Tobe Hooper, The Funhouse Director, Dies at 74

Filmmaker Tobe Hooper, best known for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has died, according to Variety and other news sources. He was 74.

Born in Austin, Texas, Hooper made his first feature, Eggshells, in 1969, an odd, experimental film that is allegorical and, more than that, spacey and trippy. But it was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that made him (in)famous. Long before I saw it, I remember reading a newspaper article in Los Angeles about a big, tough college football player who vomited during a screening and thought: ‘that’s a movie for me!’

Its horrors, of course, were more shocking in contrast to its era. Even as Hollywood was becoming (briefly) more serious about redefining mainstream filmmaking, Hooper and his colleagues painted a disarming picture about a house in rural Texas that looked bucolic on the outside, hiding truly unimaginable horrors within.

The film became a sensation and a foundation for horror movies to come. Hooper never escaped its shadow, but neither did Orson Welles escape the shadow of Citizen Kane, so it was not entirely a bad thing. Eaten Alive was a charming crudity about another hungry killing thing, Salem’s Lot was an acceptable if rudimentary TV version of Stephen King’s novel, and The Funhouse was a solid slasher.

Read the full article @ Screen Anarchy.

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