Every self-respecting horror fan remembers the first time they saw Bill Moseley - grinning like a demented Cheshire cat with a mouthful of festering tombstone teeth; pale, peeling skin and sporting a foppish black Sonny Bono Wig screaming "Music is my LIFE!" At the same time, the twitchy weirdo is flicking a Bic to the end of a rusty coat hanger, absent-mindedly scraping his diseased scalp with the heated hook and eating the scabby spoils. This, of course, was Moseley as ChopTop, the madder than mad, larger than life and sicker than sick younger brother of cannibal chili king Drayton Sawyer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2.
From the moment Moseley skeezed on screen in Tobe Hooper's outrageous sequel to TCM, he owned the film, essaying the kind of scene (and scalp)-chewing character that would be forever bronzed in horror history. The fact that some saw-wielding goon with human rawhide on his face eventually blustered in seemed like an afterthought, and even the presence of screen vet Dennis Hopper running around screeching mad didn't make much difference. It was Moseley who stole the show.
But where did he come from, this freakish form of spastic evil energy? What tortured paths and crooked miles did he walk before he became what he'd become? Not surprisingly, like many cinematic icons of horror, his roots were both benign and humble - the antithesis of his delightfully dreadful destiny. Believe it or not, Moseley was a man of letters.
Born in Connecticut, Moseley's parents enrolled the future screen fiend in The Hotchkiss School, an elite boarding institution in Lakeville, CT (yes it's true, ChopTop was once a preppie
now that's scary). His stellar academic career would eventually lead to Yale University, where he graduated with a BA in English.
After Yale, Moseley relocated to New York City and became a freelance writer for prestigious periodicals like Omni, National Lampoon, Rolling Stone, Interview and Psychology Today while simultaneously finding work in a myriad of Soho art galleries. From political ad writing, to being a gossip columnist for Showtime TV and, surprisingly, even Editor-In-Chief of CB Bible Magazine, Moseley had done it all when it came to his publishing career.
The jack-of-all-trades Renaissance man wrote, funded, and starred (as The Hitchhiker) in a wigged-out parody of one of his favorite films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, called The Texas Chainsaw Manicure. An impressively imaginative, dead-on rip on the original, the film eventually ended up in the mitts of Massacre auteur Tobe Hooper, who was so impressed he promised Moseley a role in a proposed sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that he had in the works. Two years later, reps from Cannon Pictures had him on the horn and within days the deal was sealed. Moseley, metal plate fastened securely to his clean-shaved bald pate, stepped into the bloody boots of The Hitchhiker's severely unhealthy twin brother, ChopTop, and a new horror icon was born.
In the years to follow, Moseley would work continuously in front of the camera, appearing in Chuck (The Mask) Russell's successful remake of The Blob, Clint Eastwood's Pink Cadillac, the anti-Christmas slasher sequel Silent Night Deadly Night 3, Tom Savini's remake of Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Sam Raimi's third entry in his Evil Dead series, Army of Darkness. And while the celebrated cult actor continued developing his professional career, his more intimate and personal career as father and family man was also blossoming.
At the same time, another man was slowly building his own blood spattered empire, its foundation consisting of adolescent obsessions with comic books, exploitation pictures, dirty punk rock 'n' roll, and gory horror movies. That man was Rob Zombie.
After a string of wildly successful albums both with and without his mutant metal band White Zombie, the ambitious musician began exploring the idea of making his first film, a picture that would tip its machete to not only the great shockers of the 1970s, but more specifically to a movie that had become part of his DNA: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. Zombie's first order of business was hiring his hero, 'ole ChopTop himself, Bill Moseley for one of the starring roles.
Zombie's controversial House of 1000 Corpses would become a massive cult favorite - which spawned an even more vicious and critically embraced sequel, The Devil's Rejects - which also landed Moseley a prime role in HBO's dark and delicious sideshow-set melodrama Carnivāle. As homicidal artist/serial killer Otis B. Driftwood in both House and Rejects, Moseley's bizarro charms would be retooled for a whole new generation of counter culture enthusiasts, who immediately catapulted him into horror superstardom.
Now a genre icon twice over, Moseley lives a quiet life in Hollywood with his two daughters, two cats, a cantankerous parrot named Mr. Hanky, and Lucinda, the love of his life. He's a hysterically funny, bright, approachable guy who also finds time to release full-length albums of experimental rock 'n' roll, with the likes of Guitar God Buckethead (CORNBUGS) and Rani Sharone (SPIDER MOUNTAIN.) Both CORNBUGS and SPIDER MOUNTAIN CD's are available @ www.choptopsbbq.com .
Bill Moseley's other film projects include REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA and THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL (directed by SAW franchise director Darren Lynn Bousman), GRINDHOUSE (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez), Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN; also THE DEVIL'S TOMB (with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beowulf's Ray Winstone); horror/thrillers BLOOD NIGHT and THE GRAVES, Rob Zombie's animated feature THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, Twisted Pictures' THE TORTURED and the 3-D horror musical HIGHWAY TO HELL. Bill has leads in the films 2001 MANIACS: Field of Screams (directed by Tim Sullivan), NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: ORIGINS (reprising his role as "JOHNNY") and the thriller ROGUE RIVER. Bill also stars in the features EXIT HUMANITY, THE INFLICTED, DISCIPLES, Lionsgate Film's TEXAS CHAINSAW 3-D and OLD 37, which Bill stars in opposite Kane Hodder. Bill also stars in the horror films DEAD SOULS, BIG TOP EVIL, and THE CHURCH. Bill's Filming slate for 2013 will include MONSTER SCHOOL, MANSON GIRLS (Bill will portray Charles Manson) and DOLL FACE. Bill will also star in a television series, currently in pre-production, called HELL HUNTERS (based on the popular comic book.) Bill also has a recurring role on the television series for FearNet called HOLLISTON.
From preppie journalist to satanic serial killer, Moseley's taken a long and unusual road to cult stardom, firmly cementing his place in the annals of horror history along the way. Bill has received numerous honors and awards over the years, recognizing his many achievements: Bill was Guest of Honor at the 2006 World Horror Convention; he has won two Spike Awards, two Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, an Eyegore Award, the 2010 Song of the Year Award from the RockSolidPressure radio show for "Stupid Life of A Mom Eater" from Bill's Spider Mountain album "No Way Down," the 2011 SyFy/NBC/Universal Fantasy Horror Award for Career Achievement and the 2011 Crypt Icon Award. Bill is also a member of the Fangoria Magazine Horror Hall of Fame.