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'Rubber': Behold the true tread of evil!


Rubber Credit: Handout

What’s scary?

A guy with a gun? A snarling werewolf? An unseen terror breathing deeply in the shadows? How about a tire?

Uhhh …

Yes, a tire. Don’t stop reading. Please. We’ll explain.

In “Rubber,” surely one of the strangest films to hit the big screen, an ordinary tire gains sentience and telepathic powers and uses its abilities to terrorize a desert town.

French writer/director Quentin Dupieux, 36, who also scored music for the film under his pseudonym Mr. Oizo, has created an offbeat, must-see comedy horror film that is definitely like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

amNewYork spoke with Dupieux in an attempt to make some sense of "Rubber," which opens Friday at Cinema Village.

Which movies inspired you to make “Rubber”?
When I was shooting “Rubber,” I was thinking a lot about "Duel," the first [Steven] Spielberg film. It’s just a truck, but you got scared, but you don't know why, really. I was also thinking about "Scanners," just for the head explosions.

Why a tire?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve been answering this question every day. It’s just an idea. ... I was trying to do a movie with some kind of fantastic feeling, something absurd and also related to the horror movie, and I just picked up a tire randomly and I got inspired. I tried to write it and it was like, you know, already a movie in my head.

How do you make a tire scary?
The first vision I had was a tire rolling slowly, following someone very slowly without making any noise. I thought, “That is scary.”

What sort of movie-making magic was used to bring the tire to life?
What you saw on-screen is what we shot. There’s no wires, there’s no CGI. We had one remote-control tire, just for the rolling shots. Otherwise, every other shot, it’s like a puppeteer operating the tire with two fingers.

How do you bring a tire to life?
I thought, “OK, I cannot make a movie about a living tire if we don’t see the first steps.” I always knew it was important to tell the idea first. I wrote the first steps of the tire and I thought it was not enough, so I decided to write the monologue to give some keys: You want to know why it’s alive? There’s no reason. We’re not going to explain why the thing is alive. But it’s alive.

Have you thought about getting a commercial tie-in from a tire company?
I’m not sure, because “Rubber” is evil. I would love to. I would do a commercial for Firestone, for sure, but I’m pretty sure they’re not interested.

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