems surprised at how little resistance the bottle offers and pushes further into it. Enjoying the sound of the bottle warping. How do I know how it feels? I don’t know! They do cleverly film that way. It is even happier when it kills a scorpion..which I am pretty sure was actually killed for this movie. I bet they also had to kill more than one! It figures out it can not break a beer bottle and it gets angry as its need for destruction goes further. It manifest psychokinetic powers and by shaking slightly it can blow stuff up .. so the beer bottle gets blown up.. than a rusty tin can.. and while it swerves cheerfully across the sand it encounters a bunny and blows it up… let’s hope they did not blow up a real one!

Omg Pinkie is this real what happens next?!

We cut back to the crowd and see some exposition being exchanged by people as well as movie audience grievances playing a big role in this. You have the girls that want absolute silence, the guys who just want to have fun, the guys who loudly theorise with each other and the audience that doesn’t understand. As they bicker more we get some more tire scenes until eventually the tire gets tired..and just drops over and sleeps. The audience sleeps in the desert as well as the movie isn’t over yet. One guy in a wheelchair never sleeps however and studies the tire all night.

The next day the tire hits the road! Literally! It finally reaches the main road and decides to follow it. Here it sees Sheila for the first time ..but not before we get a serene scene of the tire drinking from a body of water……… which later is completely omitted but hey.. If you have never seen footage of a goodyear tire drinking in a shot that looks like a nature documentary about the tire.. then this movie has something new for you! I mean I am not sure if I ever saw a movie about a horney tire trying to romance a human girl either… in fact I am pretty sure this is the only movie about a tire! Regardless..most of the time we follow the tire is a close third person perspective which I think is  shame. This movie might have been more interesting and less faux pretentious if it looked like we were watching it through our binoculars. The movie flirts with the idea of two worlds but then doesn’t keep us connected to the first one enough making the subplot feel more stupid than smart.

It’s easy to see what the makers are trying to do here, but there is no real commitment to anything. While the tire is chasing the woman for example it gets run over by two guys speeding. Since you established the tire having to learn things and it having simple moments like needing sleep and needing drink.. it would be nice if you made the tire feel pain or something here..It would not make sense either.. but it would consistently not make sense. Now we get a weird mix of it just being a tire and being a living thing. Eventually though the car reaches a gas station where it makes its first human kil. A semi decent head exploding effect the maker liked so much that from now on out it is all the kill we get. The tire travels on as the police react to the head blowing up thing..but since it is a tire rolling around a road and could in no way be a dangerous obstruction the police ignore it and move on ahead. The tire reaches a motel where it watches Sheila shower… it likes it!

Hahaha this sounds like a joke with a punchline! Does anything really interesting happen after that?

Well.. we cut back to the desert again and see some guys really enjoy the shower scene as well. Some women are offended that they are so loud about it and tell them to show up. “If we are bothering you go sit somewhere else”  is said and so the movie delves further into the issues of a movie audience. Luckily not for that much longer as this horrible subplot is about to come to an end…sort off. By here I must say the choice in music is very strange.. as most of the time there is non.. which could work and make things creepy..but not if it’s a movie about a tire feeling lusty for a lady! Or if we see it merrily roll along a road. It makes the movie feel dull.. and unfinished. This movie could have really done with an 80’s like Killer soundtrack knowing that the tire is about to strike again. Unfortunately we just get room tone.

The Tire gets a room in a hotel and without any explanation mages to get himself onto a bed where he manages to turn of a tv and watch the Fitness channel.. liking this new girl he sees. He likes her a lot because after he is done he has to take it cold shower! That is right .. the tire .. gets a shower scene.  And before you mistake this for a cgi movie.. no this tire has no face or no eyes, no expression it’s an actual tire being filmed in a shower. He can’t roll over beer bottles but somehow he can manifest in a shower…no reason why! Oh dear Arceus am I beginning to appreciate this more as I write this out?!.Nah?! Right?! ……

A few rooms away and a little earlier  from the tire is one of the producer assistants, the one in cahoots with our main officer man. We see him get a phone call from a person called “the Master ”, a plotline that goes nowhere.  As he apologies  to this master he says he will do his duty tomorrow morning. He gets up and we see him in his boxers and a living turkey in his room! Now you may wonder.. Why does this guy who has something to do with the fake audience have a live turkey in his room?! Well  it’s so that he can feed it to the audience later of course. Which he does by dumping it in the sand and everyone just pigs out over cold turkey that has been prepared by a stranger who earlier stole your stuff .. and he dumped it in the sand…why?! Oh right! … No reason!

