Horror With a Side of Cheese: RUBBER


Welcome to another edition of Horror With a Side of Cheese! If this is your first time here, welcome, and allow me to explain. Twice every month, on the first and third Friday, I talk about the cheesiest horror movies I can find. Instead of stars, I rate these films between one and five cheese slices. To determine the rating, I look at several factors such as story, dialog, acting, effects and re-watchability. This week, I bring you Rubber, the story of a sentient, murderous tire. I am giving it a solid four slices of cheese. Stick around to find out why.

About Rubber

to say Rubber is unlike anything else is an understatement. The premise is incredibly meta. A performance is underway for a group of spectators watching from atop a cliff. However, as long as there are spectators, most people do not seem to be aware that it is a performance. Instead, they firmly believe the events are “real life.”

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As the observers gaze out over a desert full of debris, a lone tire suddenly comes to life. As the rimless tire rolls through the wasteland, it discovers a love of crushing things; however, it comes upon a bottle it cannot squish. With this discovery comes another, the ability to destroy items through a psychokinetic ability. With this new talent, the tire begins to explode animals it finds. Eventually, it comes to a small town and moves up to human victims.

Robert the tire rolling through a dirt path

Rubber stars an average tire, Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Roxane Mesquida and Wings Hauser. Quentin Dupieux wrote and directed the film.

This 2010 film has a 68 percent Tomatometer Score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 46 percent Audience Score. Its run time is one hour and 22 minutes.

My Thoughts

Why does a movie like Rubber exist? No reason. In the opening sequence, lieutenant Chad pops out of the trunk of a car and breaks the fourth wall addressing the audience directly. During his speech, he mentions how many things in movies and life seem to have no reason. Over and over, Chad states that many things have no reason behind them. This statement sets a precedent for the rest of the movie.

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First, I want to talk about the story. The overall story is an ongoing performance for a group of spectators. That performance involves a tire that gains sentience and love for killing. Beyond these things, there really isn’t a plot. The entire film is filled with scenes of a discarded tire learning to kill, first by rolling over items and then using psycho kinesis to blow up people’s heads.

There is one scene in particular that I found memorable. Shortly after gaining life, the tire finds a plastic water bottle. It bumps the bottle as if testing it and finally decides to roll over the thing impeding its pathway. There was a time I thought it was impossible for a tire to show emotion, but after watching Rubber, I no longer feel that way. When Robert goes over the bottle, there is a definitive air of happiness and excitement.

Robert the tire faces off with a doll rigged with a bomb on the porch of the house it took over

Next up, dialogue. Again, there is not much to go on here as the vast majority of what you see is the tire itself which does not speak. Most of the dialogue comes from the occasional bickering amongst the spectators and the lieutenant either playing along or trying to convince everyone the murders are fake.

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The next thing to consider is the surprisingly decent effects. A large portion of the fx is practical rather than CGI. The biggest effect is the explosions. There is one scene with a crow that has a terrible transition, but otherwise, they are just gruesome enough for gore lovers. Outside of the exploding victims, the only effect is the tire that rolls by itself.

The cinematography is intriguing. The better part of what the audience sees is from the tire’s point of view. Even when it is not the tire’s pov, it is still heavily focused on the tire.

Finally, rewatchability. The cheese is strong with this one young Padawan. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rubber; however, I do not anticipate watching it again. The whole spectator schtick detracted from the overall experience for me and is the reason I did not give it five cheese slices. I will say that the end is worth sitting through the rest of the film.

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I hope you enjoyed this edition of Horror With a Side of Cheese and will join me again on the third Friday of this month and every edition after. If you enjoy learning about underrated horror movies, I talk about those every second and fourth Friday.

Until next time, stay spooky and cheesy! Before you go, check out the trailer for Rubber below and let me know your thoughts in the comments! Also, if you know an incredibly cheesy horror you would like to see featured, leave the title in the comments!

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Becca Stalnaker
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