Las Vegas Sun

November 19, 2018

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PollyGrind in Las Vegas this year was the film festival that almost wasn’t


John Katsilometes

Faux Elvis eliciting real impact at the PollyGrind Film Festival at Theater 7 in the downtown Arts District in 2011.

Click to enlarge photo

"Play Hooky."

The fifth-annual PollyGrind Film festival has a 1 a.m. Sunday showcase screening of “Play Hooky.” It’s the film festival that almost wasn’t. PollyGrind founder and director Chad Clinton Freeman had a venue for the record number of international entries, but days ago it refused to showcase the controversial grindhouse movies.

Now the festival will take place at Galaxy Luxury+ Theaters in Green Valley today and then move to Hell Town Studios and Back Lot on Friday before going into the wee hours at the zombie-themed pizza bar The End on Saturday.

Chad told me via email: “I secured and paid for a movie theater to host screenings all three days. But then they decided that they weren’t a fan of our content, and they pulled the plug just seven days beforehand.

“It was our darkest hour.”

He scrambled to overcome the last-minute ban and with Wild Eye distribution secured Galaxy Theaters.

“It was so hard for me, but when all hope is gone, you have to hustle, fight and grind to make it happen,” said Chad.” That’s what this year’s event has truly become about, and that’s what ‘Play Hooky’ represents.”

The no-budget, found-footage film “Play Hooky” gets a Tuesday release on DVD and VOD. There’s a distribution “Shark Tank” at 10 p.m. with Wild Eye CEO Rob Hauschild and feature grindhouse legend Ted V. Mikels and cult filmmaker Glen Coburn of Whacked Movies.

Other films being shown include the premiere of the $300 sci-fi drama “Memory Lane,” the exploitation feature “Lust of the Vampire Girls” and performances by the cinematic rock outfit Angular Gyrus.

World premieres at PollyGrind this year include the punk rock documentary “Rebel Scum”; action-comedy splatterfest “Teddy Bomb”; Daniel Ray’s creepy doll found footage film “Heidi”; G. Correli’s cinema verite piece “The Beauty Strip”; Todd Sheets’ experimental found footage project “Spirits”; and the World of Death Special Short Film Showcase.

There will be red carpet photo opportunities for all of the films. Plans are for a final night before Halloween with the world premiere of “The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper” followed by a special sneak peek of “Cyborg Nemesis.”

Audiences are encouraged to attend in Halloween costumes.

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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