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Chop Top is a fictional character from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise; created by Tobe Hooper and L. M. Kit Carson, Chop Top makes his first appearance (portrayed by Bill Moseley) in the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1985) as one of the film's villains and the main source of its black humor.[1]

A member of the cannibalistic Sawyer family, Chop Top, whose actual name has never been revealed, is a deranged and sadistic individual, gleefully murdering people when given the chance; possessing a hippie-like mentality and view on life, Chop Top adorns himself in a variety of multi-colored and tattered clothing and claims that music is his life.[1]

ChopTopTCM2

Appearances Edit

Throughout The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, pieces of Chop Top's past are revealed; while fighting in the Vietnam War, where he was stationed during the events of the first film, Chop Top is attacked by a machete-wielding Vietnamese soldier. Surviving this attack, Chop Top is transported to a military hospital, where he has a metal plate grafted to his skull, which he continually picks at with a heated wire coat hanger to the point where it has become exposed, and is sent home to Texas. Rejoining his family, who are on the run from the authorities for the murders they've committed, Chop Top discovers his twin brother the Hitchhiker is dead, and fashions his corpse into a crude, marrionette-like form, which he carries around with him and treats as if it were alive.[1]

Films Edit

In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Chop Top first appears alongside his brother Leatherface (Bill Johnson) attacking a pair of drunken motorists on a bridge with their pick-up truck. Chop Top and Leatherface kill the two drivers, not realizing that their attack on them was being recorded at a radio station the two drunkards had called into using a car phone prior to the attack. When DJ Vanita "Stretch" Brock (Caroline Williams) plays the recording of Chop Top and Leatherface's attack on the drivers over the radio, the two brothers (Chop Top covering his exposed metal plate with a wig) break into the radio station intent on killing Vanita. This plan ultimately fails, as Leatherface, having become infatuated with Vanita, tricks Chop Top into believing he's killed her when the two leave the station, taking an injured co-worker of Vanita's with them.

When Chop Top and his brother Drayton (Jim Siedow) discover that Vanita is still alive after finding her in the family's home in an abandoned amusement park called the Texas Battle Land (bought by Chop Top using government cheques)[2] the brothers take her captive and decide to let the decrepit patriarch of the Sawyer family, Grandpa (Ken Evert), kill her with help from Chop Top. Vanita is saved when protagonist Lieutenant "Lefty" Enright (Dennis Hopper) bursts on to the scene and engages in a chainsaw duel with Leatherface. The battle between the Sawyers and Lefty reaches a climax when a hand grenade, accidentally set off by Drayton, explodes, killing Grandpa, Lefty, Leatherface and Drayton.

Narrowly escaping the grenade explosion, Chop Top follows Vanita, who had also escaped, to the top of a Matterhorn attraction in the Texas Battle Land, which the Sawyers have turned into a shrine known as "Chainsaw Heaven".[2] Slashing Vanita several times with a straight razor, Chop Top evidently meets his end when Vanita, stumbling upon the mummified corpse of Great-Grandma Sawyer, tears a chainsaw out of her abdomen and attacks Chop Top with it, sending him plummeting him into the ruins of Texas Battle Land.[1]

All American Massacre, a short film currently in development hell, reveals that Chop Top survived the fall into Texas Battle Land and was found, arrested and placed in a mental institution; narrated by Chop Top, All American Massacre was to reveal, via flashbacks, the origin of the Sawyer family.[3]

Literature Edit

Though Chop Top doesn't appear in the 1991 Leatherface by Northstar Comics, a reference to him is made in the form of his catchphrase "Lick my plate!", which can be seen spray painted on the side of Alfredo Sawyer's Last Chance Gas Station.[4]

Chop Top was completely disregarded in Topps Comics' 1995 Jason vs. Leatherface comic miniseries, which featured only the members of the Sawyer family from the 1974 film and original relatives; although elements of him appear to have amalgamated into the Hitchhiker character, who refers to Leatherface as Bubba and utilizes the phrase "Dog will hunt!" several times, much like Chop Top.[5]

Other Edit

Bill Moseley still regularly appears under the guise of Chop Top at horror conventions and when performing with his band the Cornbugs.

A statuette of Chop Top was released by New Line Cinema's House of Horror; the figure is seven inches tall and has twelve points of articulation, and comes packaged with accessories such as alternate weapons and the Hitchhiker's corpse.[6] A mini-bust of Chop Top was also released.[7]

In The Angry Video Game Nerd review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre video game, which includes various recreations of scenes from the first two films, The Angry Video Game Nerd cast member Mike Matei portrays Chop Top (credited as "the fanatic").[8]

Concept and creation Edit

Originally Chop Top was absent from the original script of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 by L. M. Kit Carson; in his place was the Hitchhiker, who was redesigned with a metal plate on his head, which gave him the new name "Platehead". This version of the Hitchhiker would later evolve into Chop Top.[9]

Bill Moseley was chosen for the role of Chop Top after director Tobe Hooper saw a fan film and parody he created, The Texas Chain Saw Manicure, in which Moseley portrayed the Hitchhiker, a favorite character of his and his inspiration when acting as Chop Top.[10]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tobe Hooper (Director). (1986). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 [DVD]. United States: Cannon Films Inc..
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gregory, David (Director and Writer). (2000). Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth [Documentary]. Blue Underground.
  3. The Official All American Massacre Website
  4.  Mort Castle (w), "Leatherface" Leatherface vol. 1,  #1 May 1991  Northstar Comics (15/2) f
  5.  Nancy Collins (w),  Steve Montano (i). "Goin' South" Jason vs. Leatherface vol. 1,  #1 1995  Topps Comics (18/4 and 5) f
  6. The House of Mysterious Secrets :: Statues :: Cinema of Fear Chop Top
  7. The House of Mysterious Secrets :: Statues :: Chop Top Mini Bust - Coming Soon!
  8. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/26199.html?type=flv
  9. Gutz N' Gory: Horror At Its Best!
  10. Bill Moseley

External links Edit

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