On his 73rd birthday, we look at 7 underrated Tobe Hooper horror movies that need more love
Today is January 25th, 2017 and while the world we live in gets weirder and weirder, we didn’t want the birthday of groundbreaking director and horror movie icon Tobe Hooper to go unnoticed. Hooper celebrates his 73rd year above ground and he’s spent more than half of that time cobbling together strange cinema and amassing a global following of fans and colleagues alike.
Ask even a casual fright film fan what the greatest horror movie of all time is and many of them will rightly cite Hooper’s 1973 soul-shredder The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. That film, along with a handful of other genre films of the era like Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist and The Last House on the Left, changed the way we watch horror and altered our expectations of just how raw and dark cinema could go. But while TCM is unarguably Hooper’s crowning cultural contribution, he’s made so many amazing movies that have become classics; films like 1979’s blood-curdling Stephen King miniseries Salem’s Lot, 1982’s Steven Spielberg-produced ghost story Poltergeist, and even well-respected slashers like 2004’s Toolbox Murders.
Still, there are a handful of movies that Hooper has made that are rarely discussed and when they are, they are not remembered fondly. We would argue however that Hooper, with his dry Texas wit and appreciation of larger-than-life characters and situations are alive and well in all of his work. We also think that even those so called “bad” or forgotten movies have value and some are just as masterful as his best horror work.
So here, in honor of Hooper’s day of birth, we have pulled 7 of our favorite “Hidden Hooper” gems that need more respect or at least another look. Though he now toils in the peripheral of the genre, there’s no one quite like Tobe Hooper. An artisan who probably thinks he’s just a hack… because he’s humble like that. And that just makes us love him more.
Have a look at our little list and – say it with us – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOBE!