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‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Director Tobe Hooper Dead at 74

Variety is reporting that seminal horror director Tobe Hooper has died at the age of 74. The cause of Hooper’s death is unknown at this time.

Hooper helped define modern horror film making with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974, bringing a combination of gritty realism and nightmarish visions to this classic of horror cinema.  Along with his contemporaries such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, David Cronenberg, and George Romero, he took the horror film from the gothic castles of Europe to the turbulent modern age, and introduced the world to a dysfunctional family the likes of which had never been seen before on screen. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became the blue print for future horror directors everywhere, and it is still unmatched in terms of the creepy scares it delivers, without the buckets of gore that many people assume the film contains. read more

True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Dead at 39

Variety has confirmed that actor Nelsan Ellis has died at the young age of 39 due to heart failure.

Although the quality of HBO’s True Blood declined in later seasons, one constant was always Nelsan Ellis’ performance as the feisty short-order cook Lafayette Reynolds.  He was so popular with fans that, unlike the Charlene Harris books that the show was based on, his character survived through the series’ entirety.  The literary version of the character never makes it past Harris’ second novel, but Ellis’ Lafayette became an integral part of the show, as one of the main confidants of Sookie Stackhouse and a loyal cousin to Sookie’s best friend Tara. read more

Carolyn Cronenberg Dead at 66

Carolyn Cronenberg (Zeifman), a film director/editor and the wife of director David Cronenberg, has died at the age of 66.

Cronenberg had a long career working alongside her husband, and they actually met on the set of his 1979 film Rabid.

Carolyn Cronenberg worked as an editor on Fast Company and the Brood and also directed Acts of Violence, a 2006 behind-the-scenes documentary about husband David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.

The late Cronenberg is survived by her husband and three children, Brandon, Caitlin, and Cassandra (her step-daughter from David Cronenberg’s first marriage). read more