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Topic: Director Tobe Hooper (1943-2017) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 1 post reply



His output noticably dwindled in the past few decades, but Hooper directed some of my all-time horror favorites... THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, POLTERGEIST, and the SALEM'S LOT TV mini-series; because of those three alone, his mark on the horror genre is assured.

RIP



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

His films were undeniably very effective.

A solid film, which doesn't appear to be very well-known, is THE FUNHOUSE. It sees some youngsters trapped in a funhouse after the fair has closed. They then witness an employee (who is maniacal) murder a woman; the employee, and his dad, then pursue them through the funhouse.

Although many people discuss gore when mentioning Hooper's films, there actually isn't as much gore as you'd imagine in them (they're often psychological). For example, only once in TCM do you see chainsaw cut into flesh; it's heard once or twice, and some horror is off-screen, but unless I have it wrong, there's only one instance of visually showing chainsaw cutting into flesh. The film is much more psychological. 
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Laren Farmer
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Very sad to hear this.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 2:14pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Poltergeist, for its creepy home opening alone, is enough to make it a classic for me.
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Brian Peck
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Love his Lifeforce with Patrick Stewart
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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 7:42pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

POLTERGEIST is a huge favorite of mine. RIP, Mr. Hooper.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 9:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply


I've always heard good, strong word about THE FUNHOUSE for ages, but for some reason, I've never seen it, nor felt compelled to search it out.  I may finally rectify that soon, in Hooper's honor.

Feet to the flames, I have to honestly say that my all-time favorite of his is the 1979 SALEM'S LOT.  Despite the low-budget made-for-'70s-TV nature and the odd beats for the commercial breaks, I've absolutely loved this adaptation from the moment I first saw it.  Creepy, eerie and surprisingly frightening, for its format.

CHAIN SAW is indeed excellent horror filmmaking, but it's also not a particularly easy movie to sit through... I admire it greatly, but I can only watch it every so often.  And POLTERGEIST, of course, has had the reputation for decades of being a stealth Spielberg directorial job.  I can't imagine that Hooper didn't have any input whatsoever, so I like to think of that one as a co-production between the two, even if it tilts more towards the Spielberg sensibilities.

But really, these three will be played for decades more to come, certainly whenever Halloween rolls around.  Again, Hooper left his mark.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 5:01am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

SALEM'S LOT? Jeez, don't tell my mum, but I watched that around the age of 12. I'm not sure my psyche has recovered from seeing that vampire tap on the window. ;-) 
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John Popa
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I was really sad to hear this.  I loved Hooper's stuff.  "Texas Chainsaw" is a very different movie than it's often remembered or described, so many people consider it a 'camp counselor' slasher with a monolithic monster, but that's not what it is at all. There's a lot going on in that movie and Leatherface is childlike and feminine at times. But it's so powerful I think people remember it as being far more brutal than it actually is.

I loved 'Salem's Lot' and even love his sleazy follow-up to 'Chainsaw,' 'Eaten Alive.'  

And I saw that vampire tap on the window when I was SIX.  I know I never recovered! 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

What about THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2? Any views?

I am sort of a fan of it. It is an odd film. It starts off rather menacing - and continues to be, but the second half is more of a black comedy. It's a rather uneven film despite the entertainment value.


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Bill Collins
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 12:31am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Robbie regarding the vampire tapping the window...when
we were kid`s i shared a bedroom with my brother,one
night we taped two snooker cue`s together and leaned out
of the window and began tapping on the girl next door`s
bedroom window,cue screams of terror! Then her mom came
outside and saw what we were doing,we were grounded for
a week.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Hooper's adaptation of Salem's Lot is a long-time favourite. We had it taped from TV on VHS in the mid 80s and used to watch the second part frequently (back when I was 11, we found the first part a little slow-moving).

I used to stare at the video case for The Funhouse in the rental shop back when video rentals first appeared in my village, must have been back in 1983. It had a leering clown leaning towards the viewer, axe in hand, with the tagline of 'Pay to get in, pray to get out' which I found terrifying. Have never seen the film to this day.

Lifeforce was an interesting hodge-podge, though I have to admit at least half its appeal was in Mathilda May when I watched it as a teen.

I actually went to see The Mangler in the cinema when I was university. Tobe Hooper directing a Stephen King adaptation, starring Robert Englund.... How could it not be great? Well, unfortunately it was terrible. When I eventually read the source short story, I realised that you were never going to make a decent feature film out of such a slender tale.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is powerful and unpleasant. Not my cup of tea.

Poltergeist is a fine film, but the question of who actually was the creative force behind it is a bit blurry.

And those are all the Tobe Hooper films that have seen (or in the case of Funhouse, been affected by without having even seen it!) -- I'd be curious to see I'm Dangerous Tonight, his 1990 TVM with Anthony Perkins and Madchen Amick. 


Edited by Peter Martin on 29 August 2017 at 7:48am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Didn't care for his work, but my condolences to his family and friends.
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