Film Junk Premium Podcast #54: Tobe Hooper


You like head cheese? Just in time for Halloween, our latest horror-themed premium podcast has arrived, serving up a meaty exploration of Tobe Hooper’s filmography and the often imitated but never duplicated genre classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. On this episode we cover most of Hooper’s output from the ’70s and ’80s (with the notable exception of Poltergeist, which will get its own podcast eventually). Discussion topics include the effectiveness and widespread influence of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Spielberg-Hooper connection, the lost art of practical effects, and the all time greatest jump scares. So what is the significance of the sun in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Why can’t Stretch hang up the phone in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? Is Frank willing to admit the influence of the Texas Chainsaw films on Nothing But Trouble? Choose sex or the saw on this month’s premium podcast below.

» Download It Now!

This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

  • Sam

    I have the Arrow UK Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray of TCM 2… Definitely says “my achin’ banana”.

    Library subtitles man.

  • Tommy

    Haven’t listened yet, but I always thought it was “Oh my kid banana!”
    I entered that into IMDB Quotes years ago, but it looks like it’s been kicked off :(

  • Tim

    TCM 2 has one the most intense and legendary jump scares in horror history!!
    Let´s hear if Frank, instead from suffering an instant heart-attack, just incidentally forgot to notice said scare like he did with his infamous “Exorcist 3″ pretend-watch or his innumerable horror-movies-on-mute cheats.

    Will the premium junkers get screwed again by the KOC?

  • Lori Cerny

    Frank is correct about the phone having a “party line” as it was called – even in the mid-80s.

    When we made a call (Buffalo, NY), you picked up the receiver and listened first to hear if the line was open. You had to ensure your neighbor was not already using the phone. You could hear their conversations clear as a bell and they could hear yours. Sometimes they told you to get off the phone, or the polite neighbors, would tell you how much longer they would be using the phone.

    You had to wait until your neighbor ended their call, then you pressed the “switchhook” a couple times until you heard a dial tone – meaning the operator had ended and closed the other line. If you hit the hook too many times, the operator would ask you if you needed help.

    Our party line ended somewhere in the late 80s, but I’m sure rural areas could have had it even longer.

  • Sean

    That’s interesting. I remember hearing about party lines but I had no idea they were still around in the ’80s. Either way it seems very strange that the world of TCM2 shows some people with car phones while a radio station is still using a party line. Very confusing.

  • iammattz

    Yep, these still exist for older cottages in Northern Ontario… *the more you know…

  • Sam

    I could have sworn this even being a thing even in the early 2000s. If you hung up long enough, it wasn’t a problem, but there would be a time when I would talk to someone on a landline, hang up with them, and pick up to make another a call a few seconds later and the other person had not hung up yet and I would not be able to make that call until they hung up the line or if I hung up for a few minutes before making the call. Frank’s not crazy.

    And this is in Southern California

  • Indianamcclain

    I first saw Lifeforce a couple years ago, and I was blown away by the special effects. I agree with the pacing being wonky, especially when the vampire posses another body. But the first 40 minutes, and the last act are insane.

  • devolutionary

    All this talk on solar flares got me thinking about Werner Herzog’s recent Internet doc “Lo and Behold”.
    “Our sun: the giver of life. At the same time, it is hostile, destructive. Protuberances unimaginable in size are being hurled into the universe. These flares may become the undoing of modern civilization.”
    The threat is real Frank. Tobe Hooper was a prophet.

  • filmstache

    This premium sounds amazing

  • Bizzaro Nate

    RE Frank’s Phone Hang Up Discussion on Tobe Hooper Premium:
    In 1991-ish I had a phone my parent’s bought from a garage sale. Not only would it not clear the other person’s line even if they hung up, but it would call random numbers by itself. It called 911 twice over the course of the summer I had it and they sent the police to come check on us the second time it happened. After that, the 5 dollar phone landed a nice, snuggly place in the trashcan.

  • Jules

    Hey guys Re: The line, it’s “my aching banana” . On the commentary Caroline Williams even talks about it.
    Sean mentioned how it was weird the light goes on when leatherface comes out of the record vault. If you watch choptop you can see his right hand flick the light switch. Even after countless viewings the jump still used to get me but now I use that as a better indication of when it’s about to happen.
    And the last thing, regarding the driver of the truck at the end of TCM, In the new chainsaw 3D there is a deleted scene where they have his body on a slab in the meat hook room. Maybe not what Tobe Hooper intended but it’s out there.
    Great premium, would have loved to hear you talk about more of the series, maybe next Halloween.

  • Mrespony

    I grew up in Austin and was probably having my first birthday when TTCM was released. As a kid I recall a myth surrounding the story and it’s potential veracity. There was an old gas station across the street from my elementary school that was rumored to have been involved in the movie/massacre/myth, which of course was all down to the imaginations of school kids. The film had a big impact on me without ever having seen it.

  • Sean

    That’s pretty cool that Chop Top actually turns on the light himself. I should have noticed this because I rewatched the scene a couple times to see if Leatherface actually makes contact with Chop Top… which of course he does and you can even see the sparks. Very impressive.

  • frankw35

    Another great, 4.5 star premium, guys (down half a star for Frank again referring to the shark in “Jaws” as “Jaws.”. But I may force feed a relisten and bump it up.

  • SLionsCricket

    Sean, I gotta say, I’m loving the line up of premiums for the rest of the year! That’ll make it 5 consecutive director premiums, which are almost always my favourites!

  • traynor

    I definitely remember in the 1980s that sometimes it wouldn’t disconnect the call until the person who initiated the call hung up.

    My mother once made me ride my bike to her friend’s house to make her hang up the phone, because my mother was expecting a call, and her friend hadn’t fully hung up the phone after they spoke. Even though my mother would put the phone on the receiver, it wouldn’t disconnect the call. We could hear her goofy friend watching TV and talking to her dog.

  • stinker

    Still no Harry. Maybe next year….

  • Mark

    Too much phone line talk, not enough Stretch. But hey, I still dug it.

  • Colin

    Any chance of getting a Danny Boyle premium for January in honor of T2?

  • Sean

    It’s a definite possibility although I think T2 is out in Feb not Jan.

  • No one important

    Is there a way to get these premiums purchasable on iTunes. I understand that the big apple expects a cut so the cost would no doubt rise but, speaking for myself, I’d be content in paying up to $5 for such a download.

    Oh and what’s the lineup for the rest of the year. Need to know what I’m missing out on.

  • Sean

    Unfortunately there is no way to sell podcasts on iTunes. There are some people who have gotten around this rule by releasing them as “audiobooks” but I think you need to have a relationship with Apple in order to get that kind of exception. The only thing we could do is come up with our own app and sell them as in-app purchases.

    The upcoming premiums are Robert Zemeckis and Martin Scorsese.

  • Phil

    I feel compelled to come to the defense of The Funhouse little brother sub-plot. I see it as Hooper attempting to get across the theme of the evil family unit (The carnival barker and his mutant son) as being a more loving and functional family than the “normal” one. Not saying that its worth as much time as Hooper invests into it, but I think that was the intent.

  • Sean

    Interesting thought. I don’t know if I totally buy it though since the normal family unit didn’t seem all that dysfunctional to me.

  • Andrija

    Frank: Don’t even compare him to Jake Lloyd…
    Sean: I think he’s better.
    Frank: You’re fucked.

  • Sam

    I also didn’t see the carnival barker and his mutant son to be all that loving either.