LOS ANGELES — Tobe Hooper, the horror-movie pioneer whose low-budget sensation The Texas Chain Saw Massacre took a buzz saw to audiences with its brutally frightful vision, has died. He was 74.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office says Hooper died Saturday in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. It was reported to be of natural causes.
Hooper and contemporaries such as George Romero, who died in July, crafted some of the scariest nightmares that ever haunted moviegoers. He directed 1982’s Poltergeist from a script by Steven Spielberg and was behind the 1979 miniseries Salem’s Lot, from Stephen King’s novel.
But Hooper was best known for 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Made for less than $300,000, the tale of the Texas cannibal Leatherface inspired an entire genre of horror films.
Filmmaker John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing and Christine) was among those remembering Hooper on social media. Of Texas Chainsaw, Carpenter said that it was “a seminal work in horror cinema.” And then, he added that Hooper “was a kind, decent man and my friend. A sad day.”