After finally watching the hilariously bad strawmanathon of Atlas Shrugged: Part I, where corrupt CEOs, lobbyists and politicians conspire to make it harder for corporations to make obscene profits, it was really driven home that one of the biggest differences between the right and the left is a fundamental disagreement on who’s mooching and who’s producing.
The opening of the hilariously bad 80s horror movie, Necropolis. The best part of the movie starts at around 3 minute in or so (for context) – bear in mind that this scene supposedly takes place in the 17th century (NSFW).
Here’s the full playlist, for those who want to watch the whole gloriously cheesy epic.
This week’s Monday Media Blogging is a tribute to The Apple, one of the maddest movies of all time (it is probably best described as a psychedelic disco bible allegory). The trailer does a pretty good job of hitting the highlights, like the National BIM Hour when everyone has to stop what they’re doing and dance (note the guy on the operating table making a game attempt) and the synchronized disco orgy.
“The Apple” is probably the most insane number in a movie full of them. Alas, this was the best YouTube I could find.
(Skip ahead to about the one-minute mark for THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER)
So when I heard that SyFy was going to be presenting a movie called Mega Piranha, starring Greg Brady and Tiffany, I was fairly certain that it would be The Most Awesome Movie Ever Made, with the possible exception of Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus, which starred Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas. But I got more. A lot more.
So without further ado, here is some of the Vital Knowledge I was able to glean from this Brilliant Cinematic Masterpiece:
1) It is possible to fend off a swarm of giant mutant piranha with either a hunting knife or bicycle kicks (see video above for documentary proof).
2) It is possible to construct a movie in which the guy who played Greg Brady is the best actor present.
3) Tiffany makes Debbie Gibson look like Meryl Streep.
4) The Orinoco River is full of coral reefs.
5) Giant mutant piranha are are asexual hermaphrodites that double in size every 1 to 36 hours and don’t mind saltwater or nuclear explosions. They have two hearts, three stomachs, no blood vessels in their eyes, and are made of stem cells. Or something.
6) Giant mutant piranha can grow large enough to eat helicopters, submarines, battleships, shady diplomats, research scientists, and TV reporters.
7) Giant mutant piranha like to jump through the air while swimming, for no apparent reason.
8) Giant mutant piranha will often leap onto land in search of food, often embedding themselves in buildings.
9) If you kill one giant mutant piranha, the rest will ignore all other prey and kill each other fighting over its corpse.
10) Did I mention the bicycle kicks?
6 commentsApril 11th, 2010 at 03:14pmPosted by Eli
Not so much the casting (although I like Natalie Portman) as the fact that this movie is getting made at all:
Portman will star in and produce “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a film that is based on the bestselling book written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Austen. Lionsgate will finance and distribute. Quirk Books published the tome.
Described as an expanded version of the Austen classic, the book tells the timeless story of a woman’s quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus that turns the undead into vicious killers.
Portman will play feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet, who is distracted from her quest to eradicate the zombie menace by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.
Awesome. Now if someone will just make “Zombies On A Plane”, I can die happy. And then get reanimated on a plane and start eating people.
In yet another Multi Medium exclusive, I have contracted with the shadowy and mysterious awesome awful movie reviewer Codename V. for a hard-hitting in-depth review of the SyFy instant classic, Malibu Shark Attack. Enjoy!
“Malibu Shark Attack” or “Why Does Eli Hate Me?”
I promised Eli I would watch this movie and snark on it. It is easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It would be super if I could get my two hours back, k thx bye.
So Malibu Shark Attack is presumably set in Malibu. It opens with a bunch of mediocre looking people having beach-type fun. I find myself wondering why beach movies always show people surfing and playing volleyball when I have never seen anyone doing either of those activities at any beach I’ve ever been to. Also, they show the same shot of a woman in a black bikini turning over at least three times. Production values in full effect.
