Last week, things were looking pretty dire for the PollyGrind film festival. National theater chain Cinemark had pulled the festival from its scheduled venue at the South Point, declaring the content “softcore pornography,” according to festival founder and director Chad Clinton Freeman, who was left scrambling to find a new venue in less than a week. Thankfully, a few local establishments stepped up, and Vegas’ most daring and distinctive festival will go on.
As always, PollyGrind is packed with unique, bizarre underground films, including plenty of horror and exploitation movies. Freeman cites Australian filmmaker Stuart Simpson’s Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla (Thursday, 2 p.m.), a dark comedy about an ice cream man’s obsession with a soap opera star, as his favorite film of the festival. Other highlights include two world premieres of local features: found-footage horror movie Heidi (Thursday, 8 p.m.) and video artist Ginnetta Correli’s avant-garde documentary The Beauty Strip (Friday, 6 p.m.). In addition to feature films, shorts, music videos and trailers, the festival will host a panel discussion on film distribution and live musical performances from Angular Gyrus and MC Randumb & Jewish Dave. The Man might have tried, but no one can keep a good festival down.
PollyGrind October 16, 2 p.m.-midnight, $10-$12 per screening, Galaxy Green Valley; October 17, 6 p.m.-3 a.m., $12, Hell Town Studio; October 18, 8 p.m.-3 a.m., free, the End; pollygrind.com.