‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ director Tobe Hooper, a slasher film icon, has died

'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' director Tobe Hooper dead at 74
buzzfuss/123RF.com
Tobe Hooper, director of horror classics like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist, has died at the age of 74, reports Variety. According to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, Hooper died of natural causes on Saturday, in Sherman Oaks, California. He is survived by one son.

Hooper was born Willard Tobe Hooper on January 25, 1943 in Austin, Texas to Lois Belle and Norman William Ray Hooper. His father owned a movie theater in San Angelo and his interest in filmmaking began at the age of 9, when he started using his father’s 8mm camera. Hooper later enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin, taking Radio-Television-Film classes and studying drama in Dallas.

He spent his twenties in the 1960s as a a college professor and documentary cameraman. It wasn’t until 1974 when he was given the chance to make the film he is easily most-known for: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The now legendary and groundbreaking horror flick was made for less than $300,000. The film was actually banned in several countries, deemed too controversial and violent, and was not received well by critics at the time. It took several years before the film gained the acclaim it garners today.

“I had never seen anything like it and I wanted to see it myself,” Hooper said of the film in 2014. “That was a driving force and my ability to pull the energy up out of myself to work that damn hard as I wanted to see it, the movie, I mean, as a finished picture. The energies are making a decision at a point.”

The movie’s villain, Leatherface, was loosely inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein. Texas Chain Saw Massacre was one of the most profitable indie films of the ’70s in America, grossing $30.8 million.

Hooper later got involved in the 1979 miniseries Salem’s Lot, based on the novel by Stephen King. It’s considered by fans to be a high-point in television horror. The program was ended up being re-edited and released theatrically in Europe.

The 1982 film Poltergeist, which Hooper also directed from a script by Steven Spielberg, turned out to be another classic entry in the horror genre.

Hooper directed the sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1986, which was then followed up with a remake in 2003. Since then, there have been a number of spin-offs, including the announcement of a prequel. Tobe Hooper’s death comes only a month after the death of fellow horror filmmaker, George Romero.

Update: This post was updated to correct the spelling of the director’s first name as “Willard” and to correct that Hooper was survived by one son.

Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Podcasts

Remembering Stan Lee, Fantastic Beasts 2 review, Apple goes Hollywood

This week on Between the Streams, we'll discuss the passing of comics and entertainment legend Stan Lee, a spoiler-free review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Apple's new partnership with indie movie studio A24, and more.
Deals

College sports are yours to watch live online with an ESPN+ free trial

It can be difficult to catch all the college games, especially for smaller conferences. Well, thanks to ESPN+ that’s no longer the case. Now, you won't need to miss any of your alma mater rival games.
Deals

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Business

‘Fantastic Beasts’ wins the weekend with underwhelming debut

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald won the weekend box office, but its big debut was a bit underwhelming, with the lowest opening weekend and worst reviews of any Harry Potter film so far.