Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings January 12, 1965) is a musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He founded the heavy metal band White Zombie and has been nominated three times as a solo artist for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
He worked as a bike messenger, porn magazine art director, and production assistant for the classic children’s TV series Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, concurrently leading White Zombie through a series of cult-favorite indie releases; the success of their 1992 major-label debut, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, not only launched Zombie to new prominence within the music industry, but also allowed him to try his hand at animation (most notably a hallucinatory sequence of the feature Beavis & Butt-Head Do America) and directing (he was slated to helm the third chapter of The Crow franchise, working from his own screenplay, but Miramax Films eventually pulled out of the deal).
He began to work on a feature film in April of 2000, funded by Universal Studios after he designed a horror display for their amusement parks. The film, entitled House of 1000 Corpses, was produced and edited, but the studio backed out due to its own corporate standards. Zombie wrangled the rights to the film from the studio while taking out his frustrations on his next solo record, Sinister Urge. Again working with collaborator Scott Humphrey (who had produced his first record), he drafted in a metal superstar cast including Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer guitarist Kerry King, Mötley Crüe/Methods of Mayhem drummer Tommy Lee, and Limp Bizkit’s DJ Lethal. The record was another success, leading to a huge Christmas tour with Osbourne at the end of 2001 and another solo tour in the spring of 2002.
Zombie sold House of 1000 Corpses to MGM for a Halloween release, although offers from several smaller studios had to be refused because of the financial loss he would have taken. The film was a cult hit, prompting Zombie to begin work on his next piece of celluloid, 2005′s Devil’s Rejects. He returned to the recording studio in 2006 for Educated Horses, a typically sinister collection of B-movie swagger that hit the Top Ten of the Billboard album charts. After a stint as director and co-writer of the 2007 remake of Halloween, Zombie Live, his first live album, was released in October 2007, the same month that he began an arena tour with Ozzy Osbourne. The release of his next studio album was pushed back due to Zombie’s involvement with Halloween II, and in 2010 Zombie released Hellbilly Deluxe 2, his first solo album written with the help of his band (which featured John 5 and Piggy D.).