Shockproof Film festival at Aero

Four lowbrow films await those who are not faint of heart

The Shockproof Film festival, which has been running since 2005, has a one-day special autumn edition at kino Aero in Prague's Žižkov district.

The festival embraces lowbrow films and those made in questionable taste to offer fans some fun out of the mainstream. The fall edition has four films on Oct. 15, including a surprise whose title will not be announced in advance. The first two are in English with Czech subtitles, while the final two will have live Czech dubbing, which is sort of a comic performance.

The mini-festival kicks off at 4 pm with The Gate, a 1987 Canadian horror film starring a young Stephen Dorff, who went on to co-star in Blade and cult films like Cecil B. DeMented, The Motel Life and Space Truckers. The film involves some children accidentally opening up a portal to hell in their backyard. “Like a child’s life, The Gate is simple, unbounded and fantastic, brimming with some of the most creative and imaginative hand-made special effects ever put to screen,” the festival organizers state.

Next up, at 6 pm. is another Canadian film, Black Roses from 1988. This one has become a favorite of heavy metal fans. A touring band isn't just spreading hard rock music, it is turning fans into actual monsters. The soundtrack features once-popular bands like King Kobra, Tempest, Hallow's Eve and Lizzy Borden. Julie Adams of the 1954 classic film Creature from the Black Lagoon stars, and rock drummer Carmine Appice has a major role. “In the 1980s Americans were afraid of everything: Russia, Dungeons & Dragons, clown vans, even hair metal. Well, in this movie all of Tipper Gore's nightmares come true,” the festival states. Tipper Gore, the wife of Al Gore, was active in the movement to censor rock music.

The following film was made in English but will have live Czech translation on the stage by several actors having a bit of fun with the film, so some knowledge of Czech is very helpful. The Dungeonmaster is from 1985 starts at 8 pm. The film has seven directors listed on the credits, one for each of its segments. The producer was Charles Band, a noted B-movie maker who is still active. It was inspired by the 1982 Disney film Tron and offers a look at what people thought of computers at back then.

“Tough luck for all the English-speaking viewers that the film will be dubbed live from the stage into Czech by distinguished members of the shockproof crew. On the other hand, can you think of any better way to get the feel of the language?” the festival organizers state.

“I reject your reality and substitute my own! If you like your '80s cheese fantastically melted, then you're going to have more than a mouthful with The Dungeonmaster,” they also state, going on to call the film “the apotheosis of 1980s' nerd camp.”

The final surprise film, which starts at 10 pm, is billed as “A Blind Date with the Shockproof Aero for the Blind.” It will also have live dubbing in Czech. For this film people can pay what they want at the end. Only people over 18 will be admitted for this one as well. “The screened film will be of the X-rated quality, rather silly and hairy and on top of everything accompanied by a live Czech dubbing and an audio description for the blind to commemorate the White Cane Safety Day,” the organizers state.

A full-scale entry on the festival series, the 13th, will come at the end of February and start of March in 2017.

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