Offscreen Guest of honour:
As the son of a Texas movie theatre owner, Tobe Hooper (°1943) literally grew up in the movies. In the sixties he made short films, documentaries and commercials, until he made his first long feature “Eggshells” out of Austin's psychedelic counterculture. With his hippie friends he continued on his next project, and this turned out to be one of the most legendary horror films ever made: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”. This influential work would dominate his career, despite an even greater commercial success later on with “Poltergeist”.
Next to film, Hooper was also fond of horror comics as a child, an influence that's very noticeable in his work. The colourful, cartoonish sets of “Eaten Alive”, “The Funhouse” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, the references to 50's Sci-Fi of “Invaders from Mars” and “Lifeforce”, or the powerful, iconic images of “Salem's Lot”. This retrospective shows that all these films bear the distinct mark of a unique film maker.
Tobe Hooper will personally present a selection of his films.
Despite a minimal budget, Tobe Hooper managed to make one of the most important films of the seventies: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”. In his later career he sometimes disposed over large Hollywood budgets and collaborated with people like Steven Spielberg. Learn the tricks of the trade from the master, known for his sharp editing skills, and listen to tales on how this fiercely independent film maker had to face up to the studio system of Hollywood.
Tobe Hooper's debut feature is an obvious product of the late sixties: a political and psychedelic work, channelling the influence of Jean-Luc Godard. Naked hippies, philosophy in a bathtub and a bizarre, semi-mythical atmosphere with a comic undercurrent – a hidden gem ripe for rediscovery.
During a space mission, three bodies are found on board of an alien spaceship. They're brought to earth, but the consequences are disastrous. Space vampires, a nude Mathilda May and the world on the brink of destruction in this insane SF-film that turned into a massive cult hit.
Deep in the Louisiana bayou, lost travellers can find shelter in the dilapitated Starlight Hotel. But guests never stay long, since the psychotic owner feeds them one by one to his pet alligator. Pure, unadulterated madness in this gruesome freak show, with an early role for Robert Englund.
The mysterious Mr. Barlow is the new owner of the old mansion at the edge of Salem's Lot. After he moves in, the small town gets infested with a plague of vampires. Hooper's screen adaptation of Stephen King's book features powerful, unforgettable scenes of horror.
Four teenagers visit the carnival and wager a bet to spend the night in the haunted house. What first seems like a joke quickly turns into deadly seriousness. This slasher uses its colourful carnival setting to great effect and makes excellent use of the wide scope-frame.
A maniacal Texas Ranger (Dennis Hopper) searches for the killers of his brother. One of the most deranged sequels ever made: the raw realism of the original gets cut to pieces by a buzzing chainsaw, for a non-stop avalanche of dark humour and bloodcurdling terror.
Young David witnesses the landing of a UFO, unsure if it was a dream. But then his father shows unusual behaviour and David suspects he's controlled by aliens. Hooper is like a kid in a candy store in this big and bold remake of the fifties SF-classic.
A group of teenagers stumbles upon a depraved family, among them the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. This influential horror film, brilliantly executed in gritty cinema vérité style, still retains its power to shock and disturb. A unique screening of the newly remastered print in high definition.
Because of the many deadly accidents in an industrial laundry, it seems like an enormous mangle has a taste for human flesh. Even worse: everything points to demonic forces at work. An adaptation of a story by Stephen King, featuring Ted Levine and Robert Englund.