I gather there has been some kind of geological event, like an underwater earthquake or something. Some CGI sharks of questionable quality are swimming around. They look kind of like narwhals, wtf. Ten minutes in, and I have already abandoned any hopes I had of there being a coherent plot.
So you have a bunch of lifeguards, and they all seem to have soap-opera love drama. There’s Lifeguard Doug, some other male lifeguard who looks like a low-rent version of Jack from Lost (complete with Japanese characters tattooed on his arm), a brown-haired lady lifeguard who looks about 45 years old, and a blond woman who I’m pretty sure is a man. Oh, and they have this younger girl hanging around who apparently got busted for shoplifting and has to do community service. She’s whining about it, and I’m thinking y’know, as far as community service goes, doing 100 hours at the beach isn’t half bad.
But I digress. Love Drama. Brunette Lady has a dumpy boyfriend. Blonde Shemale and Low Rent Jack used to date, but now she’s dating a construction worker (Note: Construction Workers are the mortal enemies of Lifeguards). Miss Whiner has her eye on Lifeguard Doug. All of this is EXTREMELY VITAL to the development of the story.
Meanwhile, a narwhal eats a diver. Someone else appears to be doing actual scuba diving whilst wearing a snorkel mask. Miss Whiner wears an iPod around her neck and sings some song while randomly dancing around. As best as I can tell, the lyrics to this song are “itchy bitchy, itchy bitchy” repeated over and over. Brunette Lifeguard gets awkwardly proposed to by her dumpy boyfriend, and then they sneak off to have sex in the lifeguard hut. Because that’s what you do.
Are you confused yet? I sure am. Moving on. Low Rent Jack hops on a jetski and cruises over to the construction site to have a macho standoff with his love rival, Construction Man. Did I mention that Lifeguards and Construction Workers can never coexist peacefully? It’s a law of nature or something. Back on the ocean, some asshole parasailers are drinking beer and enjoying the company of topless women. I have seen like a gazillion horror movies, so I know this is a harbinger of death. Sure enough, a CGI narwhal jumps out of the water and eats them, and they bleed all over Shemale Lifeguard.
(Note: I realize narwhals aren’t sharks. However while taking notes for this review, I seem to have written OMFG NARWHALS!! down about a dozen times, so I’m just rolling with it.)
At this point there is a commercial break, so I phone Eli to ask him what I’ve done in a past life to have karma this bad. He tells me that the Shemale lifeguard is actually Peta Wilson of La Femme Nikita fame. I don’t recall Peta Wilson being a man. Seriously, she has a deep voice and a stocky build. No way is this Peta Wilson. And yet it is. The mind boggles.
Back to the show. OMG TSUNAMI!! At this point a bunch of shizz starts happening all at once. Lifeguard Doug shoots a narwhal. Brown Haired Lifeguard Lady points out that the narwhals are actually goblin sharks, which are supposedly super rare or extinct or something. Whatever. TSUNAMI!! They’ve all been standing around gawking at the CGI shark and therefore only have time to take shelter in the lifeguard hut. Because that’s a great idea. The TSUNAMI!! hits and we actually get a shot from the TSUNAMI!!’s point of view. SRSLY. Miraculously these morons all survive.
It’s like 40 minutes in and I have officially stopped caring. We see a news clip stating that the TSUNAMI!! is bigger than the 2004 one in Indonesia, and there have been “hundreds of casualties.” (1) Is it just me, or does this seem in poor taste? and (2) if it’s all that big, “hundreds of casualties” just seems laughable. Oh wait, I am putting way too much thought into this. Screw that noise.
Oh yeah, Miss Whiner gets a pretty serious cut on her leg, and Shemale has to stitch it up without anesthesia. The whole time Shemale keeps saying “I have to do this, or you’ll DIE. You don’t want to DIE do you? Because you will. You’ll DIE.” Whiner cries through the whole stupid ordeal and then bitches because her leg looks like some kind of Frankenstein mess.
