Tobe Hooper and Poltergeist?!?

I’m sure that the statute of limitations has long passed for being shocked by anything about a movie released in 1982, but . . .

Just yesterday I found out that Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist

Did you know this?  I’m still stunned.

I haven’t seen Poltergeist in years, but am debating watching it this coming weekend.  As I looked over the credits on the DVD case at the library (yes, I have NetFlix, but I’m still a sucker for browsing racks of actual DVDs), I saw it looking right at me: A Tobe Hooper Film.

Now I’m sure that Poltergeist was scary for its time and may be still (if I watch it, I’ll let you know next week), but, in my mind, I’ve always placed it in the category of “happy” horror movies: the kind that you loved when you were a kid, that made you jump but wouldn’t traumatize you, that you might consider showing your own kids as their first scary movie.

Tobe Hooper, on the other hand, might be a swell guy, but for me was always associated with only one thing: the soul-sucking, hopeless desert that is The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a movie that nearly did traumatize me as a teenager – and it did that in the first fifteen minutes.  It took me another two decades to see the rest of it, and even then only in pieces.  Regardless of those who claim there is missed humor in there, TCSM is a truly bleak and frightening film.

So, it was quite a surprise to see that its director was associated with anything else, especially a movie as accessible and mainstream as Poltergeist.  It’s kind of like a friend telling you that he invited Leatherface to his Star Wars sleepover party.  Credit goes to Mr. Hooper, though, for being involved in two such iconic films.

I’m going to check IMDB and see if he directed The Little Mermaid too.

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