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Rubber & Rammbock

Submitted by Commandrea on May 6, 2024 – 2:27 pmNo Comment

A couple of horror films roll into town this weekend. The absurdist psychic tire thriller Rubber and a German zombie siege film titled Rammbock.

Rubber actually stars a car tire (named Robert, although I don’t recall anybody actually talking to it) that rolls around the desert terrorizing animals and humans. Robert’s special powers include the ability to telepathically blow things up, as in Cronenberg’s Scanners. Or as that Saturday Night Live skit goes, “Them heads, they blowed up real good.”

Rubber has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek; this is surrealism on the level of Samuel Beckett, and if this premise sounds even remotely funny you’re going to have a good time. A highway patrolman opens the film with a monologue addressed to the camera that’s a classic in its own right. “No reason,” says the officer over and over to explain why things happen in famous movies. Then we see a car on a dirt road with empty chairs. The car veers right and left and slowly knocks over each chair. We proceed to a group of onlookers who are scanning the desert with binoculars.

Only at that point is Robert introduced, and the tire gets up out of the sand and starts rolling towards destiny. Obviously a tire cannot blow things up much less commandeer a motel room and sit in the bed watching television. Woe to the maid who tosses this tire out. Rubber constantly keeps the ride interesting with a blend of humor and splats that will make a hip audience smile. Rubber plays as a midnight movie at the River Oaks Three.

Rammbock unwinds as part of a series of four horror films that will play throughout the summer at AMC theaters (it opens at the Studio 30 today). The other films are Yellowbrickroad, Cold Fish, and Atrocious.

Rammbock, which runs just over an hour, uses that compactness to establish the claustrophobia that ensues when a zombie virus forces Berliners to hole up in an apartment complex and hold out against the rampage. Rammbock offers equal parts character interaction and zombie attacks.

- Michael Bergeron

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