Tobe Hooper Has Died at the Age of 74
Iconic filmmaker Tobe Hooper died yesterday (August 27, 2017) at the age of 74. Tobe Hooper was best known for his horror masterpiece The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For years, when I was younger, I heard about the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, but I had never seen it. All that I had seen were the lesser sequel films. I had no interest in seeing a movie from the ’70s or of the ilk of the sequels. When I finally sat down to watch the original film, before the excellent remake by Marcus Nispel hit theaters I believe, I was greatly surprised by what I saw. I have seen the film numerous times now, especially its oh-so-special ending.
Poltergeist, and that damn clown doll underneath the bed, gave me nightmares for years after I saw the film. It’s rare that a horror film can be that chilling, effective, and capture the United States audience’s attention the way in which Poltergeist did. Poltergeist showed growth in Hooper’s attention to detail and in picking particular shots for maximum effect.
It was both a blessing and a curse when Tobe Hooper made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist. All of his later work was compared to those horror masterpieces throughout the remainder of his filmography.
Lifeforce was a joke from beginning to end but a fun joke. Years ago (in the ’90s) I watched the edited version of Lifeforce on TV, when they played those types of films on a regular TV station on a Saturday afternoon. Lifeforce was both scary and hard to take seriously because of the world it created and the special effects in the film. Lifeforce was not high-brow horror but rather a B-movie with some of the trimmings of A-grade film.
I’d hoped that perhaps Tobe Hooper had one more great horror film in him before passing. Whatever he was working on or might have filmed will never come to be now.
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