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.
Jordana Brewster (born April 26, 1980) is a Brazilian-American actress. She began her acting career in her late teens, with a 1995 one-episode role in the soap opera All My Children; followed that with the recurring role as Nikki Munson in As the World Turns. She was later cast as Delilah Profitt, one of the main characters in her first feature film, Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 horror sci-fi The Faculty. The film brought her to the attention of a much wider audience, gained critical acclaim and achieved financial success. She also landed a starring role in a 1999 NBC television miniseries entitled The 60s.
Her breakthrough role came in the 2001 high budget car-themed action film The Fast and the Furious, which was a worldwide success. Other film credits include the 2004 action comedy film D.E.B.S., the 2005 independent drama Nearing Grace and the reason for this post, the 2006 horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. In the film, she had the starring role of Chrissie. The Beginning was not well received by critics, however, grossed over $51 million worldwide, becoming a modest hit. For her performance, Brewster was nominated for both “Choice Movie Actress: Horror” and “Choice Movie: Scream” at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.
She then starred in the 2009 film Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the, The Fast and the Furious series; and she appeared in the fifth film in the franchise, 2011’s massive hit Fast Five, which gained critical praise, becoming the highest rated entry for Brewster.
Jessica Claire Biel (born March 3, 1982) is an American actress, model, and singer. Biel is known for her television role in the long-running family-drama series 7th Heaven. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films, including The Rules of Attraction (2002), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Blade: Trinity (2004) and The Illusionist (2006). She’s currently shooting the remake of Total Recall. Happy Birthday.