Undoubtedly, one of the most unique genre movies of 2011 is writer/director Quentin Dupieux’s latest feature film, Rubber, which is centered around Robert, an inanimate tire with telekinetic powers that becomes obsessed hunting down a beautiful woman and will destroy anyone that stands in his way of finding his mystery lady.
To say anything beyond the basic plot crunch pretty much ruins the experience of the film so what I will tell you is if you’re into the quirky and weird side of horror, go into Rubber prepared for anything.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with Dupieux about all things Rubber (review here), what horror films influenced the project and if Robert the Tire will rise to kill again in a sequel in anticipation of the film’s upcoming theatrical release later this week.
As a writer and director, Dupieux has built quite the reputation for himself in a very short time as being a very avant-garde filmmaker specializing in “no reason” filmmaking. He spoke about why he wanted to make a movie about a killer tire and how the project grew from that initial concept. “I knew I wanted to make another movie and the very first idea I came up with was to make a movie about a killer tire. I love ‘no reason’ films, and that just felt like the essence of ‘no reason’ to me. But after fifteen pages I got bored so I had to come up with some other unique aspect to the story because it was just too simple. I felt like it needed another layer of reality to it which makes Rubber an entirely different movie at times, but I think that lends well to this kind of concept.”
Dupieux went on to discuss the appeal of a movie like Rubber and how the concepts utilized in his movie may not appeal to everyone’s sensibilities.
“A movie whose plot revolves around a killer tire is definitely a good way to draw people in,” said Dupieux, “but then you start watching Rubber and you see that there are a lot of surprises in there that you may not be expecting as a viewer- it’s almost impossible to describe the other layers in the film and pinpoint the movie into one simple plot. I am very aware that a movie like this may not be for everyone- actually, I’ve known that since I started on the film, but this is the movie I wanted to make.”
“I’ve always wanted to make a movie with a lot of blood, and Rubber was a great way to get to have fun with blood but do so much more with the concept than just kill random people for the sake of killing random people,” Dupieux added.
In fact, the writer/director said even though he loves horror movies, he doesn’t feel like he’s quite built for the heavy lifting that is sometimes required by genre directors to get dirty and take their stories to often times very disturbing places.
“I would love to be able to do a straight horror type film, but that’s not me,” explained Dupieux. “I don’t think I have the talent for it, and I don’t think that kind of storytelling is ingrained in me. When you do a real horror movie like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you almost have to dive right into that horrible world you’re creating, and I’m not built for that kind of realistic violence. That movie is a masterpiece and it’s timeless, but I couldn’t see myself ever being able to make a movie with that kind of realism. Rubber is very much about surreal levels of violence and I think that suits me.”
Just because he doesn’t envision himself as a horror director doesn’t mean that Dupieux didn’t take some of his cues in Rubber from a few beloved horror classics though. “Maximum Overdrive was definitely an influence, but the main movies that I worked into Rubber were both Scanners and Duel. To me, those two films really tied the two worlds of Rubber together, and I definitely have elements from both of those throughout in my film.”
“As a fan of movies in general, what I love about Duel is that everything you see on the screen is 100% real- it’s just a truck following a car, but I think that’s why the movie is so intense for audiences. Everyone has been driving in front of a truck before so the realism of the situation heightens the experience. Duel shows the power of masterful editing when you really look at what makes that movie so effective and I tried to incorporate that into how I put Rubber together too,” Dupieux added.
With Rubber set to roll into limited theaters later this week, we asked Dupieux if he had any future plans for Robert the Killer Tire (who we found out resides safely in the home of the director in Los Angeles). “Honestly, it was already hard enough to do a 90-minute movie with this concept so I don’t think I’d come back to do a sequel. I mean, the idea of anther movie is cool, but if I come back and do another movie that has the same concept, it loses the freshness to it. The reason Rubber works is because everything is so unexpected, and with a sequel there are no surprises left. Half the fun for me as a director is surprising audiences.”
Look for a limited theatrical run on April 1st via Magnet.
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