Friday, November 2, 2012

Movie Novelizations

My addiction to books adapted from movies and TV began innocently enough. I loved reading as a kid, and devoured pretty much everything I could get my hands on. While I wish I could claim my young mind was exposed to intellectually stimulating material, my early years were devoted to Mad, Archie comics, and the Choose Your Adventure series.

Amazing Stories was in its second season when I stumbled onto the tie-in at the local drugstore. At the time, my favourite episode was the Martin Scorsese directed 'Mirror Mirror' and my $4.75 purchase was undoubtedly driven by its inclusion in the anthology.

Adapted from Joseph Minion's teleplay by Steven Bauer (a professor at Miami University, not the actor- I could only dream of the shenanigans the ex Mr Melanie Griffith could have come up with ), the Mirror Mirror short story rehashes the plot of a Stephen King-esque writer who begins to see a ghoulish masked man in reflective surfaces. Even as an elementary school student I recognized a hastily put together cash-in when I saw it and understood the episode itself didn't compare in quality in the slightest.

Perhaps the difference owes to the talent of episode director Martin Scorsese ... well, duh, of course it does. Not only does he use clips from Hammer's The Plague of The Zombies as a fake movie based on the writer's (played brilliantly by Sam Waterston) work, but the director brings his usual cinematic flair to this TV network production. A masked -and unrecognizable -Tim Robbins plays the creature that torments Waterston throughout the episode to great effect.

Watching the episode today awakens old memories of being absolutely terrified of mirrors brought upon by this episode and undoubtedly the legend of Bloody Mary which plagued my school at the time.

I had the great privilege of meeting fellow novelization collector John Waters who asked me if I had ever tried to read one after I admitted I was a fellow movie-tie in fan. After I said, no not really, he said, yeah they're awful, which led me to think there has to be at least one good one
out there.

So I'm going to try to attempt to read some of my titles in my collection in the upcoming weeks and review them here. It very well may be a suicide mission, but who needs great literature when an adaptation of of Tom Holland's Fright Night exists?

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