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Influential director Tobe Hooper died Saturday, according to information made public by the Los Angeles County Coroner. Hooper was 74, and the circumstances surrounding his death are currently unknown.
Hooper became widely known as a master of the macabre thanks to his work on the 1974 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the 1982 film Poltergeist. The former spawned an official sequel as well as various “Leatherface” spinoffs based the character Ed Guinn.
Robert Englund, best known for his role as Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, explained Hooper’s influence during a May appearance at Silicon Valley Comic Con.
“Tobe Hooper’s film, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, is one of the most ripped off movies ever made,” Englund said. “And that’s everybody…even our gods. Even Mr. Spielberg borrowed a little bit from that movie.”
Spielberg and Hooper would team up on Poltergeist, with Spielberg handling writing and producing duties. The iconic horror film went on to become the eighth highest-grossing film of 1982.
Hooper’s 1979 adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot as a CBS miniseries laid the foundation for serial televisual horror, such as the original iteration of Stephen King’s It and Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Actor Kumail Nanjiani and film critic Richard Roeper were some of the many celebrities to weigh in on Hooper’s influence and offer their condolences.
Oh no. R.I.P. Tobe Hooper. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the coolest & most terrifying movies ever made. It crawls inside & stays.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 27, 2017
Few directors did more with less money than Tobe "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Hooper. RIP to a damn fine filmmaker. https://t.co/uYNU2m3KLc— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper also directed the chilling and scary as f--- two-part TV event "Salem's Lot" in 1979. https://t.co/Oiaa47o1R2— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) August 27, 2017
Some of Hooper’s later works include the horror novel Midnight Movie and two episodes of the series Masters of Horror.
Tobe Hooper is survived by his two sons.