For those of you who mopes out there who don't know what it means when people call you a mope, here is a fascinating education, courtesy of the LA Weekly:
The porn industry is many things. Subtle is not one of them. So when Porn Inc. went searching for a job title for people like Stephen Hill, the choice was "mope." It's based on the off-camera life of these fringe actors, hangers-on who mope around the studios hoping for a bit role, which if they're lucky might bring them $50 plus food — and the chance to have sex with a real, live woman.
The average rate for a mope is $50 a movie, $75 if the porno gods are feeling benevolent. So financially, mopehood is a losing proposition in an industry where just getting the HIV testing required to work costs $135.
"They're worthless, D-list load-droppers," says Jim Lane, also known as Jim Powers, the director of such fare as Young and Anal 39, Ganged and Banged and White Trash Whore 40.
Unlike mainstream Hollywood extras, Lane notes, "Mopes don't know they're mopes." Instead, most cling to a delusion. "They all think they're going to be stars and millionaires."
Mark Kulkis, the head of Kick-Ass Pictures, a company that specializes in specific niche porn such as foot-fetish and gangbang material, says, "We pay $50 for a foot job. And we shoot one a week for the site. There are only so many of those gigs to go around. These guys are hanging on the edge economically."
Hill, whose screen name was Steve Driver, used to say his signature was "monster hands." According to set photographer Gia Jordan, Hill "would wear these hands, like, from a Halloween costume. That was his shtick. He'd jack off on the girl with the hands and when he'd come he'd yell, 'Monster hands!' It was ridiculous."
Wow. Okay. The only thing I would argue there is that mainstream Hollywood extras lack delusions of grandeur, which anybody who has spent any time with extras knows is patently untrue. 95% of extras expect to be millionaire actors, whether those millions come from 15 years of nationwide Verizon commercials, a role on CSI, or the fat paychecks commanded by an A or B-list movie actor they are expecting it one way or another--IF THEY CAN JUST MAKE THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS.
It's good to know foot-job dicks can be rented for only fifty dollars. This is knowledge that's good to have up your sleeve when you run out of other options. It also helps explain how homeless men in the Valley get all their booze money and how male Hollywood extras are able to stretch out their paltry paychecks during lean times.
But just so you know, not all D-List Load-Droppers go quietly into the night, clutching a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, and stretch out on a piece of cardboard along the cement-lined Los Angeles River, never to make a name for themselves.
Todd was a pioneer among the D-List Load-Droppers
Take Stephen Hill (aka Steve Driver), for example, who was mentioned above--the lovable "Monster Hands" dude. Now here is a guy who moped his way to infamy in style.
Female porn actor Charley Chase recalls, "I only worked with [Hill] once. It was a boy-girl scene and it was terrible. Mainly from bad hygiene."
Chase's friend and fellow porn actress Cece Stone says Hill once gave her a ride to a shoot. "He picked me up because I didn't have a car. I got in and the whole inside smelled like body odor. We were about a mile away from where he picked me up, and I just got out at the next light and walked off."
Jover tried to remedy the situation by installing a shower in the studio. "It had hot water, cold water. We just couldn't get the funk out. Everyone that worked with him on camera was uncomfortable. He was dead weight."
Finally, Jover asked Hill to leave. "I gave him two weeks' notice and I also gave him some money so he could find a place," Jover says. But Hill wasn't ready to leave.
Moments after Hill attacked that June night, Jover, [Tom] Wong and businessman Drell raced to the room to try to calm the situation as Rachal lay bleeding on the floor. Seeing the men dialing 911, Hill lunged at them.
The men turned and ran. There was a pileup at the door. Jover and Drell made it out first, bolting from the room untouched and racing outside the building. Drell recalls he was "three feet out" of the building when he heard "Tom being butchered. It was a high-pitched squeal."
Drell ran back in to confront Hill. He saw Wong on the floor. "Tom was bleeding everywhere. He was cut at the waist and his elbow was cut to the bone. He was turning purple."
Hill began swinging the weapon at Drell. "I have martial arts training, and that kicked in," Drell says. "I stepped into him and he hit the wall." Still, Hill managed to inflict on Drell's shoulder a wound that took 23 stitches to close.
Jover was next. Hill pursued him outside on foot for about 20 yards before he jumped into his blue RAV4 and attempted to run Jover down. Jover eluded him. Hill sped off into the night.
Police soon arrived. Wong was taken to a hospital, where he died of internal injuries and loss of blood.
Police began searching for Hill. "We don't know where he went," Detective Price recalls. "He could have spent those days hiding out around Chatsworth Park. We were somewhat surprised that he stayed around here locally."
Hill ran, but not far. The property where he was hiding ends at a cliff just outside the Chatsworth Nature Preserve. Hill had a samurai blade with him, one of several swords he kept in his car. He held the weapon against his chest, threatening to stab himself or fall on the blade.
As police moved in to employ tasers and bean-bag projectiles, Hill turned his back to them and seated himself on the cliff's edge, still holding on to his sword. With conscious effort, he pushed himself off the bluff.
He plunged 30 feet to a rocky outcropping, where the crash raised a huge dust cloud that slowly rose upward. Hill then cartwheeled another 20 feet in a grotesque free fall, having lost his sword on first impact. He came to a stop in another cartoonishly expanding billow of dust. He was dead.Leaped to his death after slicing people apart with a prop machete? Some people know how to secure their place in porn-industry lore and some people don't.
The pitch-perfect aftermath:
Director Mike Ramone attempted to capitalize on the crime's brief notoriety by quickly putting out a compilation DVD featuring both Hill and Wong. It had the provocative title Porno Samurai Killer. The cover art showed Hill and Wong wearing masks — a Ronald Reagan one for Hill and fetishistic leather blinders for Wong. Both men looked puffy and doughy. Though not a hit, the DVD did give the two dead men a measure of stardom they never achieved as mopes.
"We went down to L.A. to arrange a funeral," [Stephen Hill's] father says. "We invited some of his friends in the industry whose names we found on his MySpace page, but none of them showed up."DOUBLE OUCH. A mope to the end...