Tobe Hooper, the horror-movie pioneer whose low-budget sensation The Texas Chain Saw Massacre shocked audiences with its brutally frightful vision, has died. He was 74.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Hooper died on Saturday in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. It was reported as a natural death.
Along with contemporaries like George Romero and John Carpenter, Hooper crafted some of the scariest nightmares that ever haunted moviegoers. Hooper directed 1982’s Poltergeist from a script by Steven Spielberg, and helmed the well-regarded 1979 miniseries Salem’s Lot, from Stephen King’s novel.
Hooper was a little-known filmmaker of documentaries and TV commercials when he made his most famous work: 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He made it for less than $300,000 in his native Texas, and yet it became one the most influential films in horror: a slasher film landmark.
Marketed as based on a true story, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is about a group of friends who encounter a family of cannibals in Central Texas. The central villain, Leatherface (played by Gunnar Hansen) was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein,…
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