Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper passed away yesterday at the age of 74 and now members of the Hollywood and horror community are paying tribute to the iconic director. Those paying tribute to Hooper have included Baby Driver and Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright and Sleepwalkers director, Mick Garris, who collaborated with Hooper on Showtime's Masters of Horror show as well as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. 2017 has been a sad year for horror fans with the passing of Hooper and another horror director George A. Romero.
Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, the son of Lois Belle and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father'sو mm camera at age 9. Hooper eventually took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet before going out to make movies on his own. Hooper's first movie was 1969's ghost story Eggshells, but he changed the horror genre forever with his second movie, 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, an unforgettable tale of Texas-dwelling cannibals, including the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. Widely regarded as one of the most terrifying and influential horror movies ever made, the movie went on to spawn many sequels, starting with 1986's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which Hooper directed himself.
In addition to The Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper also directed 1982's Poltergeist, which also went on to legendary status in the supernatural horror genre. In addition to movies, Hooper also directed television shows, including Salem's Lot, Tales from the Crypt, The Equalizer, and even the first episode of the short lived Freddy's Nightmares in 1988. Hooper even directed Billy Idol's video for the hit song "Dancing with Myself," which gained huge airplay on MTV throughout the early 1980s.
As the news of Hooper's death began to spread, many took to social media to pay tribute to the director. Aquaman director, James Wan said, "Sad to hear the passing of Tobe Hooper. One of the nicest people. A sweet, gentle soul of a man. Your legacy lives on." Doctor Strange director, Scott Derrickson, said that Tobe Hooper was the "king of transgressive horror" while Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to share his thoughts about his friend. Gunn had this to say.
"Just woken up to news that my friend Tobe Hooper has passed away. A great director, yes, but also the kindest, sweetest man. I am so sad."
Sad to hear the passing of Tobe Hooper. One of the nicest people. A sweet, gentle soul of a man. Your legacy lives on.
Legendary horror director John Carpenter also paid tribute via Twitter. Carpenter said this about his friend Tobe Hooper.
"Tobe Hooper directed THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a seminal work in horror cinema. He was a kind, decent man and my friend. A sad day."
Baby Driver director, Edgar Wright also took to Twitter to share his thoughts. He had this to say about Hooper.
" Very sad to hear of the passing of Tobe Hooper, another master of horror. He conjured some truly shattering, unforgettable moments in film."
Elijah Wood said, "Aww, man. Another legend has passed. So long, Tobe Hooper," while Michael Mendez said, "Very sad to hear of the passing of another legend. R.I.P. Tobe Hooper, a groundbreaking filmmaker & a good friend. You will be missed sir." A running theme through all of the tributes to the late Tobe Hooper mention how nice and kind the iconic director was in addition to his immense talents. R.I.P. Tobe Hooper.