Friday, September 1, 2017

Tobe Hooper R.I.P.

Tobe  Hooper, who directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1975) and the television mini-series Salem's Lot, died on August 26 2017 at the age of 74.

Tobe Hooper was born on January 25 1943 in Austin, Texas. He broke into film making by directing documentaries. In 1964 he wrote and directed his first narrative film, the short "The Heisters". His first feature film, Eggshells, was released in 1969. It was in 1974 that Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released. The film was made for only $300,000, but made $30.8 million at the box office. It proved extremely influential as one of the earliest slasher films. Mr. Hooper followed it with Eaten Alive (1976). He was the original director on The Dark (1979), but was replaced by John "Bud" Carlos. He directed the television mini-series Salem's Lot.

In the Eighties Mr. Hooper directed the films The Funhouse (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Lifeforce (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), and Spontaneous Combustion (1990). He also worked in television during the decade. He directed episodes of the shows Amazing Stories, The Equalizer, and Freddie's Nightmares.

In the Nineties Tobe Hooper did a good deal of work in television. He directed episodes of the shows Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories, Tales from the Crypt, Nowhere Man, Dark Skies, Perversions of Science, Prey, and The Others. He directed one of the segments of the TV movie Body Bags and the TV movies The Apartment Complex. He directed the films Night Terrors (1993) and The Mangler (1995).

From the Naughts into the Teens he directed the movies Toolbox Murders (2004), Mortuary (2005/), Destiny Express Redux (2009), and Djinn (2013). He directed episodes of the TV shows Night Visions, Taken, and Masters of Horror.

Tobe Hooper was certainly a master when it came to delivering frightening movies. The success of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was due in a large part because it was a very scary movie and in part because it was more graphic than most horror films up to that time. It would certainly prove to be an influence on the cycle of slasher movies that took place during the late Seventies and early Eighties. Even his work in television could be scary. Salem's Lot remains one of the more frightening mini-series aired on television, and he directed many frightening individual episodes of shows. While he had the occasional misfire, Tobe Hooper was ultimately a director who was very talented at scaring people.

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