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Slime City Massacre and Dead Hooker Big Winners

Slime City Massacre and Dead Hooker in a Trunk win big at PollyGrind

Greg Lamberson’s Slime City Massacre won The Biggest Baddest Mother of the PollyGrind, which was the top jury award, while Jen and Sylvia Soska’s Dead Hooker in a Trunk was voted favorite feature by the audience.

A sequel to a gruesome classic from more than twenty years ago and a debut feature from twin sisters that originally started off as a faux trailer were the two big winners of the first ever Polly Staffle Grindhouse Fest.

The international event, predominantly known as PollyGrind, took place May 12-16 at the Sci-Fi Center in Las Vegas. PollyGrind consisted of programming in the tradition of grindhouse theaters with double and triple features each day, bookended by trailers and music videos. The event was dedicated to independent filmmaking and those that love cult, horror, sci-fi, exploitation, arthouse, cool, edgy, sexy and bloody works of cinema.

Thirteen films and more than 31 other works played during the course of the festival, which saw journalists, artists, actors, filmmakers and fans from as far as New York show up for the event.

Greg Lamberson’s Slime City Massacre won The Biggest Baddest Mother of the PollyGrind, which was the top jury award, while Jen and Sylvia Soska’s Dead Hooker in a Trunk was voted favorite feature by the audience. The filmmakers were ecstatic to hear about their wins.

“I’m thrilled Slime City Massacre won this honor, and happily accept it on behalf of everyone who worked on it,” Lamberson said. “Some genre themed film festivals cater more and more to studio films, but the PollyGrind really is a celebration of independent films. That’s what festivals should be about: exposing people to films that might escape their radar otherwise, not scheduling the same stuff that will be in multiplexes a few months later. I’m proud to have
screened at a new festival that has its priorities straight, and the award is very sweet icing on the cake.”

“That is absolutely incredible,” was Jen Soska’s response when she was told of Dead Hooker in a Trunk’s win. “I’m speechless and touched. I cannot begin to tell how honored we are. This is just the greatest news we could ever hope for.”

Slime City Massacre, a sequel to Lamberson’s 1988 cult classic Slime City, also received recognition via Kealan Patrick Burke, who was named best actor of the festival. The sci-fi, horror and action joyride, which starred genre favorites Debbie Rochon (The Good Sisters), Lee Perkins (KatieBird *Certifiable Crazy Person) and Brooke Lewis (Mondo Holocausto!), played opening night on a double bill with the world premiere of John R. Hand’s sci-fi arthouse film Scars of Youth, the winner of the most creative jury award.

Actor Robert C. Sabin, who appeared in both the Slime City films, took part in a Q&A after the film’s Las Vegas premiere. Sabin then stuck around for three of the festival’s remaining four days.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk had its Vegas premiere on the event’s most successful night, a standing room only sellout. The crowd ate up the film as did the PollyGrind judges, who awarded it best screenplay.

PollyGrind judge Everette Hartsoe, the creator of the underground comic book Razor, gave Jen and Sylvia Soska his Bad Girl Award. Razor, currently being turned into a feature film, is recognized worldwide as one of the first comics to start the bad girl comic genre.

To compliment the Bad Girl Award that went to the Soskas, PollyGrind named Luke Goss the winner of Markowitz the Amazing Thug Armadillo’s Ultimate Badass Award for his role in The Dead Undead.

The Soska’s have described their films as Weekend at Bernie’s by way of Quentin Tarantino and admit it started off as a fake trailer. The sisters were inspired by Nova Scotia filmmakers Jason Eisener, John Davies and Rob Cotterill, and their Hobo with a Shotgun trailer, which won Robert Rodriguez’s South by Southwest Grindhouse trailer contest and just recently wrapped as a feature starring .Rutger Hauer. (A video acceptance speech by the twins can be seen on PollyGrind.com.)

“I was extremely pleased with the quality of all the content I got to program for my startup event,” PollyGrind creator Chad Clinton Freeman said. “But Dead Hooker in a Trunk and Slime City Massacre offer so much that it’s hard for people not to like at least some aspect of them. They’re funny, sexy, absurd and filled with girls, guns and gore just like many of the grindhouse greats.”