Everyone wants to kill the sharks except for Brown Haired Lifeguard. She makes this big impassioned speech about how they’re rare omfg and think of the contributions to science blah blah blah. And then she promptly gets eaten by a narwhal. HAHA. Serves you right, hippie. At this point, her dumpy boyfriend officially becomes That Guy Who Has Nothing To Live For So What’s The Point Of Any Of You Trying To Survive, We’re Doomed All Doomed And We’re All Gonna Die. That sums up the remainder of his role, so just go ahead and forget he even exists.
Meanwhile the Construction people are doing… something. I honestly don’t give a shit. One of them is going to swim for it and gets eaten by a narwhal. And then a narwhal jumps up and grabs another one off the dock. Who the hell are these people anyway?
The lifeguards get all stabby and kill a narwhal with some harpoons. I’ve stopped caring again. Geez, I have a lot of split ends. I should really get a good deep conditioner. I wonder how long it would take me to trim each one individually… Oh look, Low Rent Jack finds a flare gun and narrowly avoids being spotted by a narwhal. And the Construction guys have found a boat. Way to go.
Oh, my bad. I was texting my friend Hillary. She has the funniest love life. What? Now everyone is stranded in a tiny boat, lifeguards and construction workers together. How is this possible? They are rowing to… where the hell are they? Oh, back at the construction site. This is so f-ing tedious.
Stuff kind of happens: Lifeguard Doug maims a narwhal with a circular saw. Low Rent Jack and Shemale hide out in a half-submerged car. That seems like a bad plan, but whatever. What do I know, I’ve never been in their position. Then they get out and he chainsaws a narwhal to death. Someone delivers the line “there was a shark in the parking lot,” which strikes me as a kind of surrealist screenwriting genius.
Why does Shemale have two guys fighting over her? She’s a MAN, people. And how the hell many of these sharks are there? I am just counting the minutes until it’s over. And then… it’s over. Some people live, but some died, and I can’t be bothered to know who they are.
So there you have it. Malibu Shark Attack. I hope you’re all deeply appreciative that I suffered for your entertainment.
Alas, embedding is disabled, but one of my favorite movies of all time is on YouTube in its entirety. It’s called Koyaanisqatsi, and it has no plot or dialogue, just… imagery. It’s absolutely gorgeous, albeit a little depressing. And the Philip Glass score is fantastic.
Wired has a feature on an indie sci-fi film called Sleep Dealer, where the future of immigration is virtual “telemigration” – instead of crossing the border, Mexican workers jack in with the help of “coyoteks” and and perform menial labor in the U.S. via remote control.
I wonder how the anti-immigration people would take this idea. Technically, the telemigrants would still be in their home country – this would be more akin to outsourcing than anything else.
The next day, the marine biologist (who is seriously fugly and according to the IMDb has been in some soft-core porn) goes out on a boat with a couple of sleazy male assistants who constantly sexually harass her, but you’re supposed to like all three characters anyway. Megalodon starts ramming the boat, despite the fact that nobody in the immediate vicinity is having sex. Maybe those guys’ sleazy comments were enough to attract his attention.
Meanwhile, Studious Charlie is riding around in a small boat full of mangled plastic sea turtles. What could be responsible for this mangling? Conclusion: SHARKS!
The next day, they’re all keen to get off the island. They run across the mangled torso of the missing other sleazy gigolo boy. He’s covered in teeth marks and looks even more plastic than the sea turtles. Conclusion: SHARKS!
Having watched both of these films myself, I can attest that they are every bit as awesome as V. describes.
Multi Medium PSA: Today is Snake Day on the Sci-Fi channel, leading up to the premiere of Anacondas: Trail Of Blood, starring Gimli from Lord Of The Rings. I particularly recommend Snake King at 1:00 (Stephen Baldwin vs. giant five-headed snake) and Megasnake at 3:00 (cameo by Feedback, winner of the first season of “So You Want To Be A Superhero”).
