'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' director Tobe Hooper has died, aged 74

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office confirmed Hooper's death to Variety.

The circumstances behind his death were not immediately disclosed with the public.

Tobe Hooper, the acclaimed horror director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, has died at age 74.

The film only had a $300,000 budget but made $30.8 million after becoming a horror movie classic - despite the controversy surrounding it due to how gory it was.

When The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released 40 years ago, few if any anticipated that it would revolutionize the horror genre.

Whether that belongs to credited producer Steven Spielberg or credited director Hooper - or a unusual hybrid of the two - it's still a terrifying experience.

Hooper, who is survived by two sons, was born in Austin, Texas on January 25, 1943, and taught college before starting out in documentaries. My last memory of Hooper will be helping to run my childhood with one of the best and more revered adaptations of Stephen King's work, the 1979 TV movie, Salem's Lot.

Hooper also directed rocker Billy Idol's dystopian zombie-themed music video for "Dancing with Myself" (1982). Inspired by the serial killer Ed Gein, it told the story of a group of young people who run afoul of a family of cannibals. Some of which were better films that Chain Saw, if not as important. Still, "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" wasn't as explicitly grisly as it was reputed to be; much of its humor-sprinkled horror was summoned by the filmmaking and the buzz of one terrifying power tool.

In many ways, Hooper's work on Texas Chainsaw wrote the playbook for future indie horror successes.

Hooper stuck to various flavors of horror for most of his career, though it wasn't just big screen features.

Hooper's supernatural thriller film "Djinn" premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. So long, Tobe Hooper", while Michael Mendez said, "Very sad to hear of the passing of another legend. Three films followed, and then came three more after a recent reboot.

  • Kyle Peterson