Texas Chain Saw Massacre director Tobe Hooper has died

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

Director Tobe Hooper has died, aged 74.

The acclaimed horror director – whose most famous works include ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ and ‘Poltergeist’ – died on Saturday at Sherman Oaks, California, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.

The circumstances of his death are currently unknown.

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Considered one of the pioneers of horror, Tobe Hooper made not just one, but two of the most influential horror movies of all time – ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ back in 1974, followed by ‘Poltergeist’ in 1982.

‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ was produced by Hopper on a low budget of just $300,000… and went on to rake in a whopping $30 million at the box office, becoming a favourite at drive-in movie theatres.

Hooper wrote the script for ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ with Kim Henkel, and based it loosely on the horrific crimes of Ed Gein – an American murderer and body snatcher known as The Butcher of Plainfield who also inspired the horror classic, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.

‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ features a group of teens who find themselves in the company of a clan of frenzied cannibals, led by the now-infamous saw-wielding figure Leatherface.

Roger Ebert described the film as being “as violent and gruesome and blood-soaked as the title promises” and although it became a controversial title at the time, ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ was later considered to be a masterclass in restraint – in fact, most of the violence was implied.

His other classic, ‘Poltergeist’ was an entirely different affair.

A ghost story cooked up by Steven Spielberg, it was made on a $10 million budget, and starred Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as suburban parents who move to a new home which happens to be haunted by ghosts from a long-buried graveyard beneath the house.

On top of these two horror classics, he was also known for the 1979 TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot’ and the last film he directed was ‘Djinn’ back in 2013.

RIP Tobe Hooper who died 26 August 2017.

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