16 Unexpectedly Influential Film Directors of the 20th Century


Tobe Hooper

In 1974, Tobe Hooper was a young indie filmmaker in Texas. Hooper and his partner, writer Kim Henkel, wanted to do something more commercial, so they decided to make a horror thriller, which they called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This tale of college kids victimized by a family of demented cannibals shocked audiences who thought they saw gore where there was none (blood appears only once, when a man purposely cuts his thumb). Texas Chainsaw Massacre exploited extreme psychological unease as audiences witnessed the helplessness of innocent victims. Other filmmakers followed with similar films that were heavy with gore but lacking Hooper's flair for bilious suspense and sick humor.