It’s a sad summer for legendary horror directors, as just a few weeks back, the world lost zombie godfather George A. Romero, and now Variety reports that fellow horror master Tobe Hooper has passed away at age 74.
The cause and surrounding circumstances of Hooper’s death are as yet unrevealed, and it would irresponsible to speculate on them at this time. Still, Hooper’s loss will be felt throughout the horror world, both among those who make horror films and those who love to watch them.
Hooper was of course best known for directing the terrifying 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which gave the world Leatherface, a chainsaw-wielding madman who has become a true icon of the genre. Hooper would also go on to direct 1986 sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which took the franchise in a more comedic direction.
Next to TCM, the most famous entry on Hooper’s directing resume is obviously 1982’s Poltergeist, although there has long been a contention that Steven Spielberg actually directed the film. Regardless of that, Hooper is the credited director, and will always be inextricably linked with the classic battle between the Freeling family and “the beast.”
Hooper’s contributions to the genre extended far further than just chainsaws and poltergeists though. Just some of the other projects he helmed over the years include the 1979 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, The Funhouse, Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars, The Mangler, and the 2004 remake of The Toolbox Murders.
Hooper also did some horror-related work on the small-screen, directing the pilot episode of Freddy’s Nightmares, which retold the origin story of the Springwood Slasher. Additionally, Hooper directed episodes of anthology shows like Tales from the Crypt, Night Visions, and Masters of Horror.
All of us here at iHorror extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Tobe Hooper. May he rest in peace, and his legacy in horror never be forgotten.