Watch Tobe Hooper’s Debut Feature, “Eggshells”!
Last week, in partnership with Watchmaker Films, we presented Tobe Hooper's rarely seen comedic short The Heisters (1964). This week: the main attraction, Hooper’s debut feature, Eggshells, (1968/69), long believed to have been lost until, four decades on, it was rediscovered, restored and presented at the 2009 edition of the South by Southwest Festival.
That’s when Louis Black, a co-founder of both the Austin Chronicle and SXSW, wrote that “Eggshells makes explicit what many have long assumed — that Hooper’s sense of cinema is the defining characteristic that makes [The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)] great. Eggshells is a true 1968 film, psychedelic and political; it seems clear that Hooper had watched more than a film or two by Jean-Luc Godard. The film celebrates alternative lifestyles and politics and people and an odd, kinky semi-mysticism that is grounded more in humor than the supernatural. It captures what Austin looked like in the Sixties as well as the political sensibility shared by so many at the time. As a period piece and/or as a psychedelic film and/or as a first effort by a gifted director, the film is well worth watching. But there is something more going on. Throughout Eggshells are the kinds of telltale camera movements, manipulations of POV, casually intricate cutting, and scenes that are mystifying and haunted, elements that all come to fruition in Chainsaw, where they harmoniously work together to create that horror film masterpiece.”
Beyond a few rare festival screenings, Eggshells has seldom been seen and has never had a proper release. Until now. Watch and enjoy.