Festival founder and programmer Chad Clinton Freeman, dubbed the “new champion of unabashed B-movie sleaze” by ArrowintheHead.com, is remaining tight-lipped about the bulk of his third annual lineup, but said he is too excited to keep quiet about Pyun’s rock opera thriller Road to Hell opening the main event of his fest on October 17.
“I’m a big fan of Albert,” Freeman said about the director of The Sword and the Sorcerer, Cyborg, Captain America, Dollman, Nemesis and many more. “He’s one of those modern day masters of the straight-to-
Written by Cynthia Curnan, Road to Hell is a non official sequel to Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire that has drawn comparisons to Sin City due to its highly stylized look and violence. It stars Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers) and Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors), both of Streets of Fire; Clare Kramer (The Gravedancers, Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Courtney Peldon (Mortuary).
The film also gives many their introduction to Roxy Gunn. The vocalist of the Las Vegas pop-rock sensation the Roxy Gunn Project carries the film with her acting and nearly nonstop singing.
“In a time when all young actresses tend to blur together into one generic face, she really stands out,” wrote author Alex Bledsoe in one of the films earliest reviews. “An actual musician, she has a natural ease on screen that makes every moment seem real. In a movie where the main landscape is faces, she has one that conveys everything her character is thinking and feeling.”
Plans are for the Roxy Gunn Project to perform at the opening night after party. This will be the bands second appearance at the festival.
“That’s what makes this so special,” Freeman said. “It was the fact Roxy and company played the event last year that got Albert’s attention. The moment he saw and heard Roxy Gunn he said she was the perfect ingredient to complete his film, which he’s been working on since 2008.”
In addition, PollyGrind alum Michael Su (My Demon Within) worked as cinematographer on the newly shot scenes.
Until now Freeman had only announced one other film that will screen at his event. Richard Griffin’s retrosploitation film The Disco Exorcist will get a Special Wild Eye Releasing Showcase on October 19. Other selections and screenings will be released some time in early September.
PollyGrind’s first year screened 40 different projects including the big winners Slime City Massacre and Dead Hooker in a Trunk over 5 days. Last year, the event grew bigger with more than 100 projects including the big winners The Bunny Game and Dear God No! with the main event alone stretching over 10 days straight.
Freeman promises PollyGrind will be even bigger and better this year, but in different ways.
“I’m not doing the grindathon noon to 2 a.m. screenings this year or the marathon days straight,” Freeman said. “That was just too much. I noticed the crowds really liked when I was able to give more focused presentations, such as Zombiepalooza. So I’m trying to make each night of the festival and each weekend in October its own stand alone experience. There will still be double features and triple features, but the sextuple features won’t be happening.”
The festival will kick off October 5 with PollyGrind’s annual red carpet zombie walk, a zombie cupcake eating contest and an art show in Las Vegas’ downtown arts district. The festival’s Zombiepalooza screenings happen the next day at theatre7.
Additional warm up screenings of official selections will take place the following weekend before the main event October 17-21. The festival will conclude the following weekend.
During the main event, Road to Hell will screen, along with The Disco Exorcist and many others. There will also be a drive-in night at Atomic Liquors, a day of panels and film discussions at the Indie Film Factory and some after parties.
Best of all, most of the events will be free. Starting in late September, Freeman will be giving away 2,500 tickets in exchange for donated can goods to his Films That Feed program. His hope is to raise at least 1,000 pounds of food for Las Vegas’ Three Square Food Bank, which benefits over 650 partners in Southern Nevada, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs, senior citizens and more. All the tickets will be first come, first served, but there will also be a limited number of reserve seating passes that will be available for $30.
There will also be a “live” film competition that will start Oct. 5 and end Oct. 22 with the screening of the films on Oct. 26. The competition is free and open to anyone. There will be prizes and official festival awards for the winners. All entries will also have a chance of having footage featured in the official PollyGrind music video “Hustle! Fight! Grind!” by MC Randumb and Jewish Dave.
Freeman says he wants one to three minute shorts, longer if anyone is ambitious, that captures the essence of PollyGrind. The theme is Feed Your Creativity.
“These can be montages, they can be narratives, they can be documentaries, they can be whatever the filmmakers want them to be,” Freeman said. “Music, art, film, zombies, burlesque, food, community, goodwill, there is so much happening. My hope is that filmmakers that live here and those that are coming to town for the festival will all take part, but anybody in any state and any nation can take part. If you can’t be here to film what’s going on, shoot something in your own back yard, get creative; feed your creativity.”
Freeman says he is encouraging original music, as well as the use of public domain or recycled footage, but like the festival itself, there are no limitations.
“We don’t think outside the box,” Freeman said. “PollyGrind thinks outside the outside.”
The PollyGrind Film Festival is all about the darker side of cinema and the artists that bring those films to life. Named to MovieMaker’s top 25 list of festivals worth the entry fee, PollyGrind aims to celebrate individuality, diversity, creativity and empowerment by showcasing the work of filmmakers with defiantly independent visions.
The festival has seen more than 20 of its official feature film selections land distribution contracts with the likes of Showtime, IFC Midnight, R Squared, Shriek Show, Osiris Entertainment, Maya Entertainment, Breaking Glass and many more.
In 2011, DreadCentral.com raved "Reveling in everything from arthouse to grindhouse to everything in between, PollyGrind has quickly made a name for itself as one of the up-and-coming premiere genre fests out there due to the success of each year of programming."
Confirmed sponsors for the upcoming festival are Glidecam, Wild Eye Releasing, Apprehensive Films, Troma Entertainment, Autonomy Films, Retro Bakery, PollyStaffle.com, theatre7, Atomic Liquors, Sony Creative, Sourpuss Clothing, Shoot to Kill Media, Altsie.com, Media Blasters, and Alternative Cinema.
For more information on the festival or to watch the Road to Hell trailer, visit www.pollygrind.com.