'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' director Tobe Hooper dead at 74

Monday, 28 Aug, 2017

The Los Angeles County coroner's office says Hooper died Saturday in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. He also contributed memorable episodes to the Tales from the Crypt and Amazing Stories TV series' (among others), as well as the 1979 TV miniseries based on Stephen King's vampire novel, Salem's Lot.

In 1986 Mr. Hooper directed "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2", with a cast that included Dennis Hopper and a title that made "chain saw" one word (as did a 2003 remake of the original movie starring Jessica Biel).

Hooper said that real-life serial killer Ed Gein helped influence the film and certain plot elements.

Hooper, who was born in Austin, Texas in 1943, is survived by two children.

His directing career continued well into the 2000s, although his later films did not achieve the attention or acclaim of his early works.

"I had never seen anything like it and I wanted to see it myself", said Hooper in 2014. "The energies are making a decision at a point".

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was banned in Ireland due to the realistic violence, was made for under $300,000 but made over $30 million at the U.S. box office. In the "Masters of Horror" documentary, he recalled his reaction to seeing the film. With The Texas Chain Saw Massacre he inspired a new legion of independent horror filmmakers to stretch the boundaries of the medium, and break their way onto the forefront of the art form with their unbridled talent, enthusiasm, and sheer force of will. Roger Ebert said it was "without any apparent objective, unless the creation of disgust and fright is a goal".

The 1974 "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" ended up plainly a standout amongst the most compelling blood and guts movies ever for its practical approach and disturbed vision. The story of a family coping with a house haunted by unruly ghosts starred JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson.

In addition to The Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper also directed 1982's Poltergeist, which also went on to legendary status in the supernatural horror genre. A poorly received but profitable remake followed in 2003.