[Photo by: Ludovic Kazeba/REX/Shutterstock]

Horror movie director Tobe Hooper died on Saturday in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of 74. The L.A. County coroner's office ruled it as natural death.  

The director was best known for his 1974 film Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a film that is considered to be one of the most influential horror films of all time. It was a low-budget movie, shot for less than $300,000 in fact, but quickly became a huge hit for horror fans and eventually lead to the 1986 sequel, Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2.

Hooper also directed Poltergeist, the 1982 classic produced and written by Steven Spielberg. You will also see Hooper in a few episodes of Tales From The Crypt.

In the 2002 documentary Masters of Horror Hooper said that as a young man he loved the horror genre, but found the films in it had become boring.

“I figured I was paying two bucks a ticket, a dollar and a half a ticket, and I was getting about 10 cents’ worth of scare”

After a friend introduced him to the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, Hooper says he walked out thinking, “O.K. that's the way to do it.”

While the film inspired the director, he still needed to come up with an original idea. It was in the hardware section of a busy store during Christmas time that the idea for Texas Chain Saw Massacre would come to life. 

“I was kind of freaking, just wanted to get out of there, get out of the crowd,” Hooper said in the documentary. “And so I found myself in front of a chain-saw display in the hardware department, and that's where the idea came from-'Well, if I pick this damn thing up and start it, they'll part like the Red Sea and I can get out of here.'”

Hooper was born in Austin, Texas and taught college before starting out in documentaries.

Our thoughts go out to the Hooper family.