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Few actors have a hold on the genre like Bill Moseley, whose manic energy and oft-frightening villainous portrayals warrants being excited about any new film he’s in. Well, Fango heard from Chop-Top himself as he provided some updates regarding not only his most recently completed film, ROGUE RIVER, but the new album from his musical project Spider Mountain.
ROGUE RIVER, which wrapped filming this past December, follows world traveler Mara (Michelle Page), who returns home after her father’s death to scatter his ashes along Oregon’s Rogue River. Her journey brings her to Jon (Moseley), another grieving soul who’s mourning the loss of his daughter. As they bond, Jon offers Mara a ride with a stop at his home to meet Lea (Lucinda Jenney), Jon’s wife, who convinces Mara to stay the night. Hospitality is never what it seems in this genre, of course, and Mara soon awakens shackled to a bed as a first-hand witness to Jon and Lea’s sinister world.
Moseley waxes enthusiastic about ROGUE RIVER, telling Fango, “The film, directed by Jourdan McClure, was a great experience for my girlfriend Lucinda Jenney and I. We had a ball acting together for the first time, and working with Jourdan as well. The story was as surprising as it was twisted and the shoot went well, and the bonus was working most every day on the banks of the scenic Rogue River and hanging out in beautiful Grants Pass, Oregon, for three weeks.”
At this point, we’re all a little scared of Moseley and what he might do to any onscreen co-stars, yet what he loved most about ROGUE RIVER was a chance (albeit brief) to show off another side. “My character is a bit sinister, but what I enjoyed working on was my Mr. Nice Guy act,” he says. “I'm always trying to convince people that behind all the characters, underneath all the makeup, I really am a good guy after all. I got kids! I got pets! I vote, pay taxes, use my turn signal! Well, ROGUE RIVER lets me be the Bill Moseley I’ve always tried to be, if only for a little while. Now, Lucinda is a whole different story. On the set, I took to calling her Doris Karloff out of respect for her unbridled evil. I think her performance will blow a lot of minds.”
Director McClure can’t help but give the same warning about Moseley’s squeeze when he discusses ROGUE RIVER, which was written by Kevin Haskin and Ryan Finnerty and also includes a cameo from another iconic cinema villain, Michael Rooker. “Moseley and Rooker are amazing to work with,” McClure tells us. “In their careers, they have created some of the most memorably disturbing images that the genre has ever seen, and this didn’t stop with ROGUE. When you have actors of this caliber breathing life into your characters and adding dimensions that really grow and complete them, you can’t help being excited. And get ready for Lucinda Jenney as Lea!”
To give a better idea of what audiences can expect from the film, McClure explains, “The genesis really stemmed from the idea that you never know who you’re talking to. The idea of people traveling alone, especially young women, has always intrigued me as well, and there are so many of them who do this; they just cruise along bare stretches of highway all by themselves, or pull off at remote destinations to use the restroom or get gas, which is a reason I felt the premise worked—because it could happen to you. That said, I really wanted to make a film that visually drives you straight toward hell, and when you reach for your seatbelt, you realize there isn’t one.”
For those that just can’t wait until ROGUE RIVER’s release—which McClure hopes will be sometime this summer—for their Moseley fix, you may want to climb up Spider Mountain, which showcases the actor’s musical, but no less diabolical, side. “Spider Mountain is the first new music I’ve made since the late, great Cornbugs with guitar wizard Buckethead,” Moseley explains. “For Spider Mountain, I’ve teamed with Rani Sharone of the bands Puscifer and Stolen Babies. Whereas Cornbugs was all spontaneous—no rehearsals, never a second take—the 13 Spider Mountain tracks were composed by Rani and me and have a distinctive Danny Elfman sound that makes them humorous, whimsical and frightening at the same time. As with Cornbugs, I am once again lead vocalist/lyricist. It’s a challenge to try to categorize the music, but most of the songs are rock/alternative; one of them sounds like crazy Mexican mariachi music, and one we classified as ‘sacred.’ The instruments include guitars, drums, electric and standup bass, percussion, organ, harmonium, Jew’s harp, Theremin and a few animal noises. One of our tracks, “Lord Let Me Help You Decide,” was selected by director Tim Sullivan for the soundtrack of 2001 MANIACS: FIELD OF SCREAMS, wherein I take over for Robert Englund as Mayor George W. Buckman.”
The album, NO WAY DOWN, can be pre-ordered at Moseley’s official website; the first 500 CDs are numbered and autographed by both members of the band. Just be warned, as the genre legend explains it: “The title says it best. If you’re stuck on Spider Mountain, you may as well enjoy the visit, ’cause Spider Mountain won't be letting you go until it’s good and ready!”
For more on Spider Mountain, including song samples, check out its MySpace page. ROGUE RIVER’s official website (just a homepage for the moment) can be seen here, and its Facebook page is here. Keep your eyes on this site for updates.
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