Film novelizations used to be a big deal to movie nerds. They were a way to relive a favorite film at home, and even gave you a deeper dive on that world, offering details from deleted scenes, early script drafts, or maybe just the author’s imagination that opened up the film a bit. Before inexpensive home video libraries let you gorge on a beloved film over and over, film novelizations were a cheap and rewarding fix for Generation X.
They’ve kind of gone away in the digital age (not completely), and today remain a curious 20th century vestige. So imagine my surprise when I joked on Twitter that someone should do audiobooks of these relics – and was sent a link* full of just that. Audiobooks For The Damned has a wealth of unabridged novelizations living on YouTube, offering everything from Cat People to The Terminator to Saturday Night Fever to The Jerk. It's kind of mind-blowing.
Always wanted to read the novelization of The Brood? Got four hours to kill? Audiobooks From Hell has you covered:
Speaking of Cronenberg, here’s the 6+ hour audiobook of Videodrome.
If you want something lighter, Super Mario Brothers is just a hair over two hours:
Meanwhile, Mad Max 2 is a tight three and a quarter hours:
There are many, MANY more on the project’s YouTube page. From what I’ve sampled, the readers are pleasant-sounding enough, and they present the stories with a more or less straight face. Of special interest to my pal Evan Saathoff is the news that the site is planning to launch Rocky I through IV in anticipation of the new film Creed. Sounds like we’ve all got our Labor Day weekend listens sorted out.
*The person who tweeted this at me deleted the tweet! I'm sorry, whoever you were!