Hooper also directed the Steven Spielberg-produced 1982 film Poltergeist.

Tobe Hooper, the film director behind 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, has died aged 74.

As Variety reports, the LA county coroner confirmed that Hooper passed away on Saturday (August 26) in Sherman Oaks, California. The circumstances surrounding his death are not yet known.

Born in Austin, Texas on 25 January 1943, Willard Tobe Hooper worked as a college professor before starting out as a documentary cameraman and eventually moving into film.

Co-written with producer Kim Henkel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hooper’s 1974 low-budget horror about a family of cannibals, which was loosely based on real-life serial killer Ed Gein, was banned in cinemas in several countries until 1999. The movie spawned six sequels and influenced generations of film-makers, including Alien director Ridley Scott, while laying the blueprint for slasher tropes like the masked killer and the final girl.

1982’s Poltergeist was a box office success and became another classic for the horror genre, while Hooper’s 1979 CBS miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Salem’s Lot was a landmark for TV-based horror. Hooper also directed the video for Billy Idol’s 1982 track ‘Dancing With Myself’.

Hooper continued to work on a number of TV series and films up until 2013, when his last movie, Djinn, was released.

Watch the 1974 trailer for “the horror movie to end them all,” below.

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