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Awfully Good: Fateful Findings

Now that Tommy Wiseau and THE ROOM (read our review of the movie and live show) are about to reach critical cultural mass thanks to THE DISASTER ARTIST, it's time to introduce you to your next favorite cult director and movie…

 

Fateful Findings (2013)

 

Director: Neil Breen
Stars: Neil Breen, Jennifer Autry, Klara Landrat

No.

Few films can claim to change your life, but I can truly say that I am a different human being after having watched FATEFUL FINDINGS.


The film's subliminal hints to the audience weren't so subliminal.

Neil Breen's 2013 film shares a lot of similarities with Tommy Wiseau's THE ROOM: A bizarre vanity project made by an even more bizarre amateur filmmaker. A meandering, nonsensical plot centered on human drama and relationships, by someone who clearly knows nothing about humans or relationships. And a film that, from a technical perspective alone, is an outright comedy.

However, THE ROOM was in many ways a good-natured travesty. FATEFUL FINDINGS feels malevolent in its badness, like you're watching the tape from THE RING. There's an eerie, hyper-realistic quality to Breen's filmmaking that makes it almost unsettling. From the unconvincing performances to the haphazard script to the illogical editing, nothing about this movie feels natural in the slightest, as if Breen is an alien trying to mimic and understand human behavior. It's a simultaneously hypnotic and terrible and amazing experience.


A love story for the ages.

It's hard to really tell you what FATEFUL FINDINGS is about, since it doesn't have a discernible plot, nor does it follow any kind of logical structure or storytelling technique. The film starts with a young boy and girl venturing in to the woods. They encounter a magical mushroom, which dissolves to reveal buried treasure: a small black cube. The boy grows in to a man, a man named Dylan who is immediately run over by a car in the first scene. Dylan quickly recovers (thanks to the magic cube) only to be faced with new obstacles in life: the return of his childhood crush, his friend's marital troubles and eventual murder, sexual temptation via a teenage Lolita, and his wife's struggles with prescription pill addiction.


Many critics felt Neil Breen's ELEPHANT MAN remake was unnecessarily erotic.

Along the way, you can expect some truly baffling scenes, including:

  • Dylan, still injured from his car accident, leaving the hospital so he can go home to his wife and slow dance with her in a disgustingly bloody shower
  • A confusing scene of foreplay where Dylan seduces his wife by slowly shoving electronics on to the floor. The two then literally begin to tear each others clothes off while laughing and throwing paper in the air. (Perhaps this is what sex is like on Neil Breen's home planet.)
  • A romantic scene in the woods between Dylan and his former flame, interspersed with shots of his current wife slowly killing herself with pills.
  • Repeated dream sequences where a naked Dylan awkwardly bear hugs another poor naked actress in a cave made of trash bags
  • Dylan eating a salad of plain spinach (literally no dressing or other ingredients) while making painfully long eye contact with a woman
  • A kidnapping and rescue that randomly involves teleportation
  • And a bunch of weird metaphysical stuff somehow related to the black cube, including an ancient book, a ghost therapist, a pair of creepy black dress shoes, and mysterious floating spirits that look like they were done in Microsoft Paint.

 


If the filmmakers didn't refer to this technique as Breen Screen, they should.

 

In addition to being writer/director, Neil Breen also stars in FATEFUL FINDINGS as Dylan and his acting style consists of him saying a line, repeating it in a louder voice and then throwing books, papers and/or laptop computers. Like Tommy Wiseau, he also has a penchant for exposing his naked body and forcing his co-stars in to on-screen romantic scenes. Literally every attractive female in the movie competes for his affections, including his best friend's underage daughter.


This scene was especially powerful and gripping.

But Breen doesn't allow any of this to hold him back from being the unmitigated hero of his story. For the first half hour, we're told Dylan is a writer working on his second novel. Then, in a plot twist even M. Night Shyamalan wouldn't see coming, Dylan sits in front of his computer and randomly yells out, "I'm going to continue hacking in to these government systems to see what I can find out about all this national AND international corruption that I know is going on!" Yep. From here on out, FATEFUL FINDINGS takes a mild turn, adding "paranoid thriller" in to its already jumbled mish-mash of genres as Dylan becomes a whistleblower for "government and corporate secrets all over the entire world." It's like SNOWDEN if Edward Snowden exclusively used an outdated Sony VAIO and Motorolla Sidekick, neither of which he ever bothered to turn on. And mind you, we never get any hint of what corruption or secrets he's uncovered, but that doesn't matter. Neil Breen is a hero and we don't deserve him.


Behold the face of genius.

This is all in service of a message that Breen clearly wants to impart to the audience: Anyone doing bad things deserves to die and Neil Breen will see to it that you do. This awkward sense of morality comes to a head in the film's truly breathtaking finale. Dylan gives a rousing public speech in front of a generic green-screen government building, revealing and condemning the evil government and corporate entities he's hacked. This Shakespeare-worthy soliloquy is then interspersed with footage of CEOs, politicians and other leaders admitting that Breen was right and then committing suicide in a variety of unnecessarily graphic ways. I can't begin to describe how incredible this ending is, suffice to say that a conclusion where everyone kills themselves seems rather fitting for this movie.


Behold the nipple of genius.

While THE ROOM felt like it was made by someone who had no idea what they were doing, FATEFUL FINDINGS feels more purposeful in its creation, like cult performance art that dares you to confront the very fabric of your reality. If you're a fan of Tommy Wiseau, you owe it to yourself to discover Neil Breen.

Pretty much any part of this movie could be a "Best Line." Enjoy.

1. Ditto for "Best Parts" too.

2. The ending in its glorious entirety.

You're about to see a lot more of Neil Breen than you'd like.


It's destiny. Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • A line is immediately repeated
  • Someone's clothes ALMOST come off
  • Dylan sees a therapist
  • Dylan throws something or knocks something off a table
  • There's a shot of someone holding hands or their feet
  • Neil Breen shows his ass

Double shot if:

  • There's a weird spirit on screen

 

Thanks to Shon for suggesting this week's movie!

 

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: Allegedly, Neil Breen worked as an architect and real estate agent to fund his films.
Source: JoBlo.com

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