Born: January 25, 1943
Most Frightening Movies: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Eaten Alive (1977), Poltergeist (1982), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Night Terrors (1993)
Why He Scares Us: Originally a college professor and documentary cameraman, Tobe Hooper burst onto the horror scene in 1974 with his cult classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Filmed on a low budget (rumored to be less than $100,000) and starring teachers and students instead of professional actors, the movie has gone down in history as a classic of horror cinema. But the writer-director’s success also extends to television where his miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” was nominated for three Emmy Awards. Hooper has gone on to direct many horror movies, working several times with actor Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) on Eaten Alive, Night Terrors and The Mangler (1995). With recent adaptations and spin-offs of his Chainsaw series, this famed moviemaker will continue to shock and terrorize audiences for many years to come.