THEY say not to believe everything you see in the movies - but, according to the debut book from a Prestwood author, sometimes the unbelievable can also be the truth.

Death By Chilli Sauce, the new book from Richard Germain, looks at a number of unlikely scenarios that happen on the big screen.

The book takes its name from the scene in Dumb and Dumber where a criminal is killed by a super-hot chilli - one of many examples where the viewer is left shaking their head, thinking what they've just seen would never happen in real life.

To answer some of the 101 questions posed by his book, 39-year-old Mr Germain had to do some practical research and find out for himself if what happens on the big screen can become reality.

The dad of three shied away from eating an insanely hot chilli - although he did grow his own Scotch bonnet, known for being particularly fiery - or following Withnail's lead of drinking lighter fluid, but he did re-enact a scene from The Magnificent Seven where James Coburn wins a knife fight.

Speaking to an expert explained some of the science behind throwing a knife, but Mr Germain followed it up by having a go himself.

He said: "It's a risky business throwing a knife. If it doesn't hit then not only have you not hurt your adversary, you've lost your weapon."

"I took all our kitchen knives into the garden and started flinging them at the tree trunk to get them on target. Quite a few were lost or damaged beyond repair."

Not all of the research was quite as risky or resulted in having to replace the cutlery though - what inspired the book was nothing more sinister than tumbleweed constantly blowing around the set of old Western films.

Mr Germain, who works in advertising, said: "Watching all these old cowboy films, they include tumbleweed drifting down an empty street. I grew up in Gerrards Cross so had never seen it blowing down Packhorse Road, so I wondered if it was a metaphor for desolation or do they exist.

"They had absolute plagues of it over there. They thought about fencing off the whole state of North Dakota to stop it getting away."

He added: "There were a few examples like that in my mind. It had been brewing for a while.

"I've been brought up on films through my dad. He would record any film on the TV.

"Alongside that was my inquisitive nature in terms of seeing things and wondering, could they happen in real life?"

It seems from Death By Chilli Sauce there are plenty of things - from surviving falling out of a plane without a parachute to finding the perfect hangover cure - you can learn from films.

Death by Chilli Sauce by Richard Germain is available to buy now from Amazon and all good bookstores.

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