William Tobe Hooper (born January 25, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his work in the horror film genre; his most recognized films include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist. For instance, Stuart Heritage of The Guardian described The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as "one of the most influential films ever made".
Life and career
Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, the son of Lois Belle (née Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father's 8 mm camera at age 9. Hooper took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet.
Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His short film The Heisters (1965) was invited to be entered in the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time for the competition that year.
He directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. He later directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 1986.
In 1982, Hooper directed Poltergeist, which was based on a story by Steven Spielberg.
In October 2009, Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw films, bought the rights to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and made a new Chainsaw film in 3D, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013).
In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed the director for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror; Hooper appeared in the third episode.
Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011.
His supernatural thriller film, Djinn, premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
Filmmakers who have been influenced by Hooper include Hideo Nakata, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Alexandre Aja, and Jack Thomas Smith. Director Ridley Scott has stated that his work on Alien was influenced by Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre more than any other B-level genre product.
- Eggshells (1969)
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
- Eaten Alive (1977)
- Salem's Lot (1979)
- The Funhouse (1981)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Lifeforce (1985)
- Invaders from Mars (1986)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
- Spontaneous Combustion (1990)
- I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990)
- Night Terrors (1993)
- Body Bags (1993)
- The Mangler (1995)
- The Apartment Complex (1999)
- Crocodile (2000)
- Toolbox Murders (2004)
- Mortuary (2006)
- Djinn (2013)
- Salem's Lot (1979)
- Amazing Stories (1987) – Episode: "Miss Stardust"
- The Equalizer (1987) – Episode: "No Place Like Home"
- Freddy's Nightmares (1988) – Episode: "No More Mr. Nice Guy"
- Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories (1991)
- Tales from the Crypt (1991) – Episode: "Dead Wait"
- Nowhere Man (1995) – Episode: "Turnabout" / "Absolute Zero"
- Dark Skies (1997) – Episode: "The Awakening"
- Perversions of Science (1997) – Episode: "Panic"
- The Others (2000) – Episode: "Souls on Board"
- Night Visions (2002) – Episode: "Cargo" / "The Maze"
- Taken (2002) – Episode: "Beyond the Sky"
- Masters of Horror (2005–2006) – Episode: "Dance of the Dead" / "The Damned Thing"