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Tobe Hooper

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The Funhouse DVD Tobe Hooper, director of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," (1974) proves his mastery of... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Poltergeist: 25th Anniversary Edition... "They're here!" Paranormal activity invades a deceptively ordinary suburban home... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: The... After more than a decade of silence, the buzz is back in Tobe Hooper's delirious... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Eaten Alive DVD Horror master Tobe Hooper followed up his international smash-hit "The Texas... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

Crocodile DVD Greed bites back in this thriller film about an angry (and HUGE) crocodile. A... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Mortuary DVD This is one town where the dead should be left alone. Denise Crosby plays a... more info $6.99was $6.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: William Tobe Hooper Died:
Born: January 25, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Austin, Texas, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, model maker, musician, special visual effects creator, actor, composer, photographer, educator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for decades, writer and director Tobe Hooper made significant contributions to the genre with just two films: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) and "Poltergeist" (1982).Though produced under very different circumstances - the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular - both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper's career as one might have expected. Following "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Hooper had trouble finding his Hollywood footing with "Eaten Alive" (1977) and "The Funhouse" (1981), before being handed the reigns to "Poltergeist" by producer Steven Spielberg. But that proved to be more of a burden than a blessing, particularly after the film released and became a huge success - several cast members and crew claimed that Spielberg was the true director of the film, having exerted creative control over Hooper. Subsequently dismissed, Hooper entered into a disastrous period, directing three straight flops for Cannon Pictures after signing an ill-fated deal. With his feature...

Though he worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for decades, writer and director Tobe Hooper made significant contributions to the genre with just two films: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) and "Poltergeist" (1982).Though produced under very different circumstances - the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular - both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper's career as one might have expected. Following "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Hooper had trouble finding his Hollywood footing with "Eaten Alive" (1977) and "The Funhouse" (1981), before being handed the reigns to "Poltergeist" by producer Steven Spielberg. But that proved to be more of a burden than a blessing, particularly after the film released and became a huge success - several cast members and crew claimed that Spielberg was the true director of the film, having exerted creative control over Hooper. Subsequently dismissed, Hooper entered into a disastrous period, directing three straight flops for Cannon Pictures after signing an ill-fated deal. With his feature directing career in tatters, he found new life on the small screen, directing made-for-television horror movies as well as episodes of "Nowhere Man" (UPN, 1995-96), "Dark Skies" (NBC, 1996-97) and "Masters of Horror" (Showtime, 2005-07). A popular artist who once changed the face of horror, Hooper devolved into a struggling, work-for-hire director who nonetheless maintain a high-level of craftsmanship in all of his work.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Djinn (2012)
2.
  Mortuary (2006)
3.
  Crocodile (2000) Director
4.
  Apartment Complex, The (1999) Director
5.
  Mangler, The (1995) Director
6.
7.
  John Carpenter Presents Body Bags (1993) Director ("Eye")
8.
  I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990) Director
9.
  Spontaneous Combustion (1989) Director
10.
  Invaders From Mars (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Stephen King's Sleepwalkers (1992) Forensic Tech
4.
 American Nightmare, The (2000) Interviewee
5.
 Anatomy of Horror (1995) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began making movies at age nine after discovering his father's 8mm camera
1959:
Made first short (with sound), "The Abyss"
1963:
Directed short entitled "Heisters"
:
Directed award-winning short film, "Down Friday Street"
:
Broke into professional filmmaking via commericals and industrials
1968:
Directed a PBS documentary on the folk trio, "Peter, Paul, and Mary"; first produced effort
1969:
Feature debut as producer, director and screenwriter, "Eggshells (An American Freak Odyssey)", a story about the decline of the peace movement; won award at the Atlanta Film Festival but failed to find a distributor
1971:
Feature acting debut, "The Windsplitter"
1974:
Gained notoriety by directing, producing, co-writing (with Kim Hendel), and score composer (with Wayne Bell) the horror/exploitation classic, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"; produced on a budget of $155,000, went on to reputedly gross $50 million (reports vary considerably) but, due to complications with distribution, its maker received only a fraction of his contractual share
1976:
Completed second feature "Eaten Alive/Death Trap/Legend of the Bayou/Horror Hotel/Starlight Slaughter" (directed; wrote story; composed score); had extreme creative differences with the producers who recut the film
1979:
Fired as the helmer of a feature entitled "The Dark"; replaced by John Bud Carlos
1979:
TV directing debut, directed the well-received CBS miniseries "Salem's Lot", the first TV adaptation of a Stephen King work
1981:
Fired as helmer of horror feature "Venom"; replaced by Piers Haggard
1981:
Experienced extreme creative differences with producers of "The Funhouse" which he directed
1982:
Helmed first big-budget studio feature, "Poltergeist" produced by Steven Spielberg; feature rumored to have been actually co-directed by the overpowering auteur
:
Dissatisfied with scripts being offered, directed "Dancing With Myself", a music video for recording artist Billy Idol
1984:
Signed a three-picture deal with Menahem Golan and Yorum Globus of Cannon Films
1986:
First credit as a modelmaker, also provided music, co-produced, and directed, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2", a gory yet satirical sequel to his 1974 landmark
1987:
TV series directing debut, "Amazing Stories"
1988:
Directed the pilot episode ("No More Mr. Nice Guy") for the syndicated horror anthology series "Freddy's Nightmares"
1989:
First screenwriting collaboration with visual effects artist ("Lifeforce" 1985; "The Mangler" 1995) cum writing partner Stephen Brooks, "Spontaneous Combustion" (also directed); released direct-to-video; they also co-scripted "The Mangler" (1995)
1990:
TV-movie (as opposed to miniseries) directing debut, "I'm Dangerous Tonight", a supernatural thriller for the USA Network
1991:
Directed first TV special, "Haunted Lives . . . True Ghost Stories" for CBS
1993:
Directed a segment ("Eye") for the omnibus Showtime telefilm "John Carpenter Presents Body Bags" (also acted)
1995:
Signed an exclusive multi-year development deal with Walt Disney TV to create, produce and direct series, movies and miniseries through his Amberson Films
1995:
Directed the pilot for UPN's "Nowhere Man", a cultish suspense series
1996:
Credited as special visual effects creator on the UPN special "Real Ghosts II" (also directed)
1996:
Helmed the two-hour pilot/series premiere of the NBC period sci-fi thriller "Dark Skies"
2002:
Directed the "Beyond the Sky" episode of Steven Spielberg's miniseries "Taken" (Sci-fi)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Texas at Austin: Austin , Texas -

Notes

Hooper serves as director and partner in Amberson Films, a TV production company.

Hooper sits on the Horror Hall of Fame board of directors.

Hooper received an award from New York Film and Television Festival for his early short film, "Down Friday Street".

A "Texas Chainsaw" video game was marketed in 1982.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Marcia Zwilling. Singer. Separated from Haymes' father.
companion:
Marcia Zwilling. Executive. Former Lorimar TV exec; Hooper's partner and VP, Development for their Amberson Films, their TV production.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Norman W R Hooper. Had one other; mother Wendy Smith.
mother:
Lois Hooper. Survived her.
mother:
Lois Hooper. Died July 14, 1996 at age of 85 from complications from a stroke.
son:
Tony Hooper. Laywer.
son:
Tony Hooper. Designed the title "creature" for Hooper's "The Mangler".
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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