Other big winners at the festival were filmmakers Creep Creepersin and Calvin Lee Reeder and William Mager’s short Stiletto.

Creepersin, who has helmed 18 features since 2007, won the jury’s special showcase award for his lineup of world premieres Orgy of Blood, Vaginal Holocaust, and Caged Lesbos A-Go-Go that screened along with trailers for Erection, He, Peeping Blog, The Corporate Cut Throat Massacre, and Ding Dong Dead. Vaginal Holocaust also won for best use of nudity/sexuality.

Creepersin, along with his producers Nikki Wall and Charlie Vaughn came out for the event and took part in two Q&As. Cast and crew members of his films such as Dolce Death, Tess LaCoil and Shane Ryan also made appearances. The day after the PollyGrind, Creepersin and company headed out to Big Bear, Calif. to shoot his latest project Lake Death.

Reeder, deep in post production on his feature debut The Oregonian, won best director for his two short films The Rambler and The Snake Mountain Colada. The Rambler also won an award for best use of music.

In his write up about PollyGrind for Las Vegas Weekly, critic Josh Bell called Reeder’s short films the best of what he saw at the event, describing them as “beautifully impressionistic pieces that could hardly be classified as straight-up horror, but which used certain horror conventions, including sex, gore and mysterious hitchhikers, as jumping-off points for series of bizarre and haunting images that evoked the desolation of the American open road.”

Mager’s film noir Stiletto won the audience award for favorite short. It was also recognized for its acting as Beth Winslet won best actress of the festival.

Other jury awards went to Deborah Haywood’s dark comedy Sis for best short film, Ginnetta Correli’s Hippodome Mime for best music video, Pete Schuermann’s spoof Evil Brain From Planet X for best trailer, Alex Pucci’s brutal 70s throwback Frat House Massacre for best use of violence/gore, Bruce Dickson’s Red Velvet for best cinematography (shot by Jim Dickson), Matt Anderson and Edward Conna’s The Dead Undead for best cameo appearance (Forrest Ackerman as a Wheelchair ZomVamp that is set on fire) and German Magariños’ oh so wrong, but oh so funny Zombie Apocalypse Now: A Zombie Hunter for the most outrageous film of the festival.

Other audience awards for favorites went to Michael Dunn’s Hallway (performed by Justine Bellinsky of the band MoonVine from the short film The Bet) for music video, Michael Ramova’s Star Wars Grindhouse for trailer and Aaron Mento for his special showcase that featured the horror shorts Absent and Heathen’s Gate.

Dunn (along with actor Lou Diamond), Bellinsky, Mento (along with his director of photography John Snedden and producer Von DeWit), Correli and Pucci all took part in Q&As during the event, as did Jeffrey Blake Palmer (in support of the trailer The Sleeping Deep), and Jeffrey Bliss and Brandon Zorn (in support of their short Telefone).

PollyGrind also had appearances by Doll Squad members Fran Niznik and Amanda Jade of Ted V. Mikels latest film Astro Zombies M3: Cloned, Scream Queen Donna Hamblin (also of Astro Zombies), HorrorNews.net’s Dai Green, fetish model Jennique Angel, pinup artists Popeye Wong and Tony Sauceda, and others.

“The event was a success in every way I could have hoped for,” Freeman said. “This was put on in the same spirit as old grindhouse cinema with no budget whatsoever and the horror and indie film communities, as well as genre fans, the Vegas art scene and the media really did their part in supporting us. Just like the films of Doris Wishman and Herschell Gordon Lewis, PollyGrind wasn’t without it’s flaws, but it definitely was a great start to an annual event.”

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PollyStaffle.com is an entertainment site that celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity, empowerment and community.

Written by Mitchell Wells

Founder and Editor in Chief of Horror Society. Self proclaimed Horror Movie Freak, Tech Geek, love indie films and all around nice kinda guy!!