presents... Interesting Motherfucker: (noun)
An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.

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By John Saleeby

Here's the official line on Tobe Hooper - "In 1974 Hooper made 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' Then he made a few crummy movies. Then Steven Spielberg was charitable enough to let Hooper direct 'Poltergeist' for him. Then he made a few more crummy movies. He will probably make a few more crummy movies until Mister Spielberg is kind enough to give him another job or he dies of cancer."

Well, if I cared about The Official Line I would have come out of hiding and turned myself in to the authorities seventeen years ago. Cause lemmee tell ya, Tobe Hooper doesn't need some little nobody like you feeling sorry for him any more than Chevy Chase or David Lee Roth does. These "washed up", "has been" "losers" spend more cash on breakfast than your big successful ass makes in ten years. The only man on this planet Tobe Hooper defers to is George Romero, who directed the one horror film that is definitely better than "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - "Night Of The Living Dead". Anybody else around here who isn't George Romero better pull your head out of Steven Spielberg's butt and start showing Mister Hooper a little respect before we lose control of ourselves and God only knows what that will be like after all these years of people like George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Chevy Chase, and David Lee Roth as role models.

Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas in 1943. Yikes, that was sixty years ago! He's old enough to want tickets for the Simon And Garfunkel reunion tour! Damn! While searching through his father's stuff for pictures of dead presidents to mail to Soupy Sales, young Tobe discovered an 8mm movie camera. Too bad he didn't continue searching long enough to find his Father's chainsaw and notebook full of creepy barbecue recipes, but lemmee tell ya . . . Tobe kept that camera so busy that their neighbors the Zapruders were unable to borrow it for their trip to Dallas and film President Kennedy's visit to the city where he was assassinated by Cuban agents leading to the United States' nuclear assault on Havana and Miami's destruction by giant banana monsters.

As a teen, Tobe produced "The Abyss", an amazingly accomplished film for such a young kid. It stars Nick Nolte, Jacqueline Bissett, and Lou Gossett Jr. and tells the exciting story of an undersea search for lost treasure. There is a really scary moray eel and Jacqueline goes scuba diving wearing just a bikini bottom and a white t shirt so . . . I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Oh God, I am so sorry.

Boy Genius Tobe grew up into a filmmaker, finally making one of the most terrifying motion pictures of all time - A PBS documentary about sixties folk singers Peter, Paul, and Mary. Then he made "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

Like Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was inspired by the criminal career of grave robber-murderer Ed Gein. This hardly seems fair to Gein, who only killed two people, but that greasy punk Charles Starkweather killed eleven and he gets compared to James Dean and Marlon Brando! But I bet Ed is really big in France. Like "Night Of The Living Dead", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is about cannibalism although "Night Of The Living Dead" is about the dead eating the living and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is about the living eating the dead. I guess which one you find the most frightening is a pretty good litmus test of what kind of person you are - Or what kind of person you eat. If there's one advantage "Night Of The Living Dead" has over "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" it's that the zombies in "Night Of The Living Dead" are so nice and quiet while the redneck killers in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" make so much noise bickering and hollering at each other it's like watching a long lost Norman Lear sit com pilot. And people in "Night Of The Living Dead" aren't blowing raspberries all the time, either. I guess doing that up in Pennsylvania will get your ass kicked. (As Robert E. Lee, a notorious blower of raspberries, discovered to his eternal regret at Gettysburg .)

The big question that comes to mind while watching "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is "How long will a chainsaw run before running out of gas?" Cause Leatherface is chasing that girl all over the state of Texas with his chainsaw running and running and running the whole damn time and I was afraid that just when he finally caught up with her his chainsaw would go right out and she'd just laugh in his face. What? That means I'm insecure about my sexual potency? Well . . . I . . . I . . . Hold on, I'm going over to the hardware store to pick up a chainsaw. A really big one. And the biggest tank of gas I can find.

After Hooper finished "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" he was offered a job directing "Eaten Alive", a movie about Neville Brand feeding people to alligators. The only creature on earth that gives me the creeps more than an alligator is Neville Brand so I have always made it a point to avoid this film. Which takes a great deal of vigilance because "Eaten Alive" is a very sneaky film, following me around throughout the years under a number of aliases such as "Death Trap", "Legend Of The Bayou", "Horror Hotel", "Starlight Slaughter", "Look At Me, John", "Oh, Come See Me, Saleeby!", and "Saleeby Makes Out With Drew Barrymore In A Swimming Pool". But I'm not falling for that, no sir! I asked Forbis if he'd ever seen any of those movies and he said no, but one time he rented "Forbis Does The Watusi With Leonardo DeCaprio" and it turned out to be "Where The Boys Are". So be careful, everybody!

