Film: Paul McCartney Really Is Dead
"My name is George Harrison. Today is Thursday, 30 December 1999. I am, at this moment, in the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England, lucky to be alive. Last night was my worst nightmare. A madman entered my home and attacked me. I desperately tried to stop him! Somehow, apparently, I survived. I don't know why I was attacked. But, I have my suspicions. I asked my wife, Olivia, to fetch me a mini-cassette recorder, so I can put this story on tape, in the hopes that the cassettes will protect me. It was almost exactly 20 years ago that John Lennon was also attacked, but killed by a lone assailant. John was always reckless, greeting fans daily outside his New York apartment. But, there's much more to this story. 20 years ago, John rang me. It was around 1 December 1980, and told me he was going to go public, and tell everything about Paul. 8 days later, he was dead. For me, it was only two weeks ago that I saw the man known as Paul McCartney, and told him, I was going to tell the truth about what we had done, that I couldn't keep up the deception any longer. It seems John's fate was also intended for me, even though so much time has passed. For it was many years ago, in 1966, that my mate and I, promised never to tell this story, that I'm about to tell. It's been a terrible burden of guilt, being part of this great deception, even though there were important reasons for it, which I'll explain. But first of all, I want to say, how much I loved Paul; how much we all loved Paul - the real Paul McCartney."
2010 'documentary' film by Joel Gilbert, purporting to tell the true story of what happened to Paul McCartney
in 1966. The full title is Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison
. It's... not very convincing.
The story goes that on July 1, 2005, the filmmakers received an anonymous package containing a microcassette player and two cassettes purporting to be the 'last testament' of George Harrison
, recorded shortly after he was attacked and stabbed by a deranged fan in 1999. In it, he describes how an argument between McCartney and the other Beatles
in the Abbey Road studios in 1966 ended with McCartney storming off in his white Aston Martin. Later that evening, the other Beatles are visited by Maxwell, a sinister MI5 operative, who reveals to them that Paul has been killed in a car crash — something which, if revealed, will cause such horror among starstruck Beatles fans that they will commit mass suicide. What follows is a tense journey into the darker corners of Government Conspiracy
as the three remaining Beatles find themselves trapped in a sinister conspiracy involving a lookalike and the threat of death hanging over all of them...
what follows is an exhaustive recounting of all the 'clues' that supposedly reveal the 'Paul is Dead' conspiracy narrated by someone doing a very poor impression of George Harrison
, complete with very bad photoshopping and a Government Conspiracy
Theory which makes very little sense at best. But it's good for a (rather derisive) laugh
- Government Conspiracy: MI5 get involved. The reason why is not very well explained, but it seems to waver between preventing an outpouring of mass suicide caused by Paul's 'death', and... well, just the opportunity to threaten the Beatles for no real reason, really.
- Jerkass: John and George come off as this; although they are apparently supposed to be torn apart with grief about the death of their friend, the fact that John won't stop including cruel references to "Faul" in everything he does from that point on and George views "Faul" with obvious contempt means that one actually ends up feeling a bit sorry for the imposter.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: If the movie is to be believed, John Lennon not only wrote pretty much everything that the Beatles recorded post-1966 (or 'worked from a backlog' that he and McCartney conveniently had), but he was also responsible for the intricacies of album design.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: 'George', on top of not sounding very much like George Harrison, at several points seems to be slipping into Canadian or New Zealand pronunciation.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Maxwell and his goons are constantly noticing the increasingly obvious references that The Beatles are including to what's happened in the album covers and music and threatening them with death, but never actually bother to follow through on their threats (at least, not for 10 and 30 years, respectively). The Beatles don't exactly make a lot of effort to hide it either.
- Portmanteau: John's nickname for the imposter, "False Paul", becomes shorted to "Faul". Near the end of the film, archival footage of the real George talking about Paul on a talk show is distorted so that it sounds like he is really saying "Faul" instead of "Paul."
- Shown Their Work: One of the poorer examples: "George" apparently believes that the listener of his final testament is going to be completely unaware of the existence and career of The Beatles, as he takes pains to sum up in detail the history of The Beatles and every single 'Paul is Dead' 'reference' in the albums and songs.
- Stealth Parody/Stylistic Suck: It's possible that this is a parody of poorly done low-budget Conspiracy Theorist "exposÚs" like Loose Change. If so, it's a terribly convincing one.
- Subliminal Seduction: Yeah, it comes up. It gets to the point where the soundtrack of 'references' which actually weren't recorded backwards are distorted in order to appear as if they were (no doubt in order to get around certain issues regarding licensing).
- Take That: The creator obviously does not think much of Paul McCartney; not only is McCartney's entire post-1966 contribution to The Beatles (which, in actuality, was a lot) credited to John Lennon, he also takes the opportunity to make several snide digs at "Faul" in this guise.
- At one point, "George" also bluntly describes Ringo as 'having no real personality or talent'. This is supposedly George Harrison describing Ringo Starr in his final testament. What a dick.
- Lennon's post-Beatles political activism and George Harrison's embracing of Eastern spirituality are also described in terms that make them seem as a cynical (and rather cowardly) attempt at avoiding pissing off the British government by pretending to be insane and a desperate and easily-dismissed attempt to bring back the real Paul's spirit respectively.
- Title Drop: Two of them.
- Joel Gilbert: "The tapes were labeled, "The Last Testament of George Harrison".
- Man who claims to be Beatle George Harrison: "I am George Harrison, and I hope this is not my last testament."