Seriously, if you miss Snake King you’ll never forgive yourself. Really, any Sci-Fi movie where Stephen Baldwin is the hero is must-see television.
Saw this on Facebook. I’ve seen… 151. I think. Some of the sequels kind of blur together. Man, I sure have watched an awful lot of crap.
SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 244 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x’s next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click publish at the bottom. Have fun.
(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Pirates of the Carribbean 3: At World’s End
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) The Princess Bride
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
( ) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 13
(x) Scream 2
(x) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
(x) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 20
(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
( ) Harry Potter 3
( ) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 26
(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
( ) Robots
Total so far: 31
(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
( ) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG
Total so far: 38
( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) The Ring
(x) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
Total so far: 44
(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 49
(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
(x) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
( ) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 57
(x) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
( ) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Ocean’s Thirteen
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
(x) Bourne Ultimatum
(x) Lone Star
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 67
(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
(x) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 73
( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 84
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
( ) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
(x) Cruel Intentions 2
(x) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek 2
(x) Shrek 3
Total so far: 96
( ) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
( ) The Notebook
(x) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 101
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 107
( ) Hostel
(x) Waiting for Guffman
(x) House of 1000 Corpses
(x) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History x
( ) Three
Total so Far: 114
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 120
(x) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
(x) 28 weeks later
Total so far: 130
(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
(x) the Hills Have Eyes
(x) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 137
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 143
(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Evil Dead
(x) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
9 commentsFebruary 9th, 2009 at 08:43pmPosted by Eli
The NYT review of Carrie Fisher’s memoir, Wishful Drinking, is just chock full o’ fascinating tidbits – f’rinstance, did you know that you can’t wear underwear in space?
Drinking seems to have been the least of her problems. Pills were more her thing, and for a while hallucinogens. As a teenager, she dropped so much acid that her parents called in the greatest LSD expert they knew: Cary Grant.
When the author was 15, Ms. Reynolds gave her a vibrator for Christmas, and also gave one to her own mother, who declined to use it for fear it would short out her pacemaker. Some years later, perhaps taking the inbreeding principle to extreme, Ms. Reynolds suggested that her daughter ought to have children with Richard Hamlett, Ms. Reynold’s last husband.
“George Lucas ruined my life,” Ms. Fisher says, which doesn’t seem entirely fair. On the other hand, in a book full of weirdos, he emerges as possibly the strangest of all. He wouldn’t let Ms. Fisher wear a bra under her Princess Leia shift because, as he patiently explained to her, there is no underwear in space: according to Lucas-physics, if you were to wear a bra in a weightless environment, your bra would strangle you.
Wow. The Star Wars universe must have seemed tame compared to real life.
A day without a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie is like a day without sunshine. But this one sounds a bit… different:
It might be odd to think of Mr. Van Damme, a veteran of steroidal exploitation cinema and a virtuoso of the bone-crunching split kick, as an old softie, but it is also perfectly consistent with the image overhaul implicit in his latest vehicle, “JCVD,” which opened on Friday. Directed by the French filmmaker Mabrouk El Mechri, it allows its namesake to reveal new facets to his screen persona basically by playing himself. A jokey hall-of-mirrors movie with a melancholic streak, it stars Mr. Van Damme — who turned 48 last month and whose last film to open theatrically in the United States was the 1998 flop “Knock Off,” — as Jean-Claude Van Damme, a washed-up middle-aged movie star.
Thanks in part to a widely circulating online trailer “JCVD” has garnered more attention for Mr. Van Damme than he has received in years. (The last time he made even a remote impact on pop-culture consciousness was when he appeared on “Friends” as himself in 1996 and boasted that he could crush a walnut with his buttocks.) “JCVD” was a word-of-mouth hit at Cannes, and it had its North American premiere at a raucous midnight screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
It opens with an over-the-top action set piece from a film-within-the-film, complete with gunplay, knife fights and exploding grenades that was shot in a single take and that visibly pushed the star to his limits. “I was completely out of breath to the point of anxiety,” he said.
