Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Novelizations Galore!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Novelizations Galore!!


For us movie fans there is just an endless supply of movies(in many formats) and movie related memorabilia to collect. It's mind boggling how much is out there. My interest in novelizations probably stems from my early love of Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks. To this day I still love the artwork on those CYOA covers. Also, it's a lot of fun to see a film that you are familiar with translated into text form. So a while back a friend of mine gave me a novelization of CALIFORNIA SPLIT that he came across. I was immediately hooked. I picked them up whenever I saw them at thrift stores. I came across a CHARLEY VARRICK which I was very excited about. Next, THE NICKEL RIDE. Then I cooled off on them for a bit. Recently I've been reinvigorated and started looking around on Paperbackswap to see just what they have in terms of these. I started with a MIDNIGHT MADNESS book and later found a copy Alan Sharp's book of NIGHT MOVES, based on his script for the fantastic Arthur Penn film. After that I moved on to trashier stuff like THE PACK, THE FOG, HALLOWEEN III(?!) and ROLLERCOASTER. Books of THE CAR, THE LAST ACTION HERO and SUPERGIRL are on the way. Strange mix eh? That's just how I roll. I love these things. Oh and then there are Fotonovels. Even more fun! Basically movies and tv shows set up in almost comic book form, with color photo stills. Highly recommended for you collectors that need just one more thing to pile up on your not so empty shelves. Movie comic book tie-ins are next for me!










25 comments:

Thomas Duke said...

I think the only movie novelization I have is for...wait for it...

OVER THE TOP

I bought it for the absurdity of it. They made a movie about a guy that drives a truck to a place where he can arm wrestle, and they somehow made a novelization out of that. Haven't read it yet though.

Love me some CYOA!

James said...

I picked one up recently for 99 cents at the local Salvation Army for RETURN TO OZ, which is one of my favorite kid's movies that is insanely messed up.

Rupert Pupkin said...

Thomas-That is so damned cool!! I would totally pick that one up myself for the absurdity factor. Reminds me, I wonder if there are novelizations for COBRA or RHINESTONE?!! I heart CYOA a lot. Even have a tattoo!

James-ROZ sounds like a great one! I need to pick that up. Yeah for sure a messed up kids film, but one I watched and liked way more than say THE NEVERENDING STORY...

Iren said...

I come across these every once and a while.... along with film reprints of the novels that some films are based on. One of my faves is a copy of the IPCRESS File with Michael Cain on the cover..

Rupert Pupkin said...

IREN-IPCRESS FILE?! That I gotta get! I love that film!

Luis said...

I love noevlizations and have many in my collection - check it out:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43513173@N08/sets/72157625194180970/
Also many movie tie-ins, these are original novels based on a movie or TV series.
By the way I have that Choose Your Own Adventure with the Vampire Express - great book. And oh, how I covet those novelizations of The Car, Supergirl and Rollercoaster as well as the Ice Castles photonovel. I must have them!

Will Errickson said...

I was never one for collecting novelizations, except here and there for various horror films, but I'd kill to have those for CALIFORNIA SPLIT and NIGHT MOVES, two of my absolute fave movies of the era... hell, of any era. I do have one for TAXI DRIVER... odd, to say the least.

Rupert Pupkin said...

Will-Very cool about the TAXI DRIVER. I have the published screenplay, but need to find that novelization. I am right with you though re: NIGHT MOVES and CALIFORNIA SPLIT. Both are amongst my favorite films of all time.

They Call Him Chad said...

Rup - Just curious...what novelizations do you think are the best while still offering something different/new not contained in the film?

Colonel Mortimer said...

Awesome post, I'm curious about that Rollercoaster novelization (a guilty fave I just rewatched). Novelizations are fascinating because they are often written from an earlier draft of the screenplay than the shooting script.

I used to check out novelizations of Horror Movies I was too young to see from the library (they were always located in the Young Adult section for some reason), I have this really specific memory of the opening of the Friday the 13th part III novel having a lot of details about the couple that operated the convenience store from that film's first scene. It went deep into what caused their marriage to splinter and how that lead to the man being a compulsive over-eater. See there not just cookie cutter victims!

I also remember the Gremlins 2 novelization had a similar break where the film burns, but I forget the specific details

J.D. said...

Wow, I had no idea they did a novelization for CALIFORNIA SPLIT. Definitely have to track that one and THE FOG down.

My fave has to be the one for ESCAPE FROM NY. I wonder if the writer had access to early script drafts as he does fill in a little more of Snake's backstory and the omitted bank heist scene is in the novel. Fascinating stuff.

Ned Merrill said...

Ah, movie tie-ins! I've had a bunch over the years. My favorite bookstore since I was a lad, Montclair Book Center, used to have a section that was just movie tie-in novels. There were novelizations in there, but there were also novels later turned into films. The common thread was that the versions on this shelf, were the ones with the movie promo artwork.

