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.
After Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Hooper became a bankable, dependable director and would continue making genre films such as Eaten Alive, The Funhouse, Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. His adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot was one of the scariest television movies ever made and the Steven Spielberg produced Poltergeist became many young fans first introduction to horror in 1982.
Hooper is survived by two sons.
Hooper will be missed legions of horror fans and filmmakers everywhere.