Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper dies at 74 | German-Jewish cultural heritage in the USA | DW | 27.08.2017
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Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper dies at 74

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was one of the most influential horror films ever made. It was banned in several countries because of its gruesome violence, but it returned a hundredfold profit.

Tobe Hooper, who directed blockbuster horror films such as "Poltergeist" and "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," died Saturday in California at the age of 74.

Variety, the industry magazine for Hollywood, first reported his death. Hooper died in the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks, but the cause of death was not immediately known.

William Tobe Hooper, who was born in Austin, Texas, was a college professor and documentary producer before branching out into the horror genre in the 1970s.

A still shot from 1982 horror film Poltergeist

A still shot from the 1982 horror film Poltergeist

The "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" was one of the most influential horror films ever made. Shot for less than $300,000 in 1974, the film grossed more than $30 million. The film was banned in several countries due to its extreme violence.

Eight years later, in 1982, Hooper directed "Poltergeist," which was written and produced by Steven Spielberg. That film cost nearly $11 million to make. It was a huge box office success, although there are conflicting accounts about how much it made: $76 million is the more conservative report, while another account said it made more than $120 million.

In 1986 Hooper directed a sequel "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2," which took a more lighthearted approach.

Hooper is survived by one son, according a correction made by the magazine Variety.

bik/rc, ipj (AFP, dpa, EFE)

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