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Tobe Hooper Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (2) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 25 January 1943Austin, Texas, USA
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Before becoming a filmmaker, Tobe Hooper, a native of Austin, Texas, spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. In 1974, he organized a small cast that was made up of college teachers and students, and then he and Kim Henkel made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). This film changed the horror film industry. Hooper based it upon the real-life killings of Ed Gein, a cannibalistic killer responsible for the grisly murders of several people in the 1950s. Hooper's success with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" landed him in Hollywood and it remains a horror-film classic. Hooper rejoined the cast of "Texas" and with Kim Henkle again for Eaten Alive (1976), a gory horror film with Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, William Finley, and Marilyn Burns (who played the lead in "Chainsaw"). The film centered around a caretaker of a motel who feeds his guests to his pet alligator. Also in the film was Robert Englund, whom Hooper helped advance his career and worked with him again in the future. "Eaten Alive" also won many awards at Horror Film Festivals.

Hooper was assigned to the Film Ventures International production of The Dark (1979), a science-fiction thriller. After only three day, he was fired from the film and replaced with John 'Bud' Cardos. Instead, Hooper had greater success with Stephen King's 1979 mini series Salem's Lot (1979). In 1981, Hooper directed the teen-slasher film The Funhouse (1981) for Universal Pictures. Despite its success, "The Funhouse" was a minor disappointment. In 1982, Hooper found greater success when Steven Spielberg hired him to direct his production of Poltergeist (1982) for MGM. It quickly became a top-ranking major motion picture, despite some differences that were resolved by Spielberg himself taking over Hooper's directing duties.

"Poltergeist" was perhaps a greater success than "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but it was three years until Hooper found work again. He signed a three-year contract with Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's Cannon Group, and directed more films, including Lifeforce (1985), the minor remake of Invaders from Mars (1986), and the disappointing sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). Since then, Hooper's career has gone downhill. He also directed two more Robert Englund films, Night Terrors (1993) and The Mangler (1995), in 1995 and he has also directed numerous horror television sitcoms. Recently, Hooper was asked to write a new script for Michael Bay's remake of Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was released in 2003.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005). Before becoming a filmmaker, Hooper--a native of Austin, TX--spent the 1960s as a college teacher and documentary cameraman. He organized a small cast of teachers and students and made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). It changed the horror film industry and became an instant classic. Even today it remains on virtually every list of top horror films of all time. Hooper based it upon the real-life case of Ed Gein, a cannibalistic killer responsible for the grisly murders of several people in the 1950s (although in Wisconsin, not Texas). Hooper's success with "Chainsaw" landed him in Hollywood. Rex Reed said, "It's the scariest film I have ever seen." Leonard Maltin wrote, "While not nearly as gory as its title suggests, 'Massacre' is a genuinely terrifying film made even more unsettling by its twisted but undeniably hilarious black comedy." It is in the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and was officially selected at the Cannes Film Festival of 1975 for Directors Fortnight.

Hooper rejoined the cast of "Chainsaw" for Eaten Alive (1976), which starred Mel Ferrer, William Finley, Carolyn Jones and Marilyn Burns. The film received the first Saturn Award. Also in the film, making his debut, was Robert Englund. Hooper's success continued with his adaption of Stephen King's 1979 mini series Salem's Lot (1979). In 1981 Hooper directed The Funhouse (1981) for Universal Pictures. Then, in 1982, Steven Spielberg enlisted him to direct the successful haunted-house shocker Poltergeist (1982) for MGM. During the mid-'80s Hooper directed several films and television projects, including Lifeforce (1985) with Patrick Stewart for TriStar; episodes of Amazing Stories (1985), The Equalizer (1985), Freddy's Nightmares (1988) and Tales from the Crypt (1989) with Whoopi Goldberg; Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) with Dennis Hopper.

In the 1990s Hooper continued working in both both film and television: I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990), Nowhere Man (1995), Dark Skies (1996), Perversions of Science (1997) with Jamie Kennedy and Jason Lee, The Apartment Complex (1999) with Amanda Plummer for Showtime, Night Terrors (1993) and The Mangler (1995) for New Line.

