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The Tobe Hooper appreciation society.

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mogwai View Post
    Yeah, so after nattering about the upcoming Chainsaw Massacre film I reckoned this should be in order...
    I'm away with the beer fairies so if this makes no sense then just delete it but...

    Along with probs every other horror fan out there, I have been puzzling about Tobe Hooper. Texas Chainsaw features highly in my list of favourite films. At least two of his other films are really worthwhile, Funhouse & Poltergeist. But, it all quickly unraveled for him and by the time he had moved on to Cannon in the mid-80's, he was pretty much over as a filmmaker. I think the crux of the problem is that he was not Hollywood material. He seems to have been a shy and almost asocial presence on his own sets, a kind of droopy, charmless guy, bullied off The Dark by the crass Kinski, sidestepped in Poltergeist by the more agile Spielberg, which can be viewed in Europe as the kind of quality that signifies an artist, but the Hollywood environment requires someone to direct the crowded set and costly , complicated production, and that means energetic decision-makers of some persuasive wit and strong character.

    The bloke did not come up through the Hollywood system at all. He was a documentary cameraman in the 60's and you can see that in his best work. He did Chainsaw in a close circle of friends, away from the daft Hollywood fanfare. It just didn't seem like he could muster the ego for necessary friction to see that vision through (the drug problems were probably ways to cope with that). His own fault was that he couldn't find it in him to cut out on his own.

    At any rate, I consider Hooper our loss. The guy had a genuine vision and that vision is prized by me, even snippets of it like we have here.

    Hooper was a master, an auteur, unlike such modern day tosspots as Roth & Zombie.
    Chainsaw is the most pure in this regard. But, it's a recurring feature in Eaten Alive, Salem's Lot, Poltergeist, and, of course, his magnum opus slasher classic, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    There is violent energy in the gears and walls of Hooper's world. By all accounts he seemed like a rather shy and retiring fellow, a small fish in the one man army ego pond mentality of say, Jackson or Raimi but Hooper was the man back in the day and, whereas louder players may have taken his mantle his presence will never be forgotten.
    Tobe - I salute you.
    nice write up.

    I like his work, but like so many of the other classic horror directors, his peak was during the first half of his career. The Funhouse is one of my fav slashers, and I've grown to appreciate TCM over the years, where as I used to think it was really overrated.


    • #47
      Originally posted by Mogwai View Post
      Verite schmerite - if it makes your skin crawl then it's verily and veritarily mega I say I say I say.
      I'm not gonna get drawn into the exact definition of the word 'gritty', it could, for eg, describe my anus after lying on the beach as much as it could be used to expound the atmosphere of Chainsaw Massacre so let's leave all verbose semantics at the fucking door and look at just how gritty Chainsaw Massacre is...
      From the flashbulb shots of defiled corpses to the (now seminal) vision of Leatherface swinging his power tool (lol) over his head in the Texas sunset everything about this film is raw, poweful... and GRITTY!
      I, for one found it gritty, gritty and, most importantly of all...
      Gritty. And I haven't even touched on the blatant symbolism that the chainsaw is in fact an extension of Leatherfaces manhood, a phallic personification of his impotence which, I again, found extremely...
      That was pretty gritty.