Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, William Malone was inspired by films during weekly trips to the Lucian Theater to see the latest releases of horror films. By age 14 he was making home movies with an 8mm camera and designing monster masks for himself and friends to wear for Halloween.
Malone moved to Los Angeles at age 19 to become a rock star, but a friend's request drew him back into mask-making, which led him to a job with Don Post Studios in makeup and costume, as well as mask making. It was Malone who designed and sculpted the mask used for the character of Michael Myers for Halloween (1978), which he used from the mold of a previous design used by William Shatner.
Malone also worked as a make up artist for Dan Curtis NBC TV movie The Norliss Tapes (1973) and even acted in a few credited and uncredited parts in films, mostly notably playing Beatle George Harrison in I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), which recreated the Fab Four's 1964 appearance on Toast of the Town (1948). Malone also developed a reputation as a collector of old movie props left over from various science-fiction films.
After attending classes at UCLA to study directing under the tutelage of Gilbert Cates--a former DGA president--Malone decided to make a gamble with his first movie. Scraping together around $74,000, he wrote and directed the sci-fi horror shocker Scared to Death (1980), which was clearly inspired by the Ridley Scott movie film Alien (1979), which was a terror tale of a genetic creature haunting the sewers of Los Angeles. Despite being a mild box-office his, Malone was not recognized by major film studios. In 1984, with grant of more than $1 million, Malone went back to the director's chair with Creature (1985) (aka "Titan Find"), which starred Klaus Kinski and was also inspired by "Alien". The film was nominated for a Saturn Award at the 1985 Academy of Science Fiction and Horror films.
Malone spent the next 14 years as a director for episodic TV series, beginning with such projects as the anthology series Freddy's Nightmares (1988) and a few episodes of the HBO series Tales from the Crypt (1989). He also directed a short-lived TV series called Sleepwalkers (1997) as well as the made-for-TV movie W.E.I.R.D. World (1995). In 1999 Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis hired Malone to direct the SFX-studded House on Haunted Hill (1999). a remake of the Vincent Price film House on Haunted Hill (1959), which Malone clearly remembered from repeated viewings from his childhood and was happy to come on board as director.
In 2002 Malone pressed ahead with his own feature Feardotcom (2002), about a police detective's investigation of a website that kills its viewers. Malone's work on that film gave him the opportunity to join the Director's Guild, where in 2005 he was invited by Masters of Horror (2005) creator Mick Garris to direct an episode for the series, "The Fair Haired Child", adapted from a screen play my Matt Greenberg.
He is working on his next feature film and continues to try to make his place in cinema history as a struggling director-for-hire.