Gore Scores

The return of the eye-popping sounds of Herschell Gordon Lewis

Margo, Herschell soon learned, hadn't been referring to the Spartacus actress. "I knew who Kiss was," he admits sheepishly, "but I'd never heard of this guy." At the event, Simmons ended up touting the filmmaker as a true celebrity, hero, and icon, and "Since then, he's my closest friend," Lewis says, clearly tickled.

Simmons has a cameo in the upcoming 2001 Maniacs, a remake of Lewis's bloodshed watershed. Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund stars. In January, three independent Fort Lauderdale filmmakers -- Jarrod Canepa, Robert Hooker, and Mike James -- are planning to premiere their low-budget, underground film Hunting for Herschell. The plot, as Lewis understands it, centers on "two guys who want to make a gore movie and want my imprimatur on it. So they kill and dismember people to get at me.

"I thought the whole thing was a joke," he says, grinning in disbelief. "They asked, 'Would you object if we did this?' How do you answer something like that? How many people who are still alive have a movie made about them? They actually had a script calling for me to be in it."

Though he cautions that the picture "is going to be very flat unless they have some really strong music in the background!" Lewis has accommodated the fledgling filmmakers.

"I am not going to rain on their parade. They are extraordinarily serious about this project, and who could ever jump on people who are serious about what they're doing?" His eyebrows suddenly lift to cumulonimbus heights. "Especially when it's about me!"

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