Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Poltergeist,” died Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Cali,according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was 74. The circumstances of his death were not known.
The 1974 “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” became one of the most influential horror films of all time for its realistic approach and deranged vision. Shot for less than $300,000, it tells the story of a group of unfortunate friends who encounter a group of cannibals on their way to visit an old homestead. Though it was banned in several countries for violence, it was one of the most profitable independent films of the 1970s in the U.S. The character of Leatherface was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein.
Before then, the acclaimed director worked on 1979 TV mini-series Salem’s Lot, based on the Stephen King novel, which combined soap drama with horror.