“I made a short film called The Heisters – a gothic mod comedy. I was nineteen years old. We had a $7500 budget. The film was shot in Technicolor and Techniscope. I really loved comedy. It was bigger than slapstick, in that time and cinema where things were like sixties-ish silly things, where mod-stuff was going down. It was like camp gothic.” —Tobe Hooper
Though he has worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for more than two decades, producer-writer-director Tobe Hooper’s significant contributions can all be traced to just two films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Poltergeist (1982). Though produced under very different circumstances — the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular — both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper’s career as one might have expected. The filmmaker’s current viability, such as it is, has resulted from a canny shift to creating, producing and directing genre projects for the small screen. A popular artist who once helped set trends in entertainment evolved over time into a smooth craftsman striving to ride the wave of his genre’s acceptance into the mainstream.
The Austin, Texas native was first bitten by the… read more
After premiering online two rare Tobe Hooper films, the cult director will be answering questions from the community.
Five years before The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper took some friends on a kinky psychedelic trip.