Saturday, June 08, 2013

30 Days of Nightmares #8: RUBBER (2010)

The Story: A telekinetic serial killer is stalking the inhabitants of Antelope Valley, littering the desert with headless corpses.  Oh yeah, and the serial killer is a car tire named Robert.

Expectations: A blog reader pointed me toward this film when I was doing the last "30 Days" blogathon.  I was intrigued by the concept, which is completely off the wall...  I expected a schlocky horror film with a lot of laughs.

Reaction: From the opening scene, it was clear that the filmmaker was not going for schlocky horror.  Aside from the spectacle of exploding heads (think SCANNERS), this is an arch comedy.  As such, it is alternately ingenious and annoying, hilarious and (forgive me) tiresome.  It would have made a great short film, but padded out to roughly 90 minutes, it overstays its welcome.  To be fair, of course nobody would have seen it as a short film... so I guess I can't be too hard on the filmmaker.  And I have to admit that this is the most unique genre film I've seen in a long time.  It was genuinely suspenseful in the sense that I never knew what was going to happen next.

You know what it reminded me of more than anything?  The beach ball alien in John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon's student film DARK STAR.  Just imagine if that entire film had revolved around the alien.  And imagine if the other characters became aware that they were in a movie with a beach ball alien, and then started commenting on their situation -- not unlike the way that Lt. Doolittle talks phenomenonlogy with a "smart" bomb in DARK STAR.  Clever, yes, but also designed for a very particular sense of humor / a very narrow audience.   I'd like to recommend this film to my friend Carlton, who lives for old episodes of FAWLTY TOWERS and RED DWARF, and never tires of discussions about phenomenology.  As for the rest of you... well... in the spirit of the film: Why the hell not?

Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: Are you kidding?

By the way, Robert's cousin says hello.

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