I am a sucker for the BearManor ads, specifically the This Island Earth quips. I went onto the Google machine and found the book the movie is based on. I know we have discussed watching the original movie before the MST3K episode, but what about the book?
Here’s a current list of MST3K movies adapted from other media.
An interesting* note on this; Hamlet is not based on the play as written by Shakespeare, but rather on the version written in the original Klingon.
* by interesting, I mean made-up.
I find that most of the time interesting means: “I wouldn’t date you in a million years.” Maybe that’s just me…
I’ve read the Kalevala - The Day the Earth Froze (Sampo) is based on canto(s) or Rune’s from that epic poem
And I’ve read the short folk tale Father Frost, and other stories about Baba Yaga and such, which made up the movie Jack Frost
That would explain… a lot
Jim Wynorski, director of Munchie and Deathstalker II, compiled an anthology of sci-fi stories movies were based on which includes “This Island Earth”. I mentioned it here:
Hmm, some of the adaptations are far from the originals, but of them the ones I can confidently say I’ve read are:
- Greek myths (Hercules)
- The Kalevala & other Finnish myths
- Kitten With A Whip
- The Food Of The Gods
- The Most Dangerous Game
- Diabolik (graphic novels)
Perhaps surprisingly I’ve not read much Edgar Rice Burroughs, so I don’t have those adaptations covered. Same with Sax Rohmer (bleh). And I’m sure I’m missing one or two still, would need to run through the whole episode list again.
Update: I would argue these might be counted as well, and I’ve read them too.
- The Crawling Hand - inspired by the story The Beast With Five Fingers
- The Screaming Skull - inspired by the story The Screaming Skull (as well as the movie Gaslight)
There’s a few there I didn’t think of, I have read The Most Dangerous Game, those Diabolik’s and the Greek myths, for sure.
But have I read Hamlet? We went through Romeo and Juliet in class one year, but did we do others from Shakespeare?
While I can’t attest to having read every Shakespeare sonnet, I’ve read pretty much all the plays. Even those written by Action Oxford.
I feel like these are real stretches. Especially the latter. Wait, I’m thinking “Village of the Giants”. Still!
Admittedly, Village of the Giants took some liberties with the source material –
Maybe the giant chickens ducked out of the movie at the last minute. Then Burt I. found some giant ducks who would work for chicken feed.
Actually, some of the Hercules movies pull in unexpected literary material. For example, Hercules Unchained features Eteocles and Polynices, the offspring of Oedipus. They are central characters in, among other things, Aeschylus’s play Seven Against Thebes, one of my favorite ancient Greek dramas.
The Food of the Gods is credited on Village of the Giants (sadly), and arguably is also the basis for Beginning of the End. Unlike other giant arthropod films like Deadly Mantis and Black Scorpion, the grasshoppers in End were the result of human tampering with agriculture, so it’s closer to the book in that regard.
The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad (“He’s NOT Sinbad!”) was based on the Russian legends of Sadko the Sailor.
I’ve read A Taste for Honey by H.F. Heard, which The Deadly Bees was based on. The general plot is the same, but instead of the protagonist being a '60s pop star, it is a reclusive curmudgeon whose new neighbor, Mr. Mycroft, a bee keeper who may have been a consulting detective in his younger years, gets him involved in investigating a mutual neighbor who might be breeding killer bees!
So no one’s read “The Invisible Man”?
Well, I’m not sure. Were these two books considered source material for the movies featured in two MST3K episodes?
I never made that connection! Time for a re-read. (I am also a fan of Seven Against Thebes.)
More specifically, it was an adaptation of the Rimsky-Korsakov opera Sadko, in turn based on said legends.