So soon after the passing of George Romero, it’s sad to report that Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for helming The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist, died Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was 74. The circumstances of his death were not known.
The influential 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became a seminal horror title for its realistic approach and deranged vision. Shot for less than $300,000, it tells the story of a group of unfortunate friends who encounter a group of cannibals on their way to visit an old homestead. Though it was banned in several countries for violence, it was one of the most profitable independent films of the 1970s in the U.S. The character of Leatherface was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein.
Hooper also directed the 1986 sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which took a more comedic approach, as part of his Cannon Films deal.
The 1982 Poltergeist, written and produced by Steven Spielberg, also became a classic of the genre. The story of a family coping with a house haunted by unruly ghosts starred JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson. The film was a box office success for MGM and became the eighth-highest grossing film of the year.
After Poltergeist, Hooper directed two movies for Cannon Films, Lifeforce and Invaders from Mars, a remake of the 1953 alien movie.
His 1979 CBS miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Salem’s Lot is considered by many fans to be a high-water mark in televisual horror. Combining the intrigue of a nighttime soap opera with the gothic atmosphere of a classic horror film, the two-part program was eventually reedited and released theatrically throughout Europe.
He continued working in television and film throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, but none of the films had the impact of his early works. His other more recent works included Toolbox Murders, Crocodile, and Mortuary.
Among his other works was the music video for Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” In 2011 he co-authored a post-modern horror novel titled “Midnight Movie” in which he himself appeared as the main character.
Hooper continued to work on various TV series and films up until 2013, when his last film, Djinn, set in the United Arab Emirates and produced by Image Nation, was released. He is survived by two sons.
Kane Warren Hodder (born April 8, 1955) is an American actor, stuntman and author. Standing 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), he is best known for his portrayal of Jason Vorhees in four films from the Friday the 13th film series (parts VII through X). He is also known more recently for his role as Victor Crowley in the Hatchet movies.
Kane Hodder is the only actor to portray Jason Vorhees more than once, in a total of four movies. He has also portrayed horror icons Leatherface in the stunts of the 1990 film Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and a glove hinted to be Freddy Krueger’s pulling Jason’s mask to hell in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. He also appeared in an episode of The Arsenio Hall Show to promote Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, in costume as Jason.
Although he offered to reprise his role as Jason in the 2003 film Freddy vs. Jason, director Ronny Yu replaced Hodder with 6’5½” Canadian stunt man Ken Kirzinger. The switch created controversy among fans of the series and has been credited to several rumors, including Kirzinger’s location in Canada, and his height compared to Robert Englund, the actor who portrayed Freddy Krueger. Though Hodder still expresses resentment over not being chosen, he is apparently still good friends with Ken Kirzinger.
Hodder starred in the slasher film Hatchet as main character Victor Crowley, a physically deformed young boy who comes back from the dead to kill the people who invade the swamp in which he lives. He portrayed the character a second time in Hatchet 2.
Hodder co-wrote a autobiography with author Mike Aloisiand. Unmasked: The True Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer – Kane Hodder. The book is about his life and experience in the film industry and was released on October 1st, 2011.
Unmasked documents the unlikely true story of a boy who was taunted and beaten relentlessly by bullies throughout his childhood. Kane only escaped his tormentors when he moved to a tiny island in the South Pacific where he lived for all of his teen years. After living shirtless in a jungle for a while, he headed back to America where he fell in love with doing stunts-only to have his love burn him, literally. For the first time ever, Kane tells the true story of the horrific burn injury that nearly killed him at the start of his career. The entire heart-wrenching, inspirational story of his recovery, the emotional and physical damage it caused, his fight to break back into the industry that almost killed him, and his triumphant rise to become a film legend are told in Kane’s own powerful voice.
Hodder teamed with author Mike Aloisiand. Who wrote about the experience, with his own novel entiled – The Killer and I. They have toured the convention circuit promoting their novels. Check out Kane’s website HERE
Kentotis Alvin “Ken” Foree (born February 29, 1948) is an American actor probably most famous as the hero Peter in the George Romero classic ‘Dawn of the Dead’.
Foree was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He began acting in the 1970s, appearing in the 1976 film ‘The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings’ (No, I haven’t seen it), ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978) and ‘The Wanderers’ (1979). He also had roles in the films ‘Knightriders’ (1981), ‘From Beyond’ (1986) and ‘Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III” (1990). In 1995 he starred in an X-Files episode.
He had a cameo in the remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004. In 2005, he played Charlie Altamont in the Rob Zombie film ‘The Devil’s Rejects’, starring opposite Sid Haig and Bill Moseley, as the adopted brother of Haig’s character.
He has appeared in numerous low-budget horror over the last few years, ‘Brotherhood of Blood’ (2005), ‘The Devil’s Den’ (2005), ‘Splatter Disco’, ‘Black Santa’s Revenge’, ‘Brutal Massacre: A Comedy’ and ‘Live Evil’ (all 2007); as well as ‘Dead Bones’ (2008) and ‘Zone of the Dead’ (2009).
The horror film comedy ‘Shaun of the Dead’, a parody of the zombie movie genre, has a subtle reference to him. The film’s main character is an employee of “Foree Electronics”. He regularly appears at horror festivals and even has an event named in his honour: Foree Fest
Ken Foree appeared as himself in the 2008 novel Bad Moon Rising by Jonathan Maberry. Foree is one of several real-world horror celebrities who are in the fictional town of Pine Deep when monsters attack. Other celebrities include Tom Savini, James Gunn, Debbie Rochon and blues man Mem Shannon.