Mr. Van Damme’s more sensitive side is on jaw-dropping display in the movie’s pièce de résistance, a soul-baring six-minute monologue with more emoting than in all his other roles put together. His eyes tearing up and his voice quavering, he reflects on his dreams and failures, and effectively head-butts the fourth wall. (“I truly believe it’s not a movie.”)
When he watched it for the first time, he remembers thinking, “I didn’t lie.” He added, “It was scary for me to do it in French.” French is his native language, but this is his first French-speaking lead role, and he has been mercilessly mocked for spouting Zenlike aphorisms in Franglais on French television. (“Je suis aware.”)
Filled with whiplash digressions and weirdly poetic grace notes, the show-stopping speech is actually a fair approximation of how he really speaks. On his disillusionment with celebrity, he said: “I was so hungry for fame — not for fame, no — well, let’s be honest, hungry for fame, hungry for love. But then fame came, and it was not existing.”
On being engaged with his movies: “I want to be involved in that nine-month process. It’s like making a baby. You make love, and it’s the full way to delivery. How can I be mentally pregnant with the film all the way?”
I think I may actually need to see this…
2 commentsNovember 7th, 2008 at 11:51amPosted by Eli
The senator steps forward. “We’re not intimidated by you thugs,” he says. The man, saying, “You remind me of my father — I hated my father,” grabs the senator’s head, and thrusts a knife to his face. The senator freezes, eyes wide.
Not your typical Capitol Hill brouhaha. No, this scene is pure Hollywood, straight out of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.” But that really is the senior senator from Vermont: Patrick J. Leahy — Democrat, Judiciary Committee chairman and lifelong Batman fan — has a cameo in the film and gets to be held at knifepoint by Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Batman became his favorite superhero because “he has no superpowers,” Mr. Leahy said. “He had to use his own brains and his own knowledge. He could have had an entirely different life. As a billionaire, he could have done anything.”
Mr. Leahy had a nonspeaking cameo in the 1997 film “Batman and Robin,” did a voice-over for the part of a governor in a Batman cartoon, and wrote the prefaces for a “Batman” anthology and a Batman comic book about the danger of land mines. Once he was spotted doing wheelies on his grandson’s toy Batmobile down the long marble hall outside his Senate office.
The filming of Mr. Leahy’s scene in a Chicago restaurant last summer took “all night long,” he said. Mr. Ledger would “punch or throw me halfway across the room,” and Mr. Leahy was propped up by another actor “with an arm like an oak tree” who was “brandishing a gun in my face.”
It took the senator a couple dozen tries before he got his line right.
“We tried it two different ways — one was authoritative, the other one was with a lot of fear in my voice,” Mr. Leahy said. Ultimately, he was directed to act like the prosecutor he once was, with a take-charge attitude.
So how did Mr. Leahy manage to find his character’s motivation? Was he thinking of Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2004 used profanity to curse Mr. Leahy on the Senate floor?
“No, I wasn’t visualizing Dick Cheney,” Mr. Leahy said. “They can’t use that dialogue in a PG-13 movie.”
I think we need more Batman fans in Congress. Maybe even the White House.
Well, since I already did a post on Richard Burton’s rugby reminiscences, I think it’s only fair that Peter O’Toole should get a post as well. (Hey, if the LAT can write about the candidates’ handwriting, I can write about Peter O’Toole reattaching his own finger.) I was perhaps most surprised to realized that he was 75 – every time I’ve seen him in the past few years, I thought he was much older. Maybe it was all that drinking.
This was a man who travelled the world yet never wore a watch or carried a wallet. Nor, on leaving his house, did he ever take his keys with him.
“I just hope some bastard’s in,” he’d say.
