Total Pageviews

My Blog List

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Shockproof Film Festival

Festival Otrleho Divaka 2009
Shockproof Film Festival 2009


I had never heard of the annual Shockproof Film Festival, which takes place every February in Prague, until Vic Pratt (star of many a KinoKarno production) mentioned it last year. He had met a man by the name of Petr (not Peter) Saroch at the renowned Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Peter is one of the organisers of Shockproof, and he expressed an interest in the works of the KinoKarno Organisation. So, I sent him some stuff and sometime later he told me they were going to show ‘Can You Keep It Up With This That And The Other For A Week?, and a film that I thought would never see the light of day again ‘Cult Of The Planet Of The Apes’.
I was excited at the prospect of being able to show some films abroad, and curious as to how the Czechs would react to the very Britishness of the films.
I had of course shown ‘Can You Keep It Up…?’ to the Krauts at the Tromanale Film Festival some time ago, and I was hoping that the venue this time would be more fitting than the ‘Arts Space Lab’ of Berlin Tromanale….
So Vic (known as Vicum Prattum on some Czech websites), Mrs Karno and I arrived in Prague ready for the screening of the films on the 12th and 13th of February. The festival was showing a whole bunch of bizarre features, mainly horror, but also some of an, ahem, ‘extreme’ nature...
It started on the 10th so I had already missed the delights of ‘Santo vs. The Vampire Women’, Frank Henenlotter’s ‘Brain Damage’ and Tobe Hooper’s ‘Eaten Alive’.
Arriving at the cinema early evening on the 12th, I was pleased to find that it was a very nice looking 1930’s style old fashioned picture palace. The fact that it had a cheap bar was also a big plus point. Many pivo’s were imbibed...
And so the time came (6pm to be precise) for the first screening of ‘Can You Keep It Up With This That And The Other For A Week?, or to give it its catchy Czech title ‘Udrzite Krok S Tim, Tamtim A Onim Sedm Dni?’
I was introduced by Petr and I proceeded to introduce the film in a semi-coherent bumbling Englishman abroad manner, while Petr translated into Czech. The film was screened and the audience seemed to laugh at the funny bits so I guess the humour translated. I suppose a lot of them didn’t get the specific references to Seventies British Smut films, but the universal theme of randy men chasing birds could be understood the world over. Following this was a screening of Basketcase, Frank Henenlotter’s great horror comedy about a young man who keeps something strange in a basket...
After a short pivo break there was another screening of my film (introduced this time by Vicum Prattum) before the next feature, so some people had the pleasure of seeing it twice...
Not sure what I can say about the next film, a Japanese movie called Visitor Q. This was a sick, twisted, yet strangely entertaining concoction of incest, necrophilia and gallons, and I really do mean gallons, of squirting breast milk made in a way that only those crazy far easterners can...
Day 2 was to feature not one but three, yes three, screening of early KinoKarno classic Cult Of The Planet Of The Apes ( Kult Planety Opic). I hadn’t actually watched this for some years so was looking forward to it, although I had some reservations about the quality of the acting. The film went down well with the east Europeans, especially the climatic beheading sequence which was better that I remembered it.
The first feature was the notorious banned ‘video nasty’ Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (catchy title, isn’t it?). This is a gory tale of holiday makers trapped on an island with a crazed (and remarkably hungry) cannibal. An Italian movie from 1980 directed by Joe D’Amato, this was unfortunately a French print with Czech translation so we missed out on some of the no doubt subtle, poetic dialogue and some nuances of the plot but it was the visuals that counted... Poor Mrs Karno had to look away on numerous occasions, least of all the slightly ridiculous ‘eating a baby from the womb’ sequence...
Following a second showing of Kult Planety Opic, introduced by yours truly in a rather battered ape mask, was an obscure US offering from 1982, Boarding House. It seemed to have been made on VHS and used dodgy SFX that I used on pop videos I made at home years ago. It certainly had the feel of a KinoKarno production. The film itself was an overlong supernatural murder mystery that seemed to be a showcase for director/producer/star/everything else, Jonathan Wintergate, to show off his six pack and cavort with numerous plastic LA dolly birds in a swimming pool. Supposedly filmed in ‘Horror Vision’ but not that you’d notice...
One more time for Kult Planety Opic, this time climaxing in the ape chasing Petr out of the auditorium...
Sadly we stayed for only a few minutes of the final offering, a mad Nigerian Christian epic, End Of The Wicked.
The Shockproof Film Festival is a great, well organised event and the type of which I would love to see in this country. It was close in spirit to the late great Scala Cinema, and as we know, we will never see the like of that place again...
I t was a great honour to have my films shown in Prague and I hope that the name of KinoKarno and all it stands for will spread throughout the Czech Republic.

No comments:

Post a Comment