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Preem rocks the dead

'House' party finally able to celebrate

HOLLYWOOD — Grunge, guts and glory oozed through the unorthodox ArcLight preem of rocker Rob Zombie‘s controversial horror debut, “House of 1000 Corpses” April 9. T-shirts, heavy-metal garb and lots of black set the tone for this pseudo-wake for a project almost buried by studio skittishness.

Lions Gate’s prexy Tom Ortenberg and vice chairman Michael Burns were on hand to celebrate their acquisition, which they nabbed after Universal and MGM passed.

Zombie had problems getting an R rating for the bloody pic, an ode to old drive-in screamers, and will release an unscathed version on DVD.

“The MPAA is hard to figure out,” said Zombie. “They had problems with an operation scene, but didn’t say a word about the scene where the cop gets shot at point blank range. Go figure.”

Cult cast members Karen Black, Sid Haig, Sheri Moon, Billy Moseley and “Six Feet Under” mortician Rainn Wilson, plus guests Andy Dick, Natasha Lyonne and Cassandra (“Elvira”) Peterson, closed down the house with their own mayhem at the Las Palmas after-party.