Arts & Entertainment

Eggshells: Tobe Hooper's First Film

Courtesy of Steve Allen Theater

Listen to story

Download this story 2.0MB

Film fans know Tobe Hooper as the director of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the horrifying 1974 movie about a mask-wearing killer and his creepy, cannibalistic family. But years before he made that film, Hooper directed a much mellower flick called "Eggshells." "Eggshells" was shot in Austin in 1968. It captures a very psychedelic life of young hippies living in a house and doing a fair share of controlled substances. For years, "Eggshells" was considered a lost film. But then, a print surfaced and luckily the timing was perfect for southern California film fans. Right around the time the print was found, Tobe Hooper made an appearance at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Feliz. Amit Itelman is the artistic director of the theater. Itelman was doing a Q and A with Hooper and the filmmaker mentioned "Eggshells" and that a copy had just been discovered. "And so I put him on the spot in front of the audience," Itelman explains, "and asked him if we could screen it." Hooper said yes. Be warned, the film doesn't have a whole lot of action or plot. But it definitely does a great job of capturing the spirit of Texas in the 60s. Itelman says he likes it because it depicts hippie life before the darker side of the decade, when Charles Mansion terrorized the nation and fights at a Rolling Stones concert turned fatal. The movie, he says "gets bizarre, it gets psychedelic, it gets paranormal," he says, "But it doesn't get frightening." "Eggshells" is playing on Friday nights at midnight. When weather permits, they screen the film outside as a drive-in film. Following the screening, Nashville-based The Ettes will perform. And, if you are fan of previously lost hippie films, be sure to head to the Steve Allen Theater on January 19th. That's when they'll be showing the Grindhouse release "An American Hippie in Israel:"