Paul McCartney Really Is Dead (2010) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
21Jul/111

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead (2010)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

Paul McCartney died in a car crash. It was late 1966, late at night, there was a car crash. He was decapitated on impact, and his head split open. Heartbroken, The Beatles decide to soldier on-- but with a replacement rather than without him.

Why's that? OH GOD. DON'T ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Like any conspiracy-minded film, Paul McCartney Really is Dead is much more about the questions the film wants you to ask than any measure of logic you dare to apply to it. Your level of gullibility is all that the film requires or demands.

This is directly related for why movies like this are made, which are for two reasons: 1) to prey upon the beliefs of others for a quick buck or 2) because the filmmaker's sincerely believe what they're creating. Considering the plethora of details, obscure footage, and downright ludicrous amounts of research that would have been required in making this, I'm going to go with the latter, though I can't fully discount the former.

This image proves that properly examining "The Last Supper" demonstrates that Jesus was John Lennon's second cousin.

However, almost all of that work is completely undone as soon as the film's premise is actually revealed. As I noted before, it's a look into that long popular theory that the 'real' Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a man named William Campbell (no, not the soup magnate). But the way that the film tacks into this notion is by creating a pair of tapes labeled 'The Last Testament of George Harrison'. The director and producer, Joel Gilbert, comes on screen and relates how he got them in an unmarked package from England, and "any attempts to authenticate the tapes have been inconclusive."

Well, guess what, Joel? I've got some great news for you. It's pretty fucking obvious this isn't George Harrison.

How am so I sure? Well, in his "last testament", would George Harrison really have to explain who the fuck The Beatles are? Harrison's-- well, "Harrison's"-- narration grows more silly as seconds pass. If he records this on a mini-tape in his hospital bed shortly after a row with a deranged fan, how is the quality so good? How is it that he has no pauses or issues in speaking? Why does he sound like he's reading off a script?

Because it isn't him. The whole charade is an attempt to ingratiate the ludicrous proceedings with a tint of authenticity that strikes me as both cruel and disrespectful.

What's beneath this unending parade of unlikely coincidences and idiotic presumptions is an obsession with The Beatles and a righteous urge to craft them into being more than what they were. They're a good band, but a band is still made up of men who had egos, desires and faults. The film's urge to paint Paul as a saint, John as a loyal and loving friend, and Harrison as a good man caught up in events beyond his control is, frankly, laughable.

As is the number of times that this image is repeated of William Campbell's 'metamorphisis' into Paul McCartney.

The film is hardened and determined to create it's own version of these men as noble and honorable men that no historical record shows. Worse, it sometimes paints some of John Lennon's noble actions as ignoble-- his devotion to Yoko Ono and attempts at protesting Vietnam were him 'acting like a nut to throw off suspicion'-- and painting his ignoble acts as noble-- in this film's version of events, he left his wife and young son to protect them from the shadowy government conspiracy. In moments like these, the documentarian executes a character assassination that would make Mark David Chapman proud.

A rambling sets of contradictions and bad attempts to mix almost-compelling evidence with the unendingly absurd (the way Rubber Soul is written on its album cover is in the shape of an upside heart that represents John missing Paul!) makes this film far more of a hoot than anything worth mulling over. The desire to paint Paul McCartney as a martyr instead of a flawed man is just one more piece of the film that reeks of desperation.

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead is only worth watching to see what ridiculous postulate the filmmaker's can come up with next. It's about as boring and mundane of a story you could have made out of one of the greatest pop stars meeting a tragic and secretive end, and, worse still, it greedily attempts to rob one of the greatest bands of all time of their much deserved mystique. As I'm sure any given George Harrison would say, "Don't watch it, it's a piece of crap."

Posted by Danny

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  1. As much as I hate the meme, each time I see ‘Faul’ I read it as ‘Fail’ and it seems very appropriate.


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