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November 14, 2018

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Photos: Tropic Beauty Pageant vs. ‘blood, nudity and scares’ of PollyGrind Fest


Tom Donoghue/

The Tropic Beauty 2012 calendar launch party at Rhumbar in the Mirage on Oct. 6, 2011.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Tropic Beauty 2012 Calendar Launch at Rhumbar

The Tropic Beauty 2012 calendar launch party at Rhumbar in the Mirage on Oct. 6, 2011. Launch slideshow »

7/1/11: Tropic Beauty Model Search at MGM Grand

The Tropic Beauty Model Search at MGM Grand on July 1, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Tropic Beauty Contestants Play Blackjack at MGM Grand

Tropic Beauty contestants play blackjack at MGM Grand on June 30, 2011. Brittany Bauer won the ladies-only tournament. Launch slideshow »

Angel Porrino Debuts in 'Absinthe'

Angel Porrino in Absinthe at Caesars Palace on April 19, 2011. Launch slideshow »

It has to go down in the record books as one of the most interesting match-ups, and it could only happen in Las Vegas. Today, 30 of America’s most beautiful bikini models arrive to compete for a final spot in the 2011 Tropic Beauty World Finals, while 15 Tropic Beauty model winners will celebrate their reunion.

At the same time, the second annual PollyGrind Film Festival gets underway tomorrow with its collection of “blood, nudity and scares” with art-house actresses playing every night creature from hookers to zombies. Holly’s World starlet and Absinthe balloon beauty Angel Porrino will premiere her new revenge thriller there.

A Tropic Beauty search was held in July at MGM Grand, and photographer Tom Donoghue captured all the excitement. Demand from contestants was so great that this second pageant was planned, and for the next three days, the events are at the Mirage as part of the hotel casino’s $250,000 poker tournament weekend.

It starts tonight with the launch and unveiling of the 2012 calendar and model signing at Rhumbar followed by the girls competing in a black jack tournament. Tomorrow is the first round of judging at Bare Pool Lounge, and then the preliminary contestants announcement is tomorrow night at Revolution Lounge. On Saturday, the finals take place at Bare followed by award presentations.

It wraps with a celebration dinner at Stack and then an after-party at The Bank in the Bellagio. The world finals are at MGM Grand from Jan. 12-15, with 80 finalists competing for cash and prizes totaling $100,000.

Meantime, PollyGrind director and founder Chad Clinton Freeman promises “blood, nudity and scares aplenty” for the 10-day underground movie gathering at Theater 7 in our downtown Arts District featuring 34 independent feature films and more than 80 trailers, music videos and shorts. Some 20 projects are from Las Vegas filmmakers, but others come from as far as India, Spain, Brazil, England, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

“Everything from art house to grindhouse is here. There’s brutality, there’s blood and nudity, there’s controversy, there’s exploitation, there’s experimentation, there’s comedy, and there are movies that are quite thought-provoking,” Chad said.

World premieres include Michael Ricks’ The Las Vegas Abductions and Glen Meadows’ The Atonement of Janis Drake, which closes PollyGrind on Oct. 17, and stars Beverly Lynne and our Angel. Guests include Beverly, Brooke Lewis, Darin Wood, Christy Savage, Liesel Hanson, Jawara Duncan, Rodleen Getsic, Honey Lauren, Monique Parent, Dawna Lee Heiesing, Creep Creepersin, Shane Ryan, Sean Cain, James Bickert, Aramis Sartorio, Craig McIntyre, Nikki Wall and Ginnetta Correli.

PollyGrind kick offs tomorrow night with a concert, a red carpet zombie walk, a zombification station with Suzanne Lugano and other artists showing off their work during First Friday. “Summer is dying, and Halloween is coming,” Chad summed up. “The end of 2011, another tough year, is near. What better way to celebrate than a film festival that is all about facing our fears, facing our demons, becoming inspired and becoming empowered?”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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