Then Hooper signed up to direct the made for TV production of Steven King's "Salem's Lot". This dud starred David Soul, the guy from "Starsky And Hutch" who didn't direct a movie starring Shaquille O'Neal (I'm trying real hard to write something positive about him) and Lance Kerwin who . . . uh . . . ummm . . . Aw, hell . . . who didn't direct a movie starring Shaquille O'Neal either. If Tobe Hooper ever directed a movie starring Shaquille O'Neal it would sure be better than "Salem's Lot", especially if there was a scene where somebody drove a stake into Shaquille's chest and cut off his stupid head, I hate those NBA assholes. A trimmed down version of "Salem's Lot" was distributed in Europe. That's right - We attacked Iraq and Europeans paid money to see "Salem's Lot". Ain't white folks crazy?!?

Somehow in the middle of all this nonsense Hooper managed to make a genuinely great horror movie - "The Funhouse". It's on cable all of the time so before "The Jerry Springer Show" comes on you'll get a chance to see "The Funhouse" three or four times and get a load of the kind of slobbering freak-beast all that white trash inbreeding will inevitably result on. "The Funhouse" is set in the eighties when you still had to go to the carnival freak show to scope out the kind of redneck mutants you can now enjoy on the Springer show in the comfort of your trailer. The Monster Boy in "The Funhouse" is so ugly his family makes him wear a rubber Frankenstein mask to make him look better. When I have a kid I'll probably have to make him wear a rubber "The Funhouse" Monster Boy mask with a rubber Frankenstein mask on top of that. "The Funhouse" sure is better than . . . . . . "Poltergeist"! Man, don't me started on that thing. "Poltergeist" wouldn't scare me if it was projected onto Rosie O'Donnell's huge white ass and she took a great big greasy dump right in the middle of the grand finale. Well, I told you not to get me started! Good thing for Tobe Hooper that everybody in Hollywood thinks Spielberg really directed it and cheers to him for not making a regular diet out of Spielberg's butt long enough to grow up into a big fat fuck like Robert Zemeckis.

"Go, Saleeby, Go!" "He certainly is not afraid to speak his mind about Hollywood big shots!" "He is no ass kiss!" Thank you, Mister Farrelly. Can I get you a another drink? "Yes, and another one of your female relatives, please." Yes, sir. And you, Mister Zucker? "No, thanks. Just wash my car after you finish this article." Yes, sir!

Hollywood executives were so impressed with Hooper's work on "Poltergeist" that he went into a three picture deal with Cannon, the studio founded by those wacky Israelis who produced all those crummy movies filmed on location all over the Third World with dubbed in dialogue, crappy lighting, and American stars who just want to get back to the hotel. These movies are pretty bad but, aside from a bunch of your kids in Arlington Cemetery, they're pretty much all we've ever gotten out of Israel so we will inevitably be told how "revolutionary" and "cutting edge" they are.

Next time you're looking for laughs and the entire "Comedy" section of the rental place has been torched by a vengeful Yahoo Serious renter, pick up "Lifeforce" - Hooper's first movie for Cannon (Also Hooper's most distinctively Cannon-y production, filmed in London yet still managing to make England look like it's in the Third World. Hell, "Lifeforce" makes outer space look like the Third World). Yee haw! Whatta funny movie! I saw "Lifeforce" in a room full of drunken black guys when I was in the Army and they laughed so much I'm sure it completely ruined em for the "Def Jam Comedy Hour."

"I dunno, Russell Simmons oughta put some of them white faggots from 'Lifeforce' on this show . . . "

I just know without doing the research - That's a little joke for all my former co workers at CNN - that they had "Lifeforce" on that stupid "Mystery Theater 3000" show and got so many jokes out of it they brought it back as often as "Saturday Night Live" brought back the Church Lady. But if you need those dopes to get laughs out of "Lifeforce" you've probably already hired Bruce Vilanch a long time ago. Hey, if Bruce Vilanch ever saw "Lifeforce" he'd go into such a tizzy that by the end he'd weigh one hundred and fifteen pounds.

For some reason or another in 1986 Hooper made "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". I think they must have taken his parents hostage until Hooper finished his final cut. Hey, you don't fool around when you sign a contract with a coupla Israelis, man. With his second "Chainsaw" movie Hooper decided to elaborate in the comic elements of the original. Well, Hooper says there are comic elements somewhere in the original and he made the damn thing so he must know what he's talking about. The bad news is that even though the sequel is more of a comedy than the original it's not nearly as funny. If you can think of a worse thing to say about a comedy movie than "Not as funny as 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" you must be thinking about the latest Tim Allen movie.

