In the days before home video, fans who wanted to relive their favorite films were able to do so through the wonder of movie novelizations. Or they would have done so, if those books weren't hastily written cash-ins based on early versions of the screenplay that, on top of everything, often added totally insane subplots seemingly designed to make you hate the original movie.
These authors were being asked to produce a full novel based on someone else's screenplay, featuring characters they didn't create and probably didn't give a shit about, knowing that nobody at the studio was likely to ever read it. Why wouldn't they completely tank the job in the most hilarious ways possible?
5 E.T. the Extra Terrestrial Turns E.T. into a Perverted Old Man
Steven Spielberg's beloved E.T. has remained a wholesome pop culture icon despite appearing in exactly one movie 30 years ago (the Amblin logo doesn't count). The character truly encapsulates the feeling of childlike wonder. Who wouldn't want E.T. to be their best friend as a kid? Answer: You wouldn't. Not after reading the novelization.
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in His Adventures on Earth by William Kotzwinkle adds details not seen in the movie, starting with the fact that E.T. is 10 million years old. And, as a fully developed adult, he of course gets sexually frustrated.
Hey, ever notice that E.T. has no junk down there? Wonder where -- oh dear God.
We're confident that this is a prime example of the author saying, "Eh, they're not going to read this shit anyway," and just seeing what he could get away with. Thus, Kotzwinkle's E.T. is a book rife with references to sexuality -- everything from Elliott's mother fearing her children's burgeoning sexual maturity to the totally unnecessary and disturbing detail that Elliott's former principal had been "a sexual offender, retired early after several private incidents in the supply closet became public." We are not kidding about any of this.
But the worst part is that E.T. himself is not above being corrupted by this novel -- Kotzwinkle conveys the alien's inner monologue, and guess what -- he has the hots for Elliott's mom. E.T. refers to her as a "goddess, the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen." To be fair, this plotline was filmed for the movie and ultimately cut, but the novel goes into disturbing amounts of detail regarding E.T.'s obsession over Mary, whom he affectionately calls "the willow-creature":
"How ironic it was that the willow-creature, the lovely Mary, pined for her vanished husband while in a closet, close at hand, dwelt one of the finest minds in the cosmos."
He then uses the Speak & Spell to invent sexting.
E.T. watches Mary while she sleeps and kisses a framed photo of her, and when Elliott puts an ailing E.T. in the shower, we get the most horrifying revelation of all:
"The water came on, soaking Elliott and E.T. The aged voyager shook his head as the water hit. Ah, yes, the shower, where the willow-creature dances."
Yeah, so it starts to border on serial killer shit at that point.
"To love her, I must become her."
Strangely, not only was it not necessary to devote an entire landfill to storing the unsold copies of this book, but Kotzwinkle even penned a sequel with the assistance of Spielberg, who declared himself a huge fan of his work. This is yet more evidence that it's a good thing E.T. only appeared in one movie 30 years ago.