Friday, January 11, 2013

10 Books I'd Like To See Get A Movie Adaptation . . .


It always surprises me just how many great books that are out there that still haven't been developed into a movie . . .  yet!
Where an author such as Stephen King's has had everything he wrote just shy of his weekly grocery list already turned into a movie, below are some books that are both just waiting to be rediscovered and are tailor made for the Big Screen!

1: Secrets of the Shopping Mall by Richard Peck (1980)



Description: Trying to escape the vicious King Kobra gang and  troubled life at home, eighth graders Barnie and  Teresa flee the city. With only four dollars  between them, they hop a bus, hoping to find a new life  at the end of the line. Destination: Paradise  Park. But Paradise Park turns out to be a  cement-covered suburban shopping mall--not quite the paradise  they had hoped for.
With no money  and no home to retum to, they are forced to stay.  And paradise park takes them in--in more ways than  one. Barnie and Teresa spend their days and nights  in the climate-controlled consumer paradise of a  large department store. And just when they think  they can live there unnoticed forever, Teresa and  Barnie find that even Paradise Park has its secrets.  Even in the dead of night, they are far from  alone....

My Take: 
If this was made now there would have to be some minor changes, but a story about a mall inhabited by mannequins all out to get you is golden. This movie could be rated either PG-13 or R and still be Creepy as Hell!



2: Joyride by Stephen Crye (1983)



Description: Nine teenagers venture into All Saints Hill Cemetery one evening in search of a quiet place to get drunk, stoned, and naked. Watching from a tool shed is Cleats, the hideously scarred caretaker who thinks the cars contain his tormentors from six years ago. Cleats locks the gates, gathers his tools, and goes hunting. Any poor soul straying too far from the party runs into the wrong end of a sickle, chainsaw, pick-axe, or ice pick.

My Take: The Best Slasher Movie Never Made! I was aware of this book for a long time now, but wasn't able to read it until I finally found a copy off of Ebay, it's a well paced and the kills are so brutal I'd love to see someone like say Tom Savini pull them off on the big screen!


3: Beyond The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (1986)



Description: The school year is almost at an end, and the chocolate sale is past history.  But no one at Trinity School can forget The Chocolate War.
Devious Archie Costello, commander of the secret school organization called the Virgils, stall has some torturous assignments to hand out before he graduates.  In spite of this pleasure, Archie is troubled by his right-hand man, Obie, who has started to move away from the Virgils.  Luckily Archie knows his stooges will fix that.  But won't Archie be shocked when he discovers the surprise Obie has waiting for him?
And there are surprises waiting for others.  The time for revenge has come to those boys who secretly suffered the trials of Trinity.  The fuse is set for the final explosion.  Who will survive?

My Take: I love this follow up to "The Choclate War", now while the first book already got a uber-lame movie, I'd still like to see both books get a proper adaptation some day . . . but they better be darker this time around!

4: The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersesian (1999)



Description: Arthur Nersesian's underground literary treasure is an unforgettable slice of gritty New York City life...and the darkly hilarious odyssey of an anonymous slacker. He's a perennial couch-surfer, an aspiring writer searching for himself in spite of himself, and he's just trying to survive. But life has other things in store for the fuck-up. From being dumped by his girlfriend to getting fired for asking for a raise, from falling into a robbery to posing as a gay man to keep his job at a porno theater, the fuck-up's tragi-comedy is perfectly realized by Arthur Nersesian, who manages to create humor and suspense out of urban desperation. "Read it and howl," says Bruce Benderson (author of User), "and be glad it didn't happen to you."

My Take: "The Catcher in the Rye" for modern times, but I doubt this will ever be read in high schools based off that title alone. Rumors has it an option for a movie has actually been in the works for over a decade now but yeah I don't see it happening.

5: Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (1999)



Description: Love, betrayal, petty larceny, and high fashion fuel this deliciously comic novel from the author of Fight Club and Survivor.The fashion-model protagonist of Invisible Monsters has just about everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But one day she's driving along the freeway when a sudden "accident" leaves her with half her face, no ability to speak, and next to no self-esteem. From being the beautiful center of attention she becomes an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman; Brandy will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing the past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you'll ever want to look. In this hilarious and daringly unpredictable novel, the narrator must exact revenge upon Evie, her best friend and fellow model; kidnap Manus, her two-timing ex-boyfriend; and hit the road with Brandy in search of a brand-new past, present, and future. Changing names and stories in every city, they catapult toward a final confrontation with a rifle-toting Evie-by which time the narrator will have learned that loving and being loved are not mutually exclusive, and that nothing, on the surface, is ever quite what it seems. By turns witty, poignant, and exhilarating, Invisible Monsters will take you on a ride you'll never forget.

My Take: After the "Fight Club" movie came out I really got into all things Chuck Palahniuk, this was the second book of his I read and to this day it's still my favorite.
It's pure sensationalism and trashiness at it's finest! But as a good of a book this is, I know damn well it would be near impossible to pull off a movie based on how the plot twist towards the end would have to be revealed a lot sooner and would lose a lot of their impact as a result!

