Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

March 30, 2014

Great Movies That Were Turned into Terrible Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank Fiore @ 10:16 AM

We all know of great books that have been turned into great movies. But what about great movies that have been turned into terrible books?

Here are a couple.

Steven Spielberg’s beloved E.T. has remained a wholesome pop culture icon despite appearing in exactly one movie 30 years ago (the Amblin logo doesn’t count). The character truly encapsulates the feeling of childlike wonder. Who wouldn’t want E.T. to be their best friend as a kid? Answer: You wouldn’t. Not after reading the novelization.

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in His Adventures on Earth by William Kotzwinkle adds details not seen in the movie, starting with the fact that E.T. is 10 million years old. And, as a fully developed adult, he of course gets sexually frustrated.

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in His Adventures on Earth by William Kotzwinkle adds details not seen in the movie, starting with the fact that E.T. is 10 million years old. And, as a fully developed adult, he of course gets sexually frustrated.

But the worst part is that E.T. himself is not above being corrupted by this novel — Kotzwinkle conveys the alien’s inner monologue, and guess what — he has the hots for Elliott’s mom. He writes:

“How ironic it was that the willow-creature, the lovely Mary, pined for her vanished husband while in a closet, close at hand, dwelt one of the finest minds in the cosmos.”

When Elliott puts an ailing E.T. in the shower, we get the most horrifying revelation of all:

“The water came on, soaking Elliott and E.T. The aged voyager shook his head as the water hit. Ah, yes, the shower, where the willow-creature dances.”

Good thing Spielberg didn’t create a sequel with this guy.

And this one:

Halloween is a 10-movie franchise based solely on how creepy Michael Myers was in that first 1978 film by John Carpenter. For the first time, here was a movie killer who didn’t murder people because he wanted money or due to chronically untreated mommy issues, but simply because he was pure evil. He was the perfect boogeyman for the modern era.

So naturally, the novelization’s author decided to go ahead and ruin all that.

Young Michael complains of voices that “tell me to say I hate people,” and it’s heavily implied that he’s actually possessed by the dead boy from the prologue. Turns out Enda’s soul was cursed to relive the events of Samhain for all eternity, and now he’s slowly taking over Michael’s brain:

“It was the voice. The voice stirred up the hatred. It had done so in his dreams, and now it was doing so in real life. It had begun with the strange pictures in his head at night, pictures of people he had never seen — oh, maybe in comic books or on television, but never in real life.”

So basically, sweet innocent Michael Myers is just the victim of some ancient Celtic curse/demon thing.

The serial killer as victim. Where have we heard that before?

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