Here I was about to attack the day with a news post, but then woke up to some terrible news. Iconic filmmaker Tobe Hooper passed away yesterday. He was 74. I was just getting over Romero, and now we've lost another genre giant.
|Tobe Hooper 1943-2017
The legacy of Hooper's crowing achievement The Texas Chain Saw Massacre cannot be understated. It is a landmark film and much like Romero's Night of the Living Dead changed the landscape of what was possible in horror cinema. I first saw TCM projected in 2008 with Hooper in attendance. He was such a quiet and humble guy, not at all what you would expect from a storied purveyor of nightmares.
|Tobe Hooper at The Bloor, 2008.
I've said this before, but when seen on a big screen TCM has real power, perhaps more than any horror film ever made. The imagery is stark, the Texas sun seems to beam through the screen and the last act is unrelenting. If someone in the seat next to you were to fire up a chainsaw, you might not even notice due to the loud and entrancing nightmare unfolding onscreen.
Beyond TCM, Hooper also has a large range of crazy and uncompromising titles, such as Eaten Alive (1976), Lifeforce (1985) and his about-face sequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. That is not even mentioning his role in one of the seminal titles of the early-eighties, Poltergeist.
Hooper was also very active in television. Not only did he direct arguably one of the best Stephen King adaptations in Salem's Lot, he also had many stints in episodic television, including three of my favourite nineties shows, Nowhere Man, Dark Skies and Tales from the Crypt and a pair of entries in Mick Garris' Masters of Horror.