The tire gets found in the shower and tossed out by a maid who thinks it’s a prank..so obviously she gets her head blown up in another room as the tire traps her for some reason. Again.. no visuals or no music to increase tension a little bit.. The movie knows it’s about a killer tire so it isn’t trying.While I do not mind that vision not trying because it’s needed doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Give it a synth-wave killer theme! PLEASE!  Give it something.  But no.. the tire gets nothing and as it stares at Sheila in the motel pool we as an audience get treated to a shot of a tire on concrete.. now with a bit of music but the still shot holds on for half a minute or so….on a tire! Not a cg tire that stares at us or something.. no a piece of rubber!!….Hey title of the movie right there!

Wait when you say the audience do you mean us or the audience in the movie?!

Oh right sorry! I mean us.. because the other audience is gone. They are dead. That turkey guy poisoned the turkey and everyone except for the wheelchair guy dies in complete agony! Even the little kid is in pain while he dies. Wheelchair audience guys says he will make sure their deaths are not invaine by watching the entire movie..as we move into the dumbest part of the movie yet…As the tire falls in the water of the pool it becomes trapped there it can not move underwater.  Cop guy breaks the fourth wall and tells the people on the set now that the audience has died, they can just stop the movie. Demonstrating he is immortal by having them shoot him…of course this works. He demonstrates it is all visual effects..but since the other cops don’t seem to acknowledge it he knows something is wrong. Turkey guy shows up and tells that one guy is still alive and reluctantly the cop continues the movie.

A young boy fishes the tire out of the water and has his father the motel owner tells him to do so.  The cop pretending not to know the killer is a tire tries to interogate the motel owner if he knows anything about the murder of his maid..but before he can talk the tire comes around and blows up the man’s head. It turns out he did not want the young boy’s love. The cop, annoyed now, decides to spoil the plot to the other police officers and reveals the killer is a tire..which they after a while reluctantly accept. Meanwhile turkey guy tries to convince the wheelchair guy to eat a poisoned cupcake..but the man refuses so out of frustration turkey guy eats it himself and dies.  The tire kills some cops who find him and the cop guy realises he needs a smarter plan. So he finds Sheila explains stuff to her.. and together they build this explosive mannequin or something that looks like Sheila.. hoping the tire will hump her… so they can blow it up?! I am not sure about that part..my attention kinda started slipping. It is somewhere along those lines though.

As this operation seems to go the way they want we suddenly here a knock! Wheelchair guy has traveled into the set and tells the cop-guy this trap makes no sense. Again it is filmed really ugly. It’s almost shot as if it is some visual novel with a character just standing there  spouting lines for a while and then at a reaction shot we get a brief visual change.  The sexdoll plan fails indeed and the cop is tired of it and is annoyed the man is still alive. So he picks up a shotgun.. storms into the house the tire is in and murders it off camera. He throws it infront of the wheelchair guy and tells the stupid movie is over and exits stage left. He is done with this movie. And with the tire killed so are we!…….Is what I would have said in a more sensible movie.Because we find out the tire is not dead! Well it kinda was… but he reincarnated immediately………………as a tricycle He blows up a wheelchair guy..and is done with his attachments to the mortal human flesh! This time he has a new power. He can now raises other tires and as a leader of an rubber army he sets out to murder the people of the world. The end.

Wait A Tricycle? Really Why?

No reason!

That sounds pretty bad is it really as bad as you say?! It scores better on IMDB and all! Critics gave it pretty decent grades?!

Rubber is a weird movie, it is bad as well. Yet something can be good despite being bad if you are self aware enough. This movie has self awareness in spades and some of the choices can make for an entertaining watch. My friends all liked this movie a lot more than I did. Yet I can not deal with this artisticy tone the movie tries to display. I am fine with a movie being artistic or clever if you think it through.. but this movie feels smug! It’s fake smug but still I dislike the tone of that smug so much that it still sours my experience.  The comedy is almost Meme-like.. Trollish and that is not my form of humor. It is too humble for its own good!  It knows it can’t make a tire scary so it never tries to.. while I think it would be hilarious to give it a big final destination like set up.. or killers of old with a soundtrack.. and them… oh right it’s just a tire! As a result it never shoots for horror .. which it kinda does aim to be?!

