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Comedy, action, crime and more: Local filmmaker premieres ‘The Lords of Cornhole’

The+Loft+Cinema+prepares+for+the+world+premiere+of+local+Tucson+movie+The+Lords+of+Cornhole+on+Sept.+10.+The+film+was+directed+by+Peter+Leon.
Mason Kumet
The Loft Cinema prepares for the world premiere of local Tucson movie “The Lords of Cornhole” on Sept. 10. The film was directed by Peter Leon.

Peter Leon’s latest project, “The Lords of Cornhole,” premiered Sunday, Sept. 10 at the Loft Cinema. The film was written by Leon and J. Patrick Ohlde and combines a variety of genres, such as action, comedy, drama and gore with the sport of cornhole. 

Filmmaking has always been a passion for Leon, who has been creating movies since he was a kid.

“My writing partner, J. Patrick Ohlde and I always get together and shoot around some ideas. I just recently learned about this ridiculous sport of cornhole. I could not believe it was a professional sport, so I told him we should make a movie about cornhole,” Leon said. 

And just like that, Leon and Ohlde would meet twice a week at Eegee’s and craft what would ultimately become “The Lords of Cornhole.”  

James Strock, who played Hal Catbird — an ex-cornhole champion with a past — has worked with Leon on three films. Strock describes Leon as a very driven director who is not afraid of experimenting with different genres. 

“We worked on ‘Three Nights in Hell,’ which was a revenge movie and ‘Last Kiss,’ which was a vampire Christmas comedy,” Strock said.

Their most recent film, “The Lords of Cornhole,” is unlike anything they have made before. 

“I’m calling it the greatest crime-comedy cornhole action movie ever made. I think that is accurate, because I think it is probably the only one ever made. It is about a guy who owes the local drug lord $20,000 because of his debilitating drug habit. He only has a month to pay her back and so he and his friend decide to join the local cornhole competition to try and win the money to pay off his debt,” Leon said.

“The Lords of Cornhole” director Peter Leon answers questions from the audience during a post-movie Q and A session at the Loft Cinema in Tucson on Sept. 10. Leon co-wrote the film with J. Patrick Ohlde. (Mason Kumet)

“There is time travel, there’s father-son, there’s drugs. The total normal American tale about everything,” Strock said.

This rated-R film is for anyone in need of a laugh who is not squeamish about bloodshed and is looking to support local filmmaking in Tucson. 

“The idea is to let people put away their problems and their worries for an hour and just laugh. Our vision was just that, to make people laugh, have a good time and not really take anything too seriously,” Leon said. 

“The comedy is pretty universal. We try and make fun of a broad range of people, so it is not geared toward one particular group,” Leon said.

A nearly soldout Loft Cinema awaits the premiere of “The Lords of Cornhole” on Sept. 10. The film is about friends who join the local cornhole competition to try and win the money to pay off a drug debt. (Mason Kumet)

Dominic Colella, who attended the premiere night, had nothing but good things to say about the film.

“Overall, I enjoyed it. I thought it was funny. I liked the callouts to other things. The scene where they were all throwing the bags was reminiscent of ‘The Big Lebowski,’ which is one of my favorite films. I enjoyed the way it was scored; the techno background was really fun to me. Nonsensical, but a good time,” Colella said. 

Colella recommends the film and got the following message from it:

“Don’t get into debt with drug dealers. Don’t take out a line of credit.”

Jon Stough, who also experienced the film premiere night, had equally great reviews. 

“I loved it. Great humor. I guess the father and son bond might have been the biggest message I took out of it. And don’t do coke,” Stough said. 

Hundreds of patrons attended the premiere of “The Lords of Cornhole” at the Loft Cinema in Tucson on Sept. 10. The movie was created entirely in Tucson. (Mason Kumet)

Strock wrote two cornhole-related songs for this film: “The Lords of Cornhole Theme” and “Right in the Hole.” Getting ukulele and vocal versions of his music up on his TikTok is one of his next priorities. 

If you could not make it to the premiere night at the Loft Cinema, do not worry. Leon and Strock are looking into getting “The Lords of Cornhole ” into regional theaters, as well as making it available for streaming. 


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