In Memoriam: Director Tobe Hooper
Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for creating the hellish nightmare known as “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” passed away on saturday, at the age of 74.
Being one of the most influential horror films of all time, The 1974 classic “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” brought a new type of horror to the silver screen. The film birthed torture porn, in a bloody and graphic hour and a half labour, bringing an irrational and psychotic mad man as the stand out character of the film. Even today, Leatherface, loosely based on Ed Gein, is one of the most iconic horror figures in the genre, bringing with him a whole host of films, comics and merchandise. He even has a new film coming out later this year.
Tobe Hooper had a whole host of other films up his sleeve, including the british sci-fi orgy ‘Lifeforce’, and the crazy martian thriller ‘Invaders from Mars’. He also took on Stephen King’s materials, directing ‘The Mangler’ in 1995 and the TV mini-series adaption of King’s vampire novel ‘Salem’s Lot’ in 1979. Many kids of the 80’s (myself one of them) still bare the scars from creepy vampire kids scratching at windows and the gruesome blue skinned Mr Barlow screaming down into the camera. Yes Tobe Hooper managed to paint some real horrors in his time.
There is controversy over his role in the film Poltergeist, with many actors saying that Stephen Spielberg directed the film, with Hooper rarely seen on set. No Mater what the truth is, poltergeist is one of Tobe Hooper’s most successful studio film.
Hooper’s always seemed more comfortable working in the independent world instead of the Hollywood system of bigger budgets and faster turnarounds. His early independant films were certainly more influential than any of the work he did as a studio director. Undoubtedly his work on Texas will last for many more generations, finding new fans with every new iteration of his characters.
Hooper’s contributions to the horror genre will always be remembered, and his imagination and energy will live on through his work. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time. Good bye my friend, may the angels buzz chainsaws for you in the sky!