Strike Three against Hooper's deal with Cannon was "Invaders From Mars", a remake of the fifties science fiction movie. Hey, Tobe - Next time you remake a fifties science fiction movie, pick one that doesn't completely suck like . . . No, John Carpenter already did that one . . . uh . . . Aw, to Hell with it!

Soooo, I went to the video place and rented "The Mangler" just because it was directed by Tobe Hooper and I was working on an article about the guy for Acid Logic. All I knew about "The Mangler" was the corny bastard who played Freddy Krueger was in it ( Robert Englund could change his name to "Robert Irelund" and I'd still hate his guts ) with a big mechanical whatchamacallit schmooshin' people. I anticipated watching this movie with as much enthusiasm as reading "Tess Of The D'urbervilles" for a Junior High School English assignment. So I put "The Mangler" on and . . . "The Mangler" turns out to be one Hell of a great movie!! ( "Tess" turned out to be a pretty good book, too. Coulda used a big mechanical whatchamacallit schmooshin' people, though ) "The Mangler" is based on a short story by Steven King, although after slogging through a couple of his novels, I guess a short story by Steven King would be about two hundred and forty pages long. Like "Christine" and "Maximum Overrated", I mean "Maximum Overdrive", "The Mangler" continues King's theme of mechanical devices run amok, in this case a speed ironer in a Maine industrial laundry. King seems so spooked by machines I was surprised to find out he writes on a PC. Ow! My "Shift" key just hit me in the eye! Ouch! My "Delete" key just shot up my nose! That's a pretty corny gag but I can't cut it because my "Delete" key is stuck up my schnozz. This movie's rep has been irreparably scarred by it's title - "The Mangler"? My Goodness, that's terrible! That's even worse than "Eaten Alive". "Bootie Call" is a better title for a movie than "The Mangler"! Why not "Maine Speed Ironer Massacre"? If they're pressin' linens and schmooshin' sixteen year old virgin girls how about "Sheet Sixteen"? Or "Meet The Press"? "Scared Sheetless"? "He Fold His Soul"? Or best of all, "John Saleeby Has The Biggest Cock On Earth"?

Hooper's most recent feature "Crocodile" is pretty crappy but at least it's got a giant reptile splashin' around eatin' people without Neville Brand around to make it too upsetting. Before I watched "Crocodile" I did careful research to make certain that it wasn't filmed until after Neville had passed away. Hey, you know what would be a good idea for a horror movie? "Neville Brand Has Risen From The Grave"! Dress up a really big crocodile in a rubber Neville Brand suit, get Rose McGowan to run around naked in a coupla scenes, bring in Tobe Hooper to direct and you'll have something fun to watch while your girlfriend's over at her gay guy buddy from work's Oscar party. "Crocodile" -Featuring Beloved Stand Up Comic Kip Adotta as "Stanley The Fisherman"!

So lemmee tell you little shits something about Tobe Hooper - Tobe Hooper exists on a metaphysical level you punks with your reviews and your web sites can't imagine anymore than a frog understands nuclear fission or a golf ball can appreciate a sunset. So shut yer trap before he brings himself down to your mentality long enough to order a sandwich and overhears some of the trash going around and gets pissed off. Cause bad things happen when Tobe Hooper gets pissed off. That earthquake that messed up Mexico City a while back? Wes Craven brought Mister Hooper a cheeseburger with pickles on it. Mister Hooper hates pickles. And that hurricane that hit Jamaica? John Carpenter brought Mister Hooper a beer in a glass instead of leaving it in the bottle the way Mister Hooper likes it. Joe Strummer dead of a heart attack at age fifty? David Cronenberg forgot to put a "WET FLOOR" sign after cleaning Mister Hooper's living room and The Master almost spilled his beer. If that's what happens when men within half a million miles of his height offend him the filth you troglodytes are throwing around could lead to the end of reality as we know it. No, make that "reality as YOU know it" - Eating, drinking, farting . . . Do you have the gift of speech yet? Stamp your foot once to say "Yes" or twice to say "No."

Jeez, no wonder Spielberg is so goddam rich.

John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email -

View John Saleeby's crazy web log!

Meet some other Interesting Motherfuckers:

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The last of the comedy greats!
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Read up on the life of the British comedy scribe.
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Get to know the real talents of eighties punk sensations, The Replacements.

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And there's even more on our main page!

The one that started it all!

Additional Tobe Hooper Material:
Onion AV Club Interview
Mr. Hooper was interviewed by the good people at the Onion. Hey, remember that old TV show called "Hooperman?"

TobeHooper dot com. The official Tobe Hooper web site. Accept no substitutes! Opening Soon.

Austin Chronicle Interview
Talks about making of Chainsaw

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