Okay, so the idea of doing a blog post about movie tie-ins isn’t that original. Everyone and their movie-loving mothers are into movie tie-ins. And why shouldn’t they be? I own several novelizations myself, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the books for one big reason: While the writing technique may be good, the ideas and the dialogue do not originate with the author, and there is an inevitable distance between the writer and the subject matter. Their heart really isn’t in it when the goal is simply to make a fast buck.
That said, there are a few reasons to buy the novelizations, especially if they’re cheap. They usually depict scenes not featured in the film (due to the practice of basing them on old drafts of the screenplay), the characters are generally more fleshed out than is possible in a two-hour film, and they often have great cover artwork.
I think that last point is the reason that collecting movie tie-ins, much like collecting old VHS tapes, has become somewhat trendy among film buffs. Few of them would ever admit to preferring the novelizations, just as few would claim to prefer the look of VHS over DVD or Blu-ray. Not all tie-ins are novelizations, of course; some are novels that were written before the movie.
Nowadays there is little reason for novelizations to exist, because you no longer have to stay up until 3am to catch a movie on TV that might not be shown again for ten years. They are still being published, but as with most things, the magic is gone. New movie tie-ins do not have the charm nor the superior graphic design of the tie-ins published before the 90s.
I have my own favorites – most I don’t own, but hope to. Here are some of them:
I’ll add more as I think of them. I do own the Videodrome, Carrie and Eyes of Laura Mars tie-ins. I used to have Halloween, but I sold it for thirty bucks on eBay a few years back. I had found it in an antique store in Pittsburgh for four bucks, and they even had a second copy with the famous pumpkin poster image. I stupidly only bought the one when I should have gotten both. I wonder if it’s still there, hidden on the dusty top shelf that I had to stand on my tippy-toes to reach. Damn, I wish I still lived in Pittsburgh.
Anyway, I made my own fake novelization cover for the movie Jennifer – what do you think?
What are some of your favorites?