Written by Josh Brewer, 27th, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Tweet to: @theJWBrewer
Tobe Hooper Passes at 74
More sad news today as horror icon Tobe Hooper has passed. His Texas Chainsaw Massacre stands as a high water mark in horror while his work on Poltergeist lead it to become one of the best pop horror films ever made.
Born in Austin, Texas, Hooper trained at The University of Texas at Austin before stepping into the professional realm. With the help of fellow UT grads, Hooper raised nearly $300,000 to make The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Enduring a grueling- and often cruel- shoot in the Texas heat, Hooper’s film changed the horror landscape. Taking the work of Romero to the next level, TCM stands as one of the finest examples of horror the world has ever seen.
He followed this with a number of other features before being tapped by Spielberg to helm Poltergeist, leading it to the top of the box office. His work since has been more sporadic. Generally his film work less successful than this TV work, which features the fantastic Salem’s Lot adaptation as well as work on Masters of Horror.
Like many of his contemporaries, Hooper focused not exclusively on scares, but on including social commentary into his works. TCM stands as his highest achievement, telling the story of a family who has been left behind by the modern world. Their slaughterhouse shuttered, they take the axiom of capitalism to the extreme. Serving the best product to the most people, regardless of where the meat comes from. Hooper’s dark comedy spared no opportunity, commenting on Vietnam, hippy culture, and urban exceptionalism while providing a nightmare of a film.
He’s survived by two sons and a world of fans influenced by his unique, take no prisoners style. Following the loss of George Romero and Wes Craven, horror has had a tragic year.