On Saturday, the horror film community lost yet another of its iconic directors when Tobe Hooper, 74, passed away. Tobe was one of a group of directors that changed the face of horror forever and paved the way for the modern bumper crop of new talent. His film’s starting with 1974’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” would leave their imprint on not only the industry but a generation of movie goers as well. I still remember the first time I saw “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and I am sure anyone that has seen it (and if you haven’t I say check it out) does too. This movie cemented Tobe Hooper’s legacy as one of the founding fathers of new horror but he would go on to leave us with many more in the years after his seminal film.
Tobe Hooper was born in Texas and eventually wound up becoming a teacher. In his downtime he would film documentaries and even worked on a few commercials as well. In 1974 though he introduced the world to his talents with “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (which would go on to become one of many horror franchises) and a brand new type of horror. This new horror would be championed by not only Hooper but the recently deceased George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Wes Craven and Mick Garris to name a few. All though this film is usually the first one that pops into your mind Mr. Hooper also delivered us such classics as “Poltergeist“and the miniseries “Salem’s Lot“. For a devout horror fan though these may have been the more commercially successful works of Hooper , but these were not the only masterpieces he served up. Some of his lesser known films would be the ones I suggested for any new horror movie novice to dive into the legendary mind of Hooper. Films such as “The Mangler“, “Lifeforce” and my personal favorite “The Funhouse” threw their audiences into unparalleled terror. Tobe Hooper also in the later years of his career also took turns at producing films such as the last couple of installments of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” franchise. Tobe also as so many of the great directors do had his hand in writing several of his projects including “The Mangler” an adaptation of a Stephen King story. A well-rounded film maker and a legend, Tobe Hooper’s vision will live on for decades to come and his contributions to the horror genre will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Mr. Hooper you will be sorely missed and I believe I speak for the masses of horror fans in the world when I say thank you for all the inspiration and sleepless nights.