Sunday, August 27, 2017
A note on Tobe Hooper (1943-2017)
Longtime readers will remember my friend Wendigo as a vampire movie fan, and a fan of horror movies in general. One Halloween back in the 1990s I was going to spend the night at his house and wanted to entertain him with horror films he hadn't seen. As it turned out, neither he nor I had seen The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre at that time, and the local public library happened to have a copy. Afterward, he told me he never wanted to see that film again -- not because it wasn't good, but just because ...And that was while acknowledging that there was no real gore to speak of in Hooper's seminal film. It just had an unprecedented brutality, best illustrated by the suddenness in one scene with which Leatherface appears, bops a victim over the head, and drags the doomed one away to some terrible fate. To be fair, Wendigo could do without the one girl screaming all the time, but that was in keeping with the overall tone of the film. As a vampire fan, my friend is more appreciative of Hooper's Salem's Lot miniseries, and even of his Space Vampires-derived bit of craziness, Lifeforce. But neither he nor anyone else can deny that Texas Chain-Saw is Hooper's ticket to a place in cinema history. And now that he and George Romero have died in one summer, we sincerely urge John Carpenter to look after his health.