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Toronto After Dark 2010: Rubber

“Rubber is this century’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes…”


Directed by Quentin Dupieux

Director/writer Quentin Dupieux’s horror-comedy Rubber opens with the narrator asking the questions that have long baffled humanity: “Why is ET brown?  In the movie JFK, why does that president get assassinated?  And why do some people like sausages and other people not like sausages?”  As if it were obvious all along, the narrator confidently answers these questions with a mere 2 words:  “No reason.”  Beyond sharing these pearls of wisdom, Rubber is a nonsensical yet amusing film that will have you scratching your head until it hurts.

A homicidal tire uses its telekinetic powers to blow up its unsuspecting victims’ heads in a Californian desert.  Rubber is a movie within a movie that comes with its own quirky audience who watches the entire film through binoculars nearby.  Once in a while, they share their film commentary as well as their disdain for the filmmakers, who neglected to serve them refreshments (veteran actor Wings Hauser gives a stand out performance as one of the audience members).

If you’re having difficulty processing this bizarre synopsis, it comes as no surprise.  Attempting to describe Rubber in few words is a next to impossible task, but that’s to its credit.  Dupieux delivers a truly imaginative and fun ride.  It’s simply one of those films where you must check your brain at the door. Any attempt to seriously scrutinize it is futile. Granted, the tire is two-dimensional, its killing motives are unclear and its obsession for a beautiful girl is not fully realized, but that’s beside the point.  It’s a tire.

Rubber is this century’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  See it to believe it or for “no reason” at all.

– Nigel Hamid