It's with a heavy heart that I have to tell you director Tobe Hooper has passed away at the age of 74. Hooper was a pioneer in the horror genre and started his career directing a little film called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That movie was one of the most disturbing and terrifying horror movies that I saw when I was growing up. I remember the first time I watched the movie on an old VHS tape at a friends house when I was about 13-years old. I'll never forget that night because all of us were too scared to go to sleep! In my mind, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the truly great horror films in cinema.
Poltergeist was another classic horror film that he is credited for directing. We all know Steven Spielberg played a heavy role in helping direct the film, but Hooper was the acting director of the film and it was such an incredibly fun and scary horror adventure movie! Back in 2015, Spielberg wrote a letter to Hooper that was published in THR giving Hooper the credit he deserved saying:
“Regrettably, some of the press have misunderstood the rather unique, creative relationship which you and I shared throughout the making of ‘Poltergeist.’ I enjoyed your openness in allowing me, as producer and writer, a wide berth for creative involvement, just as I know you were happy with the freedom you had to direct Poltergeist so wonderfully.Through the screenplay you accepted a vision of this very intense movie from the start, and as the director, you delivered the goods. You performed responsibly and professionally throughout, and I wish you great success on your next project.”
Some of the other films he directed include Funhouse, Lifeforce, Invaders From Mars, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Salem's Lot, Night Terrors, The Mangler, and the last film he directed was the 2013 film Djinn.
News of Hooper's death comes from Variety, and they report that the filmmaker died in Sherman Oaks, California by way of the Los Angeles County Coroner. However, a cause of death has not been revealed.
Hooper made some awesomely scary films that messed me up when I was growing up and his legacy will live on through those films!
Our hearts and prayers go out to Hooper's family and friends.
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