Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rest in Peace: Tobe Hooper (1943-2017)

"You've got to send a physical sensation through them and not let them off the hook.  I like to make it faster and faster and faster and pumping and banging until I get into you.  (Tobe Hooper on making horror movies.)"

When somebody thinks of icons of horror, specifically directors, there are many names that come to mind like Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, George Romero, and more.  One director whose name definitely ranks up there with the others is Tobe Hooper.  In 1974, the man leapt onto the scene with his film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  It was a movie that showed audiences the genius of a man who was able to get under peoples' skin through creeping, psychological terror, plus occasional violence, in a film about a group of friends stuck near a house of lunatic individuals.  Not only that, but this landmark picture also debuted one of the iconic monsters of the genre, the infamous chainsaw-wielding psychopath known as Leatherface.

Suffice to say, Tobe Hooper had a remarkable approach when it came to making movies within the science-fiction and horror genre, often finding ways to make it interesting or show us something that hadn't been seen before.  1982's Poltergeist offered a mixture of Hooper's macabre imagery with Steven Spielberg's fascination with the fantastical and family bonding under tense circumstances.  However, the most interesting movies he created arguably came during his tenure with Cannon Films, in which he produced three different movies, one an original work (Lifeforce, 1985), another a sequel to one of his earlier titles (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 1986), and the last one a remake of a 50's invasion flick (Invaders from Mars, 1986).

Though Tobe Hooper is no longer with us, his impact and legacy on cinema shall not be forgotten, and his movies will continue to attract more and more people to his work in the many years to come.

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