PollyGrind brings horror experiments to the big screen

Does this chainsaw make me look fat?

Chad Clinton Freeman just can’t say no. That’s one of the main reasons his PollyGrind film festival has expanded in its second year to span 10 days and more than 100 shorts, features, trailers and music videos. Last year’s version, held in May at the Sci Fi Center, exceeded Freeman’s expectations, and his modest project has grown into something more substantial.

“Last year I thought it was mostly going to be me showing filmmakers that I know, but it ended up being so much bigger,” he says. This year, the celebration of underground grindhouse cinema, encompassing horror, action, exploitation and more, received upwards of 500 submissions.


Pollygrind Film festival
October 8-17, various times, $7 per screening, passes $30-$110
Theatre 7, 568-9663

In addition to the expanded slate, PollyGrind is also switching venues this year, from the Sci Fi Center to Theatre 7 in the arts district, where Freeman is also the head of programming. “PollyGrind’s all about experimenting and looking at things in different ways, and that’s totally in line with Theatre 7,” Freeman says. It was while looking for a new space for the festival that he got involved with Theatre 7 in the first place, and now his love for underground and experimental filmmaking informs all of the venue’s programming.

PollyGrind is a little more extreme than the average night at Theatre 7, though, and Freeman prides himself on finding some of the most challenging and envelope-pushing movies around.

“A lot of these films, they haven’t played other festivals, or they’ve been rejected by a lot of other festivals,” he says, but he also notes that many PollyGrind selections go on to wider distribution. Last year’s top audience-award winner, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, was recently released on video on demand by IFC Films. The next down-and-dirty grindhouse classic just may be playing at this year’s festival.

Pollygrind Picks

The Super: “It was one that really just completely surprised me about how crazy a film it is,” says Freeman of the story of an unstable Vietnam vet who works as an apartment superintendent. October 9, 7:30 p.m.

The Bunny Game: “That’s one of those that there might be some people that walk out of. The stuff that happens in it, they actually did,” Freeman says. “Of course, nobody was killed.” Of course. October 8, 10 p.m.

The Oregonian: Calvin Lee Reeder’s mind-bending fantasia divided audiences at Sundance, but its punishing, experimental style is perfect for PollyGrind. October 16, 5 p.m.

The Earl Sessions: Local filmmaker Ginnetta Correli combines public-domain found footage with original material in a surreal head trip unlike anything else produced in Vegas. October 16, 7 p.m.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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Previous Discussion:

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