Until a terrible apartment flood destroyed many of my books a few years back, I had movie tie-ins for: PETULIA, THE WANDERERS, THE WARRIORS, BLOW OUT, SERPICO, STRAIGHT TIME (with a cover drawing of Hoffman looking more like Ratso than Dembo), THE KARATE KID, CHRISTIANE F., CANDY, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (the novelization, not the source novel), THE SHORT TIMERS (aka FULL METAL JACKET), DAWN OF THE DEAD, and others I can't recall.

I managed to salvage my OVER THE EDGE, SUMMER LOVERS, CLOCKWORK ORANGE, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and MARTIN (hardcover). I also hung onto a few other MBC finds: THE ROCKY SCRAPBOOK (written by Stallone after the first film), the cover of which is seen in the montage at the beginning of ROCKY III (made to look as if Rocky Balboa wrote it) and the illustrated screenplay of FULL METAL JACKET.

HalfManHalfMovie said...

Loved the Outland tie-in. And the fly covered cover for "The Amityville Horror."
I heard that these were written because theres a huge market in Japan for movie tie-ins.

Cool Post Dude. Sending you a picture of my collection.

Ned Merrill said...

For the curious...the Wikipedia entry for movie tie-ins:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tie-in#Movie_tie-in

Ned Merrill said...

@Luis,

Sweet collection you've got there. I dig that CARNY cover artwork. As I've always understood the term, movie tie-in encompasses "novelizations," original novels retitled to match a film or television show's title, novels promoted with movie / tv artwork, etc. Usually, such books will be categorized as a "movie tie-in" by the publisher, normally visible on the spine of the book.

Rupert Pupkin said...

CHAD-Let me see if I can come up with a list of a few, most I've come across so far are fun reads but haven't added too much.

Colonel-Wow I have GOT to get that F13th 3 Novelization!! Had no idea that one was out there! Same for GREMLINS 2 which I now have to get as well. Man I wish there was one for THE 'BURBS!!

JD-Another one I didn't know was out there in EFNY! I am all over that one! Thanks for the tip! Sounds great!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Ned- what a great collection!! Such a bummer about the flood. I recall you mentioning some of those that you had. I have to find some of them(BLOW OUT and OVER THE EDGE 1st and foremost for me). Yeah movie tie-in would have been a better name for this post, thanks for the wiki link!

HALFMAN-Love he pic of your collection!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Luis- sorry I missed your comment earlier-Love your collection, really fantastic! More stuff for me to find! Good to hear your a CAR/ ROLLERCOASTER fan too!!

Doug Tilley said...

I used to pick up a TON of these novelizations as a teenager.

My favorite? The novelization of Re-Animator.

Yep, it's a novelization of the film adaptation of the HP Lovecraft story. And since Herbert West dies at the end of the novelization, it doesn't even fit into continuity.

I sadly had to read the novelization before I ever saw the unrated version of Re-Animator.

Will Errickson said...

I think the JAWS 2 novelization by Hank Searls is interesting b/c Searls is 1) a better writer than Benchley; and 2) he based his novelization on an early screenplay that wasn't produced, so it differs a fair amount from the finished film... I think it's better than the movie for that reason.

LitaMalibu said...

There's one for Summer Lovers? Yes! I may have to get it just to have a Randal Kleiser match for my Grease! Nice post!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Doug- I am on a mission now to get that REANIMATOR book! Thanks for the heads up!

WILL- I will absolutely be picking up the JAWS 2. I remember trying to read Benchley's JAWS a few times but never making it through.
LITA-Thank you kindly! Yeah My friend Ned turned me onto SUMMER LOVERS years ago. Fun film.

Mark Hodgson, said...

THE IPCRESS FILE and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR were the novels that the movies were based on, as opposed to novelisations. They're still cool to get if they're republished with photos to tie in with the film - I re-bought all the early James Bonds because they looked way cooler.

Sometimes the novelisation was the only movie merchandise that was ever available.

As people have said, they sometimes offer peeks at early drafts of the script and even scenes that were filmed and discarded. My earliest is of the Lon Chaney silent LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT - a lost film!

ROLLERCOASTER had a rather dull, much less tasteless cover in the UK!

Doug Tilley said...

Heck, I still have that Re-Animator novelization back in Newfoundland. If you have trouble tracking it down, I should be able to get it sent here.

I also just remembered the 11 year old version of me reading the Terminator 2 novelization because I was too young to see it in theaters. It was a simpler time. :)

Kevin Maher said...

I also have the TAXI DRIVER novelization, it's fantastic because it's actually Travis Bickle's diaries. You'll read a lot of lines that are used as narration, but it also recaps events from Travis' point of view. It also include some of his memories about Viet Nam.

I also had OVER THE TOP as a gag item for my bookshelf.

I'm fond of a reprinted copy of the PHANTASM novel (which was written by Don Coscarelli's mother.)

And another oddball movie tie-in is the TRON novelization, because the book can't capture the visual landscapes, it's just the story and dialogue.

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