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Return Of Schlockfest

Library Film Series Ponders What Is Schlock?

Credit: Universal

Above: "House of Frankenstein" serves up a "cornucopia of monsters" on November 20th at the new Central Library on Park Blvd.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with the folks behind the San Diego Library's Schlockfest to find out how you define schlock.


The dictionary defines schlock as something inferior, shoddy or cheap. But the folks behind the San Diego Library’s Schlockfest Film Series would disagree.

Debating what constitutes schlock is what the San Diego Central Library’s Schlockfest Film Series is all about says adult programming coordinator Marc Chery.

"That’s part of the fun, what is schlock? What’s schlock to me may not be schlock to you… We mean schlock in a very loving way, it’s a type of first love kind of way because they are the films that we grew up with, comfort films," Chery said.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Allied Artists

Poster for "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," the film that launched Schlockfest in October of 2010.

Films like "Attack of the "50 Foot Woman," "Tarantula," and "The Mole People." Miguel Rodriguez grew up with these schlocky B-movies. He’s the host of Monster Island Resort Podcast and the director of San Diego's Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. He programs the films for Schlockfest. He’s made it his mission to bring respect to what’s often dismissed as a lowly breed of films.

"This is something that I’ve wanted for a long time, I’ve wanted an institution like a public library, an institution of learning, to give a chance to these films to be more than just schlock. What makes these films special and what makes them worthy of being shown and discussed in a public forum like the library is that there’s a certain naïve honesty about them that tells us something about ourselves," Rodriguez said.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, “House of Frankenstein” will reboot Schlockfest with what Rodriguez calls “a cornucopia of monsters.” It screens tomorrow night at 6:30 pm at the new San Diego Central Library at 330 Park Blvd. And there is underground parking at the library.

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