Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The "Never Got Made" File #9 - #13: Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper burst onto the filmmaking scene with some film called THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Never seen it, but I hear the remake is awesome. If you agree with that statement, kindly place your left hand behind your head and smash your face into the computer screen.

For a period of time, Tobe was THE man. He had a good ten year or so run from 1974-1986. But what is interesting about Hooper are the behind-the-scenes stories and cases of what could have been. I'm sure you've heard the POLTERGEIST stories and probably know Hooper was replaced on both THE DARK (1979) and VENOM (1981; Tobe, Kinski and Oliver Reed, ah, what coulda been!). Here we highlight some other projects that were announced with Hooper's involvement that never saw fruition.

Did you know RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD was original announced in the early 1980s to be directed by Hooper and was to be shot in 3-D? In a way, I'm glad this film fell apart. I'm sure it would have been good, but we would never have been given the gift of Dan O'Bannon's directorial debut.

Post-POLTERGEIST, Hooper hooked up with Cannon for a several picture deal. Titles that came out of this include LIFEFORCE (1985), the remake of INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) and the underrated sequel THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986). Hooper was apparently going to direct a third sci-fi script by O'Bannon and Don Jakoby titled PINOCCHIO: THE ROBOT. While one would assume it would be geared towards children, it would have been interesting to see (and probably ended up a lot like A.I.).

Also, Hooper was associated with Cannon's never-realized SPIDER-MAN movie for a hot minute. Honestly, I think it was company policy for every director under their banner to be attached to this cinematic hot potato. Other guys attached to the project during the Cannon/21st Century years include Albert Pyun (THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER) and Joseph Zito (INVASION U.S.A.; THE PROWLER).

Hooper almost hooked up with Charles Band's Empire Pictures in the late 80s. Two projects were announced but never made - the adaptation of Gary (THE HOWLING) Brandner's ghost novel FLOATER and something called INTRUDER (not to be confused with Scott Spiegel's slasher). The artwork for INTRUDER offers little in the way of info, but one would think Hooper backed with Band's (soon to be non-existent) funding would have created something interesting. Instead Hooper went on to make SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION...yeesh!

Finally, feast your eyes on another late 80s project called DOUBLE VISION. It was based on a script by Mick Garris but never got made. Judging from the short taglines, this script is what Garris eventually turned into his short story "Chocolate," which appeared in the Hot Blood book series in 1989 and was eventually made into an episode of MASTERS OF HORROR.


Moments of Clarity:

1 Reactions:

  1. Cool, didn't know about "Floater" and "Intruder".
    But Empire was prone to announce projects first and look for financing later.

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