In the new century Hooper's career continued to grow stronger with Night Visions (2001), Shadow Realm (2002) and the pilot episode for Steven Spielberg's award-winning miniseries Taken (2002). In 2004 Hooper co-produced the successful remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) for New Line. In 2005 he started his own low-budget horror franchise, TH Nightmare; has Toolbox Murders (2004) with Angela Bettis, released through Lions Gate; is in post-production on Mortuary (2005); and is in pre-production on "Zombies".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Trivia (9)

Music video: Directed the video "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol.
Father of William Hooper and Tony Hooper.
Was inducted into the inaugural class of the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival Hall of Fame on October 22, 2005, in Tempe, Arizona.
The three films he made for Cannon--Lifeforce (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)--were all drastically re-cut by the producers and failed at the box office. Hooper then began working in television, where he's stayed, with only a few exceptions, since the late '80s.
Was fired, in mid-production, from two films--The Dark (1979) and Venom (1981)--before directing Poltergeist (1982), his biggest success to date.
Turned down the offer to direct Wolfen (1981).
Had worked on a sequel to his The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) in 1980 with screenwriter John Milius. Although that project fell through, Hooper would eventually direct a sequel in 1986 for Cannon.
Was originally offered the script for Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) but turned it down. Spielberg then suggested Hooper direct Poltergeist (1982), a project he had written himself and had planned on directing. Hooper took the job and Spielberg himself directed "E.T.".
Unlike his near contemporaries such as George A. Romero and Wes Craven, who have always longed to work outside the horror genre but have been creatively pigeonholed to stay within it by happenstance and the film industry, Hooper has always been attracted almost solely to horror and science-fiction films.

Personal Quotes (9)

[on horror] You've got to send a physical sensation through and not let them off the hook. I like to make it faster and faster and faster and pumping and banging until I get into you.
[on the 40th anniversary restoration of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)] It has been entirely restored, it looks so beautiful on the big screen now. It's like a new movie.
I haven't seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) on the big screen for many, many years. This 40th anniversary restoration is absolutely the best the film has ever looked. The color and clarity is spectacular, displaying visual details in the film that were never before perceptible. The newly remastered 7.1 soundtrack breathes new life and energy into the film. I am very much looking forward to audiences experiencing this film as they never have before.
[on the look of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)] It was my second feature, and I'd shot a lot of documentaries and television commercials. So I had quite a lot of experience. I came into it knowing exactly what I wanted and I did have an excellent director of photography, Daniel Pearl, who was just out of film school. So he and I together got the look down.
[on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake] It didn't have the context of the times but it was effective in its own way - in particular the scene where the group of friends approach the house and all you see is Jessica Biel's ass. I loved that.
[on The Funhouse] Well, it wasn't the film I expected to be doing. I actually thought I'd come off of 'Salem's and do something like Eyes of Laura Mars. But this was available and they really wanted me to do it. The writer, Larry Block, talked me into it over the course of 48 hours. It wasn't the film I expected. It surprised me, so my approach to it was probably lighter, less stressful.
[on Lifeforce] It was more like career murder. But I'm really proud of Lifeforce because no-one will ever be brave enough to do a movie like that again. Even now, people watch that film - with its massive budget - and think "what the hell?" But I knew that in time it'd be considered cool. Quentin Tarantino told me he went to see it many times when it first came out. It's one of his favorites. I'm kinda happy he understood how cool it was, even back then.
[on Cannon Films] Cannon was really a good company to work for, actually. They made hundreds of movies. They did not have that many hit films, but both Yoram and Maneham just loved movies. They loved films and loved the filmmakers and really treated them well. Or at least they treated me well, and I'm sure they treated most people well if they loved making films. I had a three-picture deal with them, and they basically said, "Do what you want to do." There was some guidance, but not like today. It seemed more, when I was there, like maybe what the old system was like. I miss it. I miss that kind of showmanship and chance-taking.
I've kind of talked that one to death, really. I've been asked that so many times that I feel the record should be straight already. The genesis of it came from an article in The L.A. Times: When we were shooting the practical location on the house, the first two weeks of filming were exterior, so I had second-unit shots that had to be picked up in the front of the house. I was in the back of the house shooting Robbie [actor Oliver Robins] and the tree, looking down at the burial of the little tweety bird, so Steven was picking those shots up for me. The L.A. Times arrived on the set and printed something like, "We don't know who's directing the picture." The moment they got there, Steven was shooting the shot of the little race cars, and from there the damn thing blossomed on its own and started becoming its own legend. Really, that is my knowledge of it, because I was making the movie and then I started hearing all this stuff after it was finished. I really can't set the record much straighter than that, because Steven did write the screenplay and there are other credits on there, but it came down to Steven and myself sitting at his house.

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