I was saddened to learn that Tobe Hooper had passed away. Mr. Hooper will always be remembered as the demented genius who unleashed THE TEXAS CHAINSAW (nee CHAIN SAW) MASSACRE on the world. He also directed POLTERGEIST, or is credited with doing so; depending on who you ask, he might or might not have been replaced by Steven Spielberg some time during the process. He was initially supposed to direct the late 70s zombie-turned-alien mishmash THE DARK before the producers replaced him with Bud “OUTLAWS OF GORE” Cardos. (Read my review of the recently rediscovered “treasure” THE DARK over at our sister site, zombies.org, this week.) No, I don’t expect anybody to remember that last one; I mention it only because it was important to me. For me, however, Tobe Hooper must be credited with traumatizing me as a little boy and thus instilling in me my lifelong obsession with all things vampire.
Hooper directed the television miniseries SALEM’S LOT. I’ve written before on how SALEM’S LOT, in conjunction with some tabloid headline (Vampires are real!!!), so terrified me that I slept with the lights on–when I wasn’t sleeping in may parent’s room–for a good six weeks afterwards, and had me wanting to string garlic over all the windows in the house. Viewing the miniseries was, and this is no exaggeration, a major influence on my psychological development. For that, and for all the other ways you enriched my life, Tobe, I want to say thank you.