6: Scavenger by Tom Savage (2000)



Description: Savage enters the realm of the serial killer with this blood-soaked tale, whose creepy killer goes by the name the Family Man. He's acquired this epithet because he wipes out entire families and poses the bodies in scenes of domestic contentment, such as sitting around the fireplace or in front of the Christmas tree. Now, more than a decade after the last of these unsolved murders, mystery writer Mark Stevenson has just published a bestselling novel based on the horrific crimes. Taped to the door of his Greenwich Village apartment, Stevenson discovers a computer diskette that contains a message from a person calling himself Scavenger, who hints that he knows the truth behind the Family Man case. Scavenger says he will tell all, as long as Stevenson is willing to play a game of scavenger hunt. The writer agrees, following a series of clues that lead him to each of the crime scenesANew Orleans, Los Angeles, rural Illinois and two in New York. Along the way, he runs across more dead bodies and escapes the deadly clutches of someone who's following his every move. Why would Stevenson agree to play such a macabre and dangerous game? Unbeknownst to almost everyone, he's the lone survivor of one of the families that was slaughtered, and he wants revenge. He finally gets the chance in the inevitable showdown in an abandoned farmhouse outside New York City. Savage (Valentine; Inheritance) keeps his story briskly paced, yet several scenes strain believability and much of the dialogue and descriptions are overly dramatic. The homestretch of the novel is laden with guessable revelations and a disappointingly thin explanation for what's behind the Family Man's monstrous behavior.

My Take: This pseudo-sequel to "Valentine", is the best attempt at ripping off the Hannibal Lecter series you will ever see, but also features enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the bitter end! Speaking of "Valentine", the movie it inspired is noting like the book save for the revenge aspect and holiday it falls on . . . oh and it's a million time better!

7: Josie and Jack by Kelly Braffet (2005)



Description: In Josie and Jack, Kelly Braffet gives us a deliciously dark, suspenseful debut novel in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith.
Beautiful, brilliant, and inseparable, Josie and Jack Raeburn live a secluded, anarchic existence in their decaying western Pennsylvania home. The only adult in their lives is their rage-prone father, a physicist, whose erratic behavior finally drives them away. Without a moral compass to guide them, Jack leads Josie into a menacing world of wealth, eroticism, and betrayal. His sociopathic tendencies emerge, and soon Josie must decide which is stronger: the love and devotion she feels for her brother or her will to survive.
From its opening page to its shocking climax, this contemporary Hansel and Gretel story is compulsively readable and hugely entertaining.

My Take: This could make for a nice twisted road trip movie via V.C. Andrews!

8: Lost Girls and Love Hotels by Catherine Hanrahan (2006)



Description: Margaret is doing everything in her power to forget home. And Tokyo's exotic nightlife -- teeming with intoxicants, pornography, and three-hour love hotels -- enables her to keep her demons at bay. Working as an English specialist at Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute by day, and losing herself in a sex- and drug-addled oblivion by night, Margaret represses memories of her painful childhood and her older brother Frank's descent into madness. But Margaret's deliberate nihilism is thrown off balance as she becomes increasingly haunted by images of a Western girl missing in Tokyo. And when she becomes enamored of Kazu, a mysterious gangster, their affair sparks a chain of events that could spell tragedy for Margaret, in a city where it's all too easy to disappear.

My Take: Long before "Fifty Shades of Grey" was busy making soccer moms wet, this mix of deviant sex and all around crazy came out. I remember picking this up at Borders thinking hey this cover looks interesting, little did I know that the inside story was a total trashy trainwreck that I couldn't put down. Will this ever see a movie, more then likely not, but one can hope!

9: Futureproof by N. Frank Daniels (2009)



Description: No past. No future. Only now.
Originally a self-publishing success launched on N. Frank Daniels's MySpace page, the novel Futureproof tells the story of Luke and his friends as they navigate Atlanta’s subculture of delinquents. In short order, the seemingly harmless high from his first cigarette sends Luke on a downward spiral that ends only after years of self-abuse. It is an extreme cautionary tale told with sensitivity, ferocity, and grit.

My Take: Part "The Fuck Up" and part "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", Futureproof is a great coming of age tale the seams all the more real cause well it actually is!

10: Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (2010)


Description: Bret Easton Ellis’s debut, Less Than Zero, is one of the signal novels of the last thirty years, and he now follows those infamous teenagers into an even more desperate middle age.
Clay, a successful screenwriter, has returned from New York to Los Angeles to help cast his new movie, and he’s soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Blair, his former girlfriend, is married to Trent, an influential manager who’s still a bisexual philanderer, and their Beverly Hills parties attract various levels of fame, fortune and power. Then there’s Clay’s childhood friend Julian, a recovering addict, and their old dealer, Rip, face-lifted beyond recognition and seemingly even more sinister than in his notorious past.
But Clay’s own demons emerge once he meets a gorgeous young actress determined to win a role in his movie. And when his life careens completely out of control, he has no choice but to plumb the darkest recesses of his character and come to terms with his proclivity for betrayal.

My Take: By no means Bret's best work but I'd still want to see this turned into a movie just to see the gang from "Less The Zero" together again and more importunely James Spader possibly by the Sleazy Drug Pusher Rip again!

Well that's my list of ten books I've read and would enjoy seeing adapted into a film, leave some of your choices in the comment section below or on the Facebook page . . .

- Tom

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