killer tires and bad santas: seen at nevermore

Last weekend, I caught a couple of movies at the Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, NC. I love horror movies, and like every year, I wanted to see at least half the lineup. This time, I went with two that were on the sillier side of scary, and it was a fun afternoon.

Rubber


Rubber is a movie about a drifter who discovers he has the power to blow things up using only his mind. He develops a fascination with a beautiful young woman, and he uses his new ability to go full-on Scanners, exploding the heads of anyone who crosses him. Also, he's a tire.

Yes, that's totally ridiculous. Somehow it's awesome, too. It's a funny, dark movie, with just the right amount of campiness, and I thought the actors did really well. The story is fun, and its biggest surprise is that it manages to avoid being mindless cheese. Rubber takes the idea of audience participation to a whole new level, so if psychic carnage isn't enough for you (for some strange reason) then it's also enjoyable as a movie about movies. I can easily say it's an instant classic of the psychokinetic inanimate object genre.

trailer / official site

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale


This one's about an unusual archaeological dig that leads to the destruction of the reindeer herd that the locals depend on. One young boy is convinced that the workers were digging up the sinister Santa Claus that's the basis for the legend, but the poor kid has a difficult time convincing anyone to worry about whether they've been naughty or nice.

I liked the setting and characters, and it was nice to see some good father-and-son scenes mixed in with the more humorous stuff. The safety instructions part at the beginning was fantastic, and while I wouldn't say the movie was scary, there were some nicely creepy moments. I will say that it seemed just a bit uneven. The ending didn't have quite as much payoff as I'd been hoping for, maybe partly because it took on an odd adventure-movie tone that didn't seem to fit with the rest of the movie.

trailer / official site

I liked Rubber a little better, but both are well worth seeing.

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