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Horror Movie Paperback Book Covers!

We all know that lots of horror novels have been turned into horror movies over the years (especially with Stephen King), but what about when a horror movie comes first? Sometimes those movies are adapted into books, often with authors making significant changes to the stories. Last year, I did a full report on a super cheesy Friday the 13th young adult novel with a completely original storyline and some amazing cover art. Reading it reminded me of some of the horror movie adaptation books I had when I was younger, and many of them featured all new covers that were completely different from their horror movie poster and VHS box counterparts. Sadly, I sold off most of those books ages ago, and only have a handful left that are surely buried so deep in a box somewhere that it's as if I was trying to make it impossible for myself to ever find them again. Fortunately, these books weren't all that uncommon, and I found some great photos of their covers on eBay. With that in mind, I'd like to share with you five of my favorite examples of horror movie paperback cover artwork.

The Friday the 13th, part VI: Jason Lives movie adaptation paperback novel!
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Here we have the cover for the Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives paperback novel, and as you can see, it's very different from the original movie poster that featured his hockey mask glowing behind a tombstone. It still plays into the whole Jason being resurrected theme, what with the lightning coursing through his bloody machete and mask. While I haven't read it, this is the book known for featuring Elias Voorhees (aka: Mr. Voorhees... Jason's father!), so aside from the colorful cover art, it's worth looking into for that reason too. Also, the author apparently spells Jason's last name as "Vorhees", so maybe it's about an entirely different killer who happens to wear a hockey mask at Crystal Lake Camp.

The Halloween movie adaptation paperback novel!
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While it can't compete with the iconic poster art from the original 1978 Halloween film, I've always loved the cover art for this paperback adaptation. It's a blend between a vintage blow mold pumpkin and the scene where Michael Myers dresses up like a ghost and strangles Lynda to death with her telephone cord. The book also gives readers some extra details about Michael Myers' life in the sanitarium and opens with this chilling line about the origins of his curse: "The horror started on the eve of Samhain, in a foggy vale in northern Ireland, at the dawn of the Celtic race. And once started, it trod the earth forevermore, wreaking its savagery suddenly, swiftly, and with incredible ferocity." Kind of makes the cover seem a bit too cheery, doesn't it? Good stuff.

The Friday the 13th, part 3: 3-D movie adaptation paperback novel!
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The Friday the 13th Part 3 3-D novelization cover art is easily my favorite of all the Friday the 13th film adaptations, and it should be easy to see why. They didn't even try to make Jason's mask resemble the one in the movie, or any of the other movies for that matter, save for the portion of it that was chopped in the top right section. It's more like a professional NHL hockey goalie's mask, so either it's Jason staring menacingly at us from behind it, or just an extremely pissed off goalie. Either way, gotta love all the blood seeping from the air holes on the mask. Makes you wonder if there was a discarded storyline where Jason Voorhees suffered from hemophilia, yes? I only wish the entire book was printed so you needed 3-D glasses to actually read it, since it does actually say "3-D" on the cover. Sure, that'd be pure hell on your eyes, but goddamn... would that be an incredibly corny and amazing promotional novelty or what!?

The Nightmares on Elm Street parts 1, 2, and 3 movie adaptation paperback novel!
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Here we have The Nightmares on Elm Street paperback, which includes the first three movies, and does a surprisingly good job of recreating them. I must've read this book a thousand times when I was a kid, and to this day, the cover features what is honestly my all-time favorite illustration of Freddy Krueger's infamous razor glove. The lightning, the barely visible tattered sweater sleeve, the claw marks raking their way across the title... it's just perfect in every way. There was a second paperback that covered parts 4 and 5, but the cover for it was unfortunately one of the standard Freddy Krueger press photos instead of another fantastic illustration.

I should also mention that the book includes a bonus chapter titled "The Life and Death of Freddy Krueger", and that's where it goes off the rails a bit. For example, it talks about how his father was a pimp and abused Freddy because he wasn't taking up the family business like he had hoped. It also goes on to say Freddy was a drifting drunkard who slept in alleys and ran into trouble with the law, and eventually hired an arsonist to burn down his father's house. Hmm, yeah... can't see most of that being accepted into Elm Street canon.

The Halloween II movie adaptation paperback novel!
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Last up, we have the Halloween II paperback novel, and I'm sorry to fans of the sequel film poster, but I've always thought this cover was far superior. Yeah, I know the poster was great, blending a skull and a pumpkin together 'n all, but this... this is even better. This is something I'd actually want to see in one of the movies. Can you imagine Michael Myers, killing one of his victims, they carving a jack-o-lantern and leaving the severed head inside it? Or maybe he takes a jack-o-lantern and slams it down on somebody's head after seeing them smashing pumpkins? It would be amazing, and that precise moment has been beautifully captured here on this illustrated book cover.

So those are some of my favorite horror movie book covers. How about you? Do you have any favorite horror movie book covers? What about general horror genre book covers? Lemme know in the comments section below. Also, if you never read my book report on the Camp Crystal Lake young adult novel, you can read it here. Ki-ki-ki... ma-ma-ma...

Happy October, everyone!


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