This movie is like a huge meme, with you or me or anyone watching this movie as it’s laughing stock. While that is pretty Meta and could turn out great there are so many details where it skips out on that same tone that I never really felt engaged with that and so it’s a dead meme!  Some people can still have their fun with it.. there is some clever design but it is just a meme that isn’t all that enjoyable to watch. I still would advise you to watch it as it is absolutely an experience… it’s just not one I will remember all that fondly… and I adore weird stuff normally. I would have loved this as well if it just had a different tone! So don’t get my lowest grade, and I do really recommend you watch it because even if I went over the plot it will still offer you such an unique experience. It is a movie that has to be seen to be believed even the credits being weird… it’s just the tone that irks me a lot.

With more commitment to it’s sub plot or without it entirely it would have scored much higher!

If you think this movie is the only movie about a killer piece of rubber you are mistaking! Because if I can get my hands on it, the next movie reviews a movie about a killer johny! And I got some other WEIRD stuff planned out for you! Until then please consider supporting my Ko-Fi I could use a bottle of booze with these movies!

13 thoughts

  1. I haven’t been able to find this movie to stream here, but seeing the trailer and reading some of the comments along with your review it made one thing painfully clear to me. That the movie started with the wrong premise. Instead of saying “no reason” ask the question “Does it Matter?”. Audiences like to pick to death a movie about details that don’t really matter. Who cares how a tire can get on a chair and watch TV or take a shower or even have psychic powers. It is the situation that matters. The absurdity of it and taking it from there. How actors or producers or writers might like to kill the audience for being so nit picky about details that don’t matter. But from what I read, the maker was too busy preaching and didn’t take their own movie seriously. So how can the audience do the same?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree with you there, the problem is they don’t commit! I would not mind if the tire gets on the bed and think sure, if they did not previously establish vertical things as a limitation. I do not question it can see because they never contradict that. They dont make it mad enough in the beginning and even later on, it can climb a bed but not stairs.. to me then it starts to matter because then, no reason as they proclaim is just a writing crutch

      You cant proclaim things do not have to make sense , then establish rules to make some sense, then drop those when its not convenient.

      I dont mind or question et is brown but if he is purple in the next shot becausw it looks cooler i kinda fall out, especially if you later establish its brown again

      This movie does that a lot, it ends when the crowd dies, it doesn’t , the tire has rules..sometimes, the cop can break the fourth wall.. then he is just crazy…

      It is a unique experience but I feel like it fails very much at what it aims to do, had they gone crazier..great! Had they commited to their own rules, amazing.

      However they failed to let logic go completly and it ends up feeling, hypocritical on their end

      Like

  2. I actually knew about this movie, and when I first heard of it, I really got excited for it because of it’s pretty unique premise. But then of course I found out the really backstory of this and quickly decided…eh…this is not for me.
    Guess after reading this I did make the correct decision lol. I might watch it if I come across it for free but definitely not in a real hurry to do so😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of those.. watch with friends kind of things but yeah had it gone more camp instead of cult.. I think this movie could have been amazing. It chose wrongly though

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, I think it would definitely be a real blast with a couple of friends and making fun of it at every turn😂 But yeah, this is not one that I’m going to be checking out any time soon I’m afraid 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw this one for the first time about two years ago I think.. or I heard about it then and watched it last year…but yeah! Even then when you learn about a killer tire you do not think it has powers like the movie Scanners. While I did not like the movie this is why I love the human mind!

      Like

  3. Oh lord, I remember seeing this movie, and for the most part, felt the same distaste for its artsy sensibilities. I went into this expecting the tire to comically run over its victims, and got mind powers instead. I also watched some weird and/ or bad movies in the same sense as this one recently. They were Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and a film from New Zealand called Killer Sofa. I don’t know if you take suggestions, but I’d like to see your take on these movies. Just a heads up, Killer Sofa was more enjoyable than Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but neither movie was fantastic by most measurements of quality. Both are better if you can watch with sarcastic friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just watched Killer Condom for next weeks review and have a review of Hausu (House) By Nobuhiko Obayashi planned next. but for the week after that I do not have a movie yet.
      I always wanted to watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes , I have watched the tv series a bit,but never the movie, but Killer Sofa sounds amazing as well xD
      Thanks for the tips!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome! Just a quick pointer, my friend found Killer Sofa on the streaming service called Tubi, in case you want to watch that one. I look forward to reading more of these movie reviews soon!

        Liked by 1 person

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