In one of the weirdest things I think I could possibly have heard of, some brave soul has compiled audiobook versions of novelizations of movies made in the 1980s. Such a strange and specific hobby/task, no? For those of you too young to remember such things, most movies—especially genre pictures—would get novelized so that people could read a prose version of the movie they’d just seen (or perhaps weren’t allowed to see). These were almost never exactly the same as the film, because the author of said adaptation would usually be working from an earlier version of the script, and hence characters or scenes would be in the novelization that wouldn’t be in the film itself.
Anyway, the website called Audiobooks of the Damned has full, unabridged readings of some ’80s and ’90s movie novelizations, and this is why I’m in such awe: I had no idea ALL of these movies got novelized. Here are some of the ones that made my face look weird when I saw them.
The Road Warrior in 3hrs 15min
Okay, so if you haven’t seen The Road Warrior, it’s a lot like the later Mad Max: Fury Road except with even less dialogue. How in the world does explaining action sequences equate to three hours?
Every Which Way But Loose in 5hrs 21min
Clint Eastwood and his sidekick—A GODDAMNED ORANGUTAN NAMED CLYDE—beat up guys in bar brawls while they drive a truck across the country. What exactly could be gleaned from delving into the inner psyche of either of these characters. “Clyde sat pensively, remembering days when bananas were less plentiful…”
Videodrome in about 7hrs
There’s actually quite a few David Cronenberg novelizations on this site, which I guess makes sense, since his films are full of weird psychological foibles to pick apart. I imagine it’s 7 hours because at least 5 of those are trying to find new ways to tactfully describe oozing televisions and video cassette vaginas in chests.
Blade Runner in 1hr 13min
This was a phenomenon I never understood. Blade Runner was already a book! It was based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Why not just read that?! That book is only 210 pages, which is ridiculously short for a novel these days. How short must this novelization have been if it’s only just over an hour when read out loud? 65 pages? Who ever heard of a novelization that’s shorter than the movie?
There are a lot more, which you can peruse and puzzle over on the Audiobooks of the Damned YouTube page. Seriously, I’m baffled. But entertained.
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!