A big night for horror reminds that Hollywood still often forgets about horror.
Early on during last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, a video package celebrating 90 years of the Oscars featured a clip from, among countless other movies, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which needless to say was really cool to see. My entire Twitter feed was flooded with fans celebrating that one little shout-out from the Academy.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Academy to piss off that very same group of fans, as the annual “In Memoriam” video tribute package later in the night managed to leave out Chain Saw‘s director, the late (and great) Tobe Hooper. Hooper passed away back in August 2017; and yet, his name and face were absent from the video package.
We realize that these video tributes simply cannot include *everyone* in the film industry who passed away in any given year, as there just wouldn’t be enough time. But for this year’s video to leave out Tobe Hooper, whose most significant contribution to the film industry was important enough to be featured in one of the night’s previous video packages… well, that’s a heartbreaking snub that serves as a sad reminder of how little the Hollywood mainstream appreciates and respects the history of horror cinema.
Sure, Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for Get Out and The Shape of Water took home Best Picture, but how in the same night can you ignore Tobe Hooper?
The thing is, Tobe Hooper’s contributions to horror were massive contributions not just to the horror genre, but to MOVIES at large. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, made on a low budget with a group of friends, was a hugely influential and important independent film, helping to change the very face of an entire genre by ushering in a new wave of realism.
Hooper of course went on to become one of the most notable horror filmmakers of the 1980s, directing Salem’s Lot in 1979 and then The Funhouse, Poltergeist, Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 throughout the ’80s.
Meagan summed up Hooper’s importance in her tribute piece last year:
“Tobe Hooper has had a fascinating career that’s flown more under the radar than fellow horror masters like John Carpenter or Wes Craven. His film credits, full of successes and failures, indicated that he was never afraid of marching to the beat of his own drum. He wasn’t afraid of defying expectations, and he definitely wasn’t afraid of delivering some of the most uncomfortable scenes on screen. His ability to deconstruct current social and political events with biting humor and his fearlessness toward risk-taking makes him a true filmmaking maverick.”
The Academy may have left Hooper behind, but we most certainly will not. Watch Mike Williamson‘s touching tribute to Hooper below, cut together for his memorial service.
Tobe Hooper. A maverick pioneer. A master of horror. A true cinema legend.