Tobe Hooper Busts Spielberg Poltergeist Myth

Legendary film director Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Masacre) graced the FrightFest stage a few minutes ago. During his chat with Total Film’s Jamie Graham, he spoke about the myth surrounding Steven Spielberg’s on-set contributions to Poltergeist. Apparently a writer from the L.A. Times visited the set while they were filming some backyard scenes and Spielberg was shooting 2nd unit footage in an over-the-shoulder angle of remote control cars. The Times didn’t consider that this might only be 2nd unit, which is how the Big Story got started in the first place. In fact, Spielberg was prepping ET, and wasn’t really on the Poltergeist set that much. Hooper joked that things were “edgier” when Spielberg, whom he compared to a Thalberg figure, wasn’t around. He also asserted that Poltergeist was definitely his baby: he designed it, he directed it, and it had his “feel.”

Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Hooper said he had planned his own Spider Man way back when, but conceded that it wouldn’t have worked well in the pre-CG era.