Horror master Tobe Hooper, director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, dies aged 74

Movie director Tobe Hooper died in California on Saturday (Aug 26).
Movie director Tobe Hooper died in California on Saturday (Aug 26).PHOTO: EPA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Movie director Tobe Hooper, best known for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist horror films, died in California on Saturday (Aug 26), US media reported. He was 74.

The cause of the director's death in the town of Sherman Oaks was not announced, the Hollywood industry magazine Variety reported.

Hooper, a native of Austin, Texas, was a college professor and documentary producer before branching out in 1974 to direct The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, one of the most influential films of the horror genre.

The film, shot for less than US$300,000, was banned in several countries for its extreme violence but nevertheless was one of the most profitable independent US films of the 1970s, Variety said.

Hooper also directed the film's 1986 sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which had a more lighthearted approach.

In 1982, Hooper directed Poltergeist, a film written and produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie had a US$11 million budget and grossed US$76.6 million, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

The late director is survived by two sons, Variety said.