It isn’t uncommon to see a film based on a preexisting novel. Filmmakers have been tapping into the dark world of fiction since the early days of celluloid. But what many don’t realize is that these days we’re gifted novels that are actually based on movies. Novelizations have become increasingly more popular over the last 50 years.
There are some awesome transfers out there, and while many are well known (the Halloween novelizations for example, or more recently efforts like 30 Days of Night and Pacific Rim), there’s a hefty bunch of novelizations that you may not have known existed. Well, it’s time to highlight a few of those works, check out 10 novels that are based on successful films!
The Fog by Dennis Etchison (1980): You likely all know the film, as it was one of John Carpenter’s early shining moments (despite poor initial box office sales) and one of his more frightening tales. There’s something evil out on the water and it’s moving toward land, masked by a thick fog bank, revenge and terror lurks inside. Awesome flick, and a novelization worth checking out!
Alien by Alan Dean Foster (1979): Alan Dean Foster has crafted more novelizations than you can shake a stick at. The man has turned out wicked renditions of Terminator: Salvation, Starman, The Last Starfighter and The Chronicles of Riddick, to name just a few, and his Alien transfers (he crafted books for the first three Alien films) are solid work indeed. The perfect killing machine stalking dark corridors and bleeding acid, on page? We’re there!
Friday the 13th by Simon Hawke (1987): After working up a novel for the sixth Friday the 13th flick, Hawke got retro and handled Friday the 13th Part I, II and III in quick succession. Jason Voorhees has a place in just about any entertainment medium, and most fans would likely agree, whether they knew these low key novels existed or not. Get ready for another fine way to bring Camp Crystal Lake home!
The Brides of Dracula by Owen Dean (1960): If you’re a fan of this legendary bloodsucker, or vintage horror fare in general, this is one to track down. Recently re-released by BearManor Media, this novel is surprisingly easy (and inexpensive) to get ahold of. And believe me, it’s worth it, toting all the charm of Terence Fisher’s Hammer classic.
Black Christmas by Lee Hays (1976): Good luck tracking this one down, it’s long been out of print and awfully pricey as a result. All the same, if you can find it for a reasonable figure, I’d suggest making the purchase. Black Christmas is one of the most horrifying films ever shot, and the book opens the door for a closer look at the psychology of the story and its players. Get it if you can!!
The Wicker Man by Anthony Shaffer (1979): I’ll be completely honest, I had absolutely no idea that this story had ever worked its way into the confines of a novel. The movie terrifically twisted, ultra-creepy and totally sex-charged. How could the novel possibly let down?
Poltergeist by James Kahn (1982): This is easily one of the most terrifying haunted house stories ever told. Be it film or novel, it’s one paralyzing event after the other, and given Kahn’s pedigree (James put together a stellar adaptation of The Goonies) there’s no reason to anticipate anything less than another terrifying tale.
The Lost Boys by Craig Shaw Gardner (1987): Rebellious vamps on bikes, hot almost-gothic chicks; two laid back brothers, two vampire hunting brothers; a comic shop and a gorgeous dog make for unadulterated thrills. This is a classic vampire story that somehow made vampires seriously flashy but managed to keep them legitimately frightening. Tons of action anchor the film, and beautiful characters make for a solid structure. Terrific film, terrific novelization.
The Blob by David Bischoff (1988): Once again we’ve got another one that evaded my awareness. This one is interesting given the fact that The Blob was a remake of a classic film, but the novelization looks as though it leans focally on the second Blob picture. Does it really matter? Both of the pictures were downright awesome, and we’re not likely to lose one way or the other, as they’re not completely different movies anyway. I’m itching to get my hands on this one!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Richie Tankersley Cusick (1992): Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? That’s right, before Buffy ruled the entertainment roost thanks to television offshoots and comic books, she jumped right into a novel. Few had any clue this one was floating around out there somewhere, but it is. If it’s anything like the original film, it’s likely to be a riotous affair that blends action, laughs and horror perfectly.