Refresh for updates: Filmmakers from the horror movie world and others from Hollywood took to social media to remember Tobe Hooper, a trailblazing director who helmed iconic horror pics such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist. He died on Saturday at the age of 74 in Sherman Oaks.
Hostel director Eli Roth remembered him as “generous, kind and encouraging” on Twitter. Roth also sent a statement to Deadline recalling the first time he met Hooper and how he influenced his own career:
It’s hard to sum up what Tobe meant to me. I met him at a Masters of Horror dinner thrown by Mick Garris shortly after Cabin Fever had been sold at the Toronto film Festival in 2002. Tobe could not have been nicer – he was so incredibly generous. I remember sitting there with Lucky McKee and Rich Kelly just absorbing his stories about making The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. At the time we flirted with the idea of turning that into a film, what he told us was just beyond belief, involving Texas senators and “marshmallow” of burning dead animals from a neighboring farm that filled the house they were shooting in and made everyone sick. He referred to the film as a “$60,000 flare” shot up from Texas, and in 90 minutes he changed cinema and pop culture forever with one title. He told me that the new all American family was the Manson family, which is what inspired him to make this masterpiece, which plays today in the Museum of Modern Art. But as brutal and relentless as that film was is as nice and warm as Tobe was. He was that “burning marshmallow” he described to me, but one of pure love, support and friendship. I was just honored to sit at the table with him, and I’ll never forget when he showed up at the Cabin Fever premiere to support me. The premiere was a month before the release, no one had seen the film or really knew who I was, it had just sold at a festival, but there he was on the red carpet for the photographers endorsing me with his mere presence. The whole cast and crew were just amazed that Tobe Hooper – THE Tobe Hooper – was there for us, and that was just the beginning. Tobe was an artist, a wonderful warm person, and as much as his films gave you nightmares the man Tobe Hooper just made you smile. I will miss him deeply for the rest of my life and feel lucky I got to know him for the time I did. Even at 74 this feels far too soon.
John Carpenter, another cinematic master of horror, praised his work in film and remembered him as a “kind, decent man” and friend. Conjuring director James Wan also took to Twitter saying, “A sweet, gentle soul of a man. Your legacy lives on.” Child’s Play and Fright Night director Tom Holland posted a photo of him with Hooper with the caption “One of the kindest souls I’ve ever known and a wicked sense of humor.” Stephen King, who wrote the novel Salem’s Lot which was adapted into a TV movie directed by Hooper, expressed his condolences while Caroline Williams, who starred in Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 shared pics of her and the director on Instagram.
Read more posts from filmmakers and actors below.
RIP #TobeHooper, brilliant director of #TheTexasChainsawMassacre – one of the most successful independent films of all time. I met this icon once, years ago at the old Dave's Laser on Ventura in the Valley. I was able to tell him how important he was to me and indie cinema in general and how much I LOVE TexasChainsawMassacre2 – (a movie that me and @TellEmSteveDave and #VincentPereira still quote at each other to this day). Not only did the man terrify me with #SalemsLot and #Poltergeist in my youth, his DIY moxie to make movies at all inspired me as a 23 year old who wanted to make Clerks. While my first film wasn't a horror movie (I wouldn't make my first horror flick until #JerseyGirl), I was terrified nonetheless about spending 27 grand on credit cards when I was dirt poor. But Tobe's work made the prospect of making a movie with no money when I'd never done something like that before less scary. He proved you didn't need lots of money or studio backing to make a flick – so to me, Tobe will always be one of the best filmmakers who ever lived. He entertained me long before I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker and he inspired me and kept me going when I was first learning to tell my stories cinematically. Thanks for that, Mister Hooper – and thanks for being so gracious and patient when I rightly gushed at you that day. You changed the world, storyteller, and your name and ideas will always be a part of my DNA. Because sex? Well nobody knows what sex is. But the saw is family! #KevinSmith #TobeHooper #Director #filmmaker #indiefilm #horror