More than once, when someone was not in, O’Toole found himself having to explain to the police why he was breaking into his own property.
The neighbourhood where O’Toole grew up was rough, and three of his playmates were later hanged for murder. “I’m not from the working class,” O’Toole liked to say. “I’m from the criminal class.”
Although it was his mother, Connie, who instilled in O’Toole a strong sense of literature, by far the biggest influence in his young life was his father, Patrick, a bookie who was often drunk.
One day, Patrick stood his young son up on the mantelpiece and said: “Jump, boy. I’ll catch you. Trust me.”
When O’Toole jumped, his father withdrew his arms, leaving the boy splattered on the hard stone floor. The lesson, said his father, was “never trust any bastard”.
In 1959, O’Toole was cast as a Cockney sergeant in the play The Long And The Short And The Tall at the Royal Court Theatre.
His understudy was a young Michael Caine, and one Saturday night after the show O’Toole invited him to a restaurant he knew.
Eating a plate of egg and chips was the last thing Caine remembered, until he woke up in broad daylight in a strange flat.
“What time is it?” he inquired. “Never mind what time it is,” said O’Toole. “What f***ing day is it?”
It turned out that it was five o’clock in the afternoon two days later. Curtain-up was at eight.
Back at the theatre, the stage manager was waiting for them with the news that the restaurant owner had been in and banned them from his establishment for life.
Caine was about to ask what they’d done when O’Toole whispered: “Never ask what you did. It’s better not to know.”
Most evenings after the show, O’Toole would enjoy a long walk around Covent Garden. Sometimes if he was in the mood, he’d scale the wall of Lloyds bank.
The first time he took his future wife, the actress Sian Phillips, on one of these nocturnal jaunts, she was startled when he began his ascent of the north face of the building.
But after a few nights she came to accept that, by O’Toole’s standards anyway, it was quite normal.
At one after-show party O’Toole held court on stage sitting on a throne, sustained by two pedal bins on either side of him, one full of beer, the other containing hard liquor into which he would alternately scoop two pint mugs.
Lawrence Of Arabia occupied O’Toole for two years, filming in seven different countries.
By the end of it, he’d lost 2st, received third-degree burns, sprained both ankles, torn ligaments in both his hip and thigh, dislocated his spine, broken his thumb, sprained his neck and been concussed twice.
But his extraordinary performance made him a star. Lawrence Of Arabia was a world-wide smash when it opened in 1962 and was hailed as one of cinema’s true masterpieces.
“I woke up one morning to find I was famous,” he said. “I bought a white Rolls-Royce and drove down Sunset Boulevard, wearing dark specs and a white suit, waving like the Queen Mum.
“Nobody took any f***ing notice, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The filming of the 1968 historical drama The Lion In Winter, in which O’Toole starred with Katharine Hepburn, was notable for a series of bizarre incidents.
Shooting a scene on a lake one day, O’Toole trapped his finger between two boats. “Bloody agony it was,” he said. “Took the top right off.”
O’Toole carried the tip of his finger back to shore, dipped it into a glass of brandy to sterilise it and then pushed it back on, wrapping it in a poultice.
Three weeks later he unwrapped it and there it was, all crooked and bent.
“I’d put it back the wrong way, probably because of the brandy, which I drank,” explained O’Toole.
Another time, he awoke at 4am to discover that his bed was on fire.
“At first I tried to put the thing out myself, but I couldn’t read the small print on the fire extinguisher,” he said.
“By the time the first fireman arrived, I was so glad to see him I kissed him.”
O’Toole didn’t have much luck with fires. During a cottage holiday in Wales with Sian, he had decided to cook, although she had never seen him do so before.
“I can make the best French toast,” he told her. Minutes later the stove exploded into flames.
They tried to extinguish the fire, but it was impossible, and they were driven out into the garden, where they watched in the rain as the kitchen burnt down.
Awesome. If even half this stuff is true, he’s a complete madman.