Interviews: Horror Icon Bill Moseley Talks The Possession Experiment and The Texas Chainsaw Legacy

TMS: So, that radio station sequence in Texas Chainsaw Massacre II was my first hardcore gore scene. It set the stage for my obsession with extreme horror and all out brutality in film. 

BM:  Hahaha. Well, thank you. I'm actually down here in Orlando for the Spooky Empire Horror Convention. We're laying out the new NECA Chop Top action figure. 

TMS:  How did your role as Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw II define the rest of your career as an actor?

BM:  It certainly gave me an introduction to horror. It went from Chop Top to Johnny in Night of the Living Dead. Because of Chop Top I was introduced to Tom Savini who's down here in Orlando too. Tom when he got the call to do the remake of Night of the Living Dead, he sent me the script and said pick any character you want. And I did. With those two characters, my career was set. 

TMS: Has there ever been a horror scene that's left you shaken afterwards?

BM:  I was certainly affected by the Tiki Palms scene in The Devil's Rejects. The scene where I have to pistol rape Priscilla Barnes. I was nervous about that scene before we shot it. We just went for it. It was a very powerful scene. That's not my usual behavior. It was certainly new. Thank god for Priscilla. She was a real trooper and was right there in the scene. 

TMS: I have to imagine doing a shocking scene like that could chill you to the core. 

BM:  It was such a bummer. After the first take I walked off the set. That's when I came up to our terrific director Rob Zombie and said 'That really bummed me out'. That's when Rob looked at me and instead of saying 'awww you poor thing' he said 'art is not safe'. That's right. That is pretty cool. There's also danger when things go wrong physically. 

TMS: A lot of people I know have met you at comic cons and horror conventions. Everyone says what a nice and gracious person you are. Is it hard to separate these roles from reality? Is it hard to shift focus from being that nice guy to doing evil deeds?

BM:  It's not really hard for me. Is it hard to turn into the evil guy in the movies? No, it isn't really. I guess I am a nice guy. I don't really carry my work around with me. As soon as it's time to pull out the knife or the chainsaw or the clawhammer, it's an easy transition for me. 

TMS: What do you want to tell people about The Possession Experiment?

BM: It's a wonderful exorcism movie. It's from director Scott Hanson. I think this is his first feature film. He did a wonderful job. It's a great script from Mary Hixon who also produced it. We shot it in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was the first time I had a chance to channel my inner Max von Sydow from the original Exorcist movie. I had a really good slugfest with the devil. People will see the result was less than satisfying for me. (laughter)

TMS: We're getting a lot of demonic possession movies again. A lot of them are coming out. Why do you think that they continue to thrive?

BM: Probably because they're very cheap to produce. They give people a good sense of what's good and what's evil. The church vs. the devil. A lot of people are possessed in their voting habits or they're under the influence of crazier drugs. They can fall under all different forms of what we call 'possession'. It's good to have that clear cut case of good vs. evil. It's also a cheap thrill. 

TMS: If there were a mainstream genre entry, do you have a role you'd like to pick or a different type of part you'd like to experiment with?

BM: You know, I'm sure there probably is. Frankly, there's nothing that I wish I had gotten. I'm capable of playing other things other than horror but also I don't always play scary parts in horror movies. The genre itself has giving me chances to play so many different kinds of characters. I find that I'm perfectly happy. I've played an incredible gambit of  characters. 

TMS: We've seen the series go through a lot of changes. Do you think it'll ever get back to the way it started?

BM: I know that there's a new one coming out from a French director. I don't know the particulars. I have really high hopes for it. It could be really really cool. Stephen Dorff is in it. Maybe there's a chance to go back to those Chainsaw roots. A lot of people didn't really like Chainsaw II. They thought it had betrayed the roots of the original. 

TMS: Chainsaw II to me was a great follow up to the first. It was a bit more satirical but it was brutal as hell for the time. 

BM: I couldn't agree more. 

We thank Bill for talking to The Movie Sleuth. Check out his new movie, The Possession Experiment via all major streaming services.