Careful Where You Tread.
There are tons of weird movies out there. Some of those weird movies are only weird due to a cultural disconnect, some due to how they incorporate different genres into them. Sometimes you hit one of those weird movies and it carries with is such a weirdness that you end up spreading it amongst your friends, as though it was some contextual contagion spread through word of mouth in order to survive like you just watched the tape from The Ring. This movie is one of those movies - it's out there, quite possibly the most nonsensical film I have ever watched. Will it be a flick that you pass on for no reason, or will you find yourself tired of it?
A chair in a desert. A series of chairs in a desert. A man holding a lot of binoculars. A car pulls up, slowly knocking over and destroying all the chairs as it pulls up to main holding the binoculars. After a moment, the trunk opens and a cop climbs out. The cop then proceeds to go on to us about the "no reason" and that we are in fact about to watch a movie dedicated to "no reason" - so, you could say the reason is to celebrate no reason. He then proceeds to empty a cup of water (for no reason), and then climb back into the trunk. As they drive off, the man holding the binoculars turns around and we are introduced to a gaggle of bystanders, whom binocular-man hands all the binoculars before riding his bicycle off and leaving the spectators to scan the desert for their movie. After a short time, they discover a dump.
It is at this dump that things start getting interesting. As the screen pans around, we see a tire laying in the dirt. After a while, the tire starts to shift. After a longer while, the tire straightens up and starts to roll for a little while before falling over again. This process repeats a couple of times until the tire steadies it's proverbial legs and enjoys some cruising. For a moment, we start to wonder if this is going to be the entire movie, until the tire finds a plastic bottle. After some assumed studying, the tire rolls over and crushes the bottle before proceeding to roll some more. Next up, a scorpion meets the rubbery deathdealer, getting run over without a second thought. Our murderous tire seems to be enjoying itself, but has met its match at it's new nemesis - the glass beer bottle. Impervious to it's attempts at crushing, it develops psychic powers and shatters the bottle. What, curious as to how a tire can have psychic powers? No reason. This process proceeds for a while, resulting in various wildlife exploding, until the tire runs across a motel.
It is at this point our tire apparently picks up a romance interest, peeping in on a lady in the shower before taking up residence next door. Meanwhile, the audience watching all of this has finally gotten food after watching the proceedings for a day or two now with nothing to eat or drink, but it isn't long before they all start feeling ill. Ill would be a little bit of an understatement however, as it turns out they have all been poisoned - except the man in the wheelchair who is determined to get his fill of the show. After being tossed out of it's room, a boy witnesses this seemingly living tire roll into room 16 and lock the door. Upon his curiosity peeking, he checks into the room to find the cleaning lady dead. The cops arrive (including the familiar cop who climbed out of the trunk at the start of the movie), and after a little while the familiar cop decides to shut down the show (due to the audience supposing to be dead), only to find out that not all of the audience is dead. Returning to his role of asking questions about the murder, the cop witnesses the tire's murderous powers being demonstrated on the person he is questioning, and the only question now is can the cops catch and stop this dangerous tire?
It very well may sound like I'm on drugs after that play-by-play, but I guarantee you that I couldn't make this up if I tried. The story is bizarre in a major way, and I won't even hope to try to explain any of it. Needless to say, it is felt that there is a plot here, and that it could garner some deeper meanings if you manage to decipher it, but for the average person you'll be far too dumbfounded by "what the heck did I just watch" to process much else. The movie within a movie only adds to the possible confusion, but regardless the flow of the movie is fine - albeit very, very slow at times. Many moments will occur where things feel like they are barely moving along at all, but it only cements the strange images you are seeing on screen - such as a living tire blowing things up with its mind.
Acting here is a bit of a mixed bag, but not for generic reasons. In this case, when the main character is a tire, it's hard to call what the tire does acting really. I mean, you get the impression the tire is doing things - falling in love, being inquisitive, whatever it may do - but it being a tire makes it sort of hit or miss. The other actors all do a surprisingly good job with what's on hand, even having believable reactions out of the "audience" for most of their parts. Audio is good, although some of those songs can be painful to hear, and the "psychic" sound is certainly a headache-cause if you have the volume turned up.
Effects work here is also something that may take some by surprise. It looks highly polished, almost big-budget in most all situations. Exploding heads and animals are all suitably gross, and you can spend a good deal of time trying to theorize how they got this tire to roll around and all of the things it does in the shots it does. Scenery might take a hit, considering its mostly in the desert and the motel, and there isn't much in the lines of costume work being done in the movie.
So what can be said about Rubber? It's weird, but well made. It's violent, has one scene of brief nudity (although you could argue that the tire is in fact naked the entire movie), and does things for absolutely no reason. You could pick it apart and find all kinds of things that you could twist into meaning whatever you want - like how people are animals when it comes to consuming entertainment - if you really wanted to try. What the main selling point is, and has been for me anyways, is that it is one of the (if not the) strangest movies you will probably ever watch - and for some people, that's more than reason enough to watch it.