Is Michael Myers a boogeyman who commits random acts of violence without reason? Or is he a family annihilator who is trying to eliminate his bloodline? That’s a question which divides the many fans of John Carpenter’s classic horror/Halloween movie Halloween. It’s also a question that is further complicated by Curtis Richard’s 1979 novelization of that film.
The Halloween novelization pretty much follows the basic beats of the classic movie. However, it does so very quickly. It skims over those beats, actually? Why? Because it spends a lot of its time creating things that didn’t happen in the movie. There is a prologue about an ancient Irish teen who kills his would-be lover and her suitor. This prologue suggests that Michael Myers is possessed by the soul of this Irish teen or is perhaps a reincarnation of him. Then there is a chapter in which Michael’s mother tells her mother that Michael is hearing voices, only for her mother to tell a story about Michael’s great-grandfather who also heard voices and ended up killing people.
And if those two chapters don’t totally destroy the movie, there is something else in the novelization that does. We get into Michael’s head. We hear his thoughts. This does two things. First, it shows that he is thinking, not just plotting to kill. Secondly, it shows that he lusts, as some of his thoughts are sexual in nature. In my opinion, both of those things completely destroy either of the two prevalent understandings of Michael Myers.
Still, I wasn’t completely unhappy with the novelization. It does what it should do. It gives us another taste of a movie we love. And that’s a pretty good thing, even if its depiction of Michael Myers isn’t.
BTW, this novelization is out of print and will cost a lot of money on Amazon or Ebay. There are also novelizations of the other Halloween films.
After picking up the original V miniseries on DVD the other day, I decided to search Amazon.com for the Final Battle DVD. My search brought up something I wasn’t expecting: V novels.
I knew there were V novels. I had even read one back in the day (Alien Swordmaster). I didn’t know there was a novelization of the miniseries, though, nor did I know it had been updated for the Kindle and that a sequel had been released. I quickly bought them all.
Now the novelization is tons of fun. The original novelization covers both miniseries and follows them pretty much point for point. You do get some additional details and character thoughts, and some of the narrative (such as Barbara helping Donovan escape from the mother ship) are condensed, and a few adult words have been edited (Diana even drops an S-bomb), but it is still pretty much the shows.
However, the Kindle versions, which have been edited by series creator Kenneth Johnson, are significantly different. The Kindle version of the original miniseries only covers the first series with the addition of the birth of Robin’s alien baby (in this version, only one baby is born and it looks more reptilian than in the TV series) and the arrival of another race of aliens. The sequel, then, goes into radically new territory. I didn’t understand this when I bought the e-versions. Reviewers had said the ending had been changed, but they didn’t say that half the book had been cut out.
That omission notwithstanding, I loved reading the e-version, not only because I love V but because it brought back that sense of nostalgia, reminding me of what it was like to read novelizations when I was a kid (I did Robocop, which was pretty good, and Jaws: The Revenge, which was better than the movie). Though I did miss the second miniseries, I still have it in the paperback version, and I am interested to see what new paths the story will follow in the Second Generation.