Oliver Shadey (Antony Sher) is a funny little chap who runs a garage which is about to go bankrupt, but he’s not without resources. Shadey can film your thoughts. He can see into your head and then he can screen it for you.
Shadey moons about “a girl I once saw on a calendar. My destiny is to be with her”. We’re shown the calendar. Very nice. A pretty girl in a white dress, in a canoe.
The next thing we know, Shadey’s trying to raise money for a sex change operation, so you realise he doesn’t want to “be with” the calendar girl in any carnal way.
Then we meet the girl herself – Carol Landau (Leslie Ash) – and her demented mother, Lady Constance (Katherine Helmond) and her millionaire industrialist father, Sir Cyril (Patrick Macnee).
Shadey tries to make a deal with Sir Cyril, in order to finance his surgery, but Sir Cyril is a nasty piece of work (he has tried to have sex with his daughter!) and sells Shadey to agents of the government in exchange for a suite of offices.
Shadey is agitated. He doesn’t want anything to do with military espionage and here are all these people showing him maps of Russia and making him conjure up the innards of Russian submarines. “I can only use my abilities for peaceful means,” he complains, but they just dope him and keep going. “This island has enemies,” they explain.
Fade to calendar girl Carol’s engagement party. Shadey deliberately goads poor crazy Lady Constance into attacking his private parts with a butcher’s knife, thereby providing him with the sexual mutilation he craves at no cost to himself.
Then, bloody but unbowed, he convalesces at government expense while making demands for wigs, corsets and lipstick. His employers acquiesce – anything to get him back to work in a good frame of mind.
But Shadey’s no longer a secret weapon. Enemy agents know about him and they are in hot pursuit. First, they try to borrow him from the English. When that doesn’t work, they try to kill him. But he seems to be invulnerable. He appears to escape from his enemies by taking an elevator clear through the roof of a building and then going into orbit . . .
Anyway, the last we see of him, he’s in a canoe with Carol who has apparently broken off her engagement just to “be with” him. He’s wearing eye makeup and a veil and she looks blissful.
Your guess is as good as mine!
Sir Cyril Landau
Lady Constance Landau