Tobe Hooper R.I.P.

Horror-Legende Tobe Hooper ist im Alter von 74 Jahren gestorben. Der Mann inszenierte neben dem Genre-Meilenstein Texas Chainsaw Massacre auch meinen Alltime-Horror-Fav Poltergeist (zumindest teilweise, wenn nicht grade Spielberg hinter der Kamera saß).

Hooper was born in Austin, Texas in 1943. For much of the 1960s he worked as a university professor and a documentary cameraman. He made his directing debut with Eggshells, a low-budget hippie movie released in 1969.

In 1974 Hooper assembled a group of students and teachers to perform in another low-budget work influenced by the serial killer Ed Gein, concerning a group of friends who are picked off one by one by cannibals. Despite being banned in several countries including the UK for its violent content, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre would prove to be enormously successful at the box office, and is now regarded as one of the most influential horror films of all time. The film spawned a number of sequels – the first of which was directed by Hooper – as well as several remakes. A prequel film about lead character Leatherface is due later this year.

Nach Chainsaw drehte Hooper die Adaption von Stephen Kings Salem's Lot und verfilmte Colin Wilsons Buch The Space Vampires unter dem neuen Titel Lifeforce, die leider unverdient an der Kinokasse floppte, ebenso wie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Neben Chainsaw wird mir Hooper aber vor allem für sein großartiges Remake des 1956er SciFi-Klassikers Invasion from Mars in Erinnerung bleiben, dessen VHS-Kopie ich damals hoch- und runtergeschaut habe.

Danke für das ganze Blut, Tobe! Sad day.

Nachruf im Guardian: Tobe Hooper: the director who took a chainsaw to wholesome family life

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre became a locus classicus of the censorship and screen violence debates here when it was refused a certificate by the British Board of Film Classification upon its first release in 1975, and then in the 1980s, as the era of VCR and video rental dawned, had its brief video release cancelled along with many other ultraviolent provocations such as Hooper’s next film Eaten Alive (1977), Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left (1972) — notably inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Virgin Spring — and Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave (1980). These became the much-feared, much-gloated-over “video nasties” and were refused certificates for two decades after this. […]

Tobe Hooper learned — or rather taught — a lesson which had been imbibed by other film-makers like George A. Romero and belatedly by Hitchcock himself. Pure low-budget horror can be a liberating challenge, and for a technically gifted director it offers the chance to unleash electrifyingly powerful forces within an audience. Another kind of film might hope, with a cleverly composed series of shots, to make its audience sigh, or laugh, or cheer or choke up with tears. A horror director, with approximately the same skillset, can get a colossally bigger payoff: a scream of horror, a yelp of fear that you will remember for the rest of your life.