Remembering Tobe Hooper
Horror lost an extremely talented director, writer, and producer this weekend. I was deeply saddened to hear the news that Tobe Hooper passed away on August 26, 2017 in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles at the age of 74. I was saddened not just because we lost a legend in the horror genre. But because we lost someone whose work has greatly influenced my life.
About a week ago, some asked me what made me love horror movies and become a director, writer, and producer? The answer is very simple. Watching Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
One look at The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I knew two things:
1) I loved these types of horror movies.
2) I wanted to tell stories like this one.
Filmed in 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a relatively low budget horror film that Tobe Hooper directed and co-wrote with Kim Henkel. The movie centers around a group of friends who are on a road trip in Texas to visit Sally Hardesty and Franklin Hardesty’s old family home. Things start getting creepy when they pick up a hitchhiker who cuts himself and Franklin.
After they reach the old homestead, the horror escalates when a couple from the group wander off to the neighboring house. What they discover became a legend and fan favorite in the horror community. Leatherface. A chainsaw using, people’s face wearing, cannibal who is ready to cut up and eat anyone that invades his home or property.
I watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre many times. I would study plot development, pacing of the story, the characters, use of sound effects, the selected use of gore, and camera angles. I tried to identify everything that made me or other moviegoers uncomfortable, creeped out, and terrified. I noticed how he choose to show some things while leaving other things to the viewers imagination. And the things that he left to our imagination was just as terrifying as the things he showed.
For me, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre represents one of my all-time favorites. It is the type of movies that I like to watch and would like to make. I can’t count the number of times that I have watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Hundreds maybe.
The most recent was this past Sunday. I couldn’t help but throw on this old favorite and think about how grateful I am to Tobe Hooper for making a film that has impacted not only my life but other horror fans’ lives as well.
Rest In Peace Tobe Hooper. You will always be remembered.