Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Willard Tobe Hooper[1] (January 25, 1943 – August 26, 2017) was an American director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his work in the horror genre. Among his most recognized films are The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), which The Guardian described as "one of the most influential films ever made", and Poltergeist (1982), which received three Academy Award nominations.

Tobe Hooper
Massacre à la tronçonneuse 40eme anniversaire Grand Rex 23 septembre 2014 - 25 (cropped).jpg
Tobe Hooper in September 2014
Born Willard Tobe Hooper
(1943-01-25)January 25, 1943
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Died August 26, 2017(2017-08-26) (aged 74)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Occupation Director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1964–2017
Notable work The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Carin Berger
    (m. 1983; div. 1990)
  • Rita Marie Bartlett
    (m. 2008; div. 2010)
Children 1


Early lifeEdit

Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (née Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper,[2] who owned a theater in San Angelo.[3] He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father's 8 mm camera at the age of nine. Hooper took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet.[4]


Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman.[5] His 1965 short film The Heisters was invited to be entered in the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time for the competition that year.[4]

Hooper's first feature film, Eggshells (1969), was made for $40,000.

Texas Chainsaw MassacreEdit

Hooper leapt to fame with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Made for less than $300,000 it was a huge commercial success.

Hooper's next film was Eaten Alive (1976). He walked off the production before shooting completed.[6]

Hooper had his biggest budget yet with the TV version of Salem's Lot (1979), released theatrically in some countries. He then went on to make The Funhouse (1981).


In 1982, Hooper made Poltergeist, based on a story by Steven Spielberg.[7] There is some confusion and controversy over the contributions made to the film by Hooper as compared to Spielberg.

Cannon FilmsEdit

Cannon Films approached Hooper with the offer of a three-picture deal. He made Lifeforce (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1987).[8] Hooper also began working steadily in television.

Later workEdit

Hooper's later work included Spontaneous Combustion (1990); I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990), a TV movie; and Night Terrors (1993). He directed an installment of Body Bags (1993) and did The Mangler (1995), The Apartment Complex (1999), Crocodile (2000), Toolbox Murders (2004), and Mortuary (2005).

Hooper was asked to contribute to the Masters of Horror series; he directed "Dance of the Dead" (2005)[9] with Robert Englund in the first season, and "The Damned Thing"[10] in the second season.[11]

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed Hooper for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror; Hooper appeared in the third episode.[12]

Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011.[13]

His supernatural thriller film Djinn premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Tobe had one son, William Tony Hooper.[1][3]


Hooper died of natural causes in Sherman Oaks, California, on August 26, 2017, at the age of 74.[15][1]


Filmmakers who have been influenced by Hooper include Hideo Nakata,[16] Wes Craven,[17] Rob Zombie,[18] Alexandre Aja,[19] and Jack Thomas Smith.[20] Director Ridley Scott has stated that his work on Alien was influenced more by Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre than any other B-level genre film.[21]




Music videosEdit



  1. ^ a b c Saperstein, Pat (2017-08-27). "Tobe Hooper, 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' and 'Poltergeist' Director, Dies at 74". Variety. Retrieved 2017-08-30. 
  2. ^ "Tobe Hooper Biography (1943-)". Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Gilbey, Ryan (2017-08-28). "Tobe Hooper obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-30. 
  4. ^ a b Alison Macor. Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids 30 Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas University of Texas Press: Austin, 2010.
  5. ^ Mumford, Gwilym (27 August 2017). "Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre director, dies at 74". Retrieved 28 August 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  6. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2002). Eaten Alive at a Chainsaw Massacre: The Films of Tobe Hooper. McFarland. p. 68. ISBN 9781476613352. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Canby, Vincent (June 4, 1982). "Movie Review – Poltergeist (1982)". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Gayne, Zach (March 18, 2014). "SXSW 2014 Interview: THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE Director Tobe Hooper Talks His Legacy of Unspeakable Horror". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss – Q&A with Mark Gatiss". BBC. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ Bowen, Chuck (August 4, 2011). "The Formulaic Shock and Awe of Tobe Hooper's Midnight Movie". Slant Magazine. 
  14. ^ Adams, Mark (October 25, 2013). "Djinn – Reviews – Screen". Screen International. 
  15. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (August 27, 2017). "Tobe Hooper, Director of 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,' Dies at 74". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (October 30, 2008). "Ring". The Guardian.
  17. ^ Burton, Felicity (August 7, 2015 ). "THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977): Film Review". Scream.
  18. ^ Eggstern, Chris (October 30, 2015). "Rob Zombie gave us his Top 10 horror movies – and there's one surprising omission". HitFix.
  19. ^ Sélavy, Virginie (May 1, 2008). "INTERVIEW WITH XAVIER MENDIK". Electric Sheep.
  20. ^ Wien, Gary (October 19, 2014). "Infliction: An Interview With Jack Thomas Smith". Jason L Koerner "100 Acres of Hell". New Jersey Stage.
  21. ^ Anderson, Martin (March 30, 2012). "The Russian heritage for Ridley Scott's Prometheus?". Shadowlocked.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre director, dies at 74". The Guardian. August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  23. ^ Lewis, Anne (December 3, 1999). "No Ordinary Folk". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f "Tobe Hooper, director of Texas Chain Saw Massacre, dead at 74". CBS News. August 28, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b c Brown, Phil (August 28, 2017). "Remembering Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Master". Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  26. ^ Rios, Taylor (August 27, 2017). "Tobe Hooper Dead: 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' And 'Poltergeist' Director Dies At 74". Inquisitr. Retrieved August 27, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Amazing Stories". Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  28. ^ Sobczynski, Peter (August 27, 2017). "Tobe Hooper: 1943–2017". Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Tobe Hooper Filmography". Retrieved August 28, 2017. 

External linksEdit