<Todd>’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Where are my pills? Where are my pills?” -Neil Breen,
Hey you! Wanna see something weird?
A bloody hand, Neil Breens ass, hundreds of destroyed laptops, and more near boob than you can handle... that's Fateful Findings, the movie from Neil Breen that makes no fucking sense but was a complete delight. In reality, the movie is a weird mystical love triangle film featuring blah blah blah blah blah but who cares, you watch this guy's films for the weird. To be a true bad movie auteur you need your own distinctive style of bad. Tommy Wisseau for example has the worst and most unnatural dialogue ever written for film but mixes it with a slightly more professional aesthetic. Breen's got horrible dialogue and bad production in spades but I think there are two main things that contribute to the charm of Neil Breen films.
First, the Neil Breen bad movie charm is derived from his comically bad editing and pacing of films. Conversations don't feel like conversation in a Neil Breen movie because of his all time bad editing. He lets each shot go 1-3 seconds too long and then quick cuts to another strange shot and lingers on it. There is no clear telling of a story in Fateful Findings... you really have to do the work to figure out what, if anything is happening at any time which is odd because the movie feels really slow at points. My wife and I kept having to stop and check in because we would zone out and not be sure we completely understood what was happening. Breen childlike understanding of film-making somewhat ironically makes the film feel more complex... in reality there is just no understanding what the fuck he is doing sometimes.
Second, I think the Neil Breen experience involves his inability to properly stage a scene. Nobody ever looks quite right in a Neil Breen film because Breen doesn't seem to recognize that people will be watching the movie. Most of the time his dialogue, while boring or crazy, makes some basic sense it's just said in such a weird way by a person doing something strange or walking in a weird direction or too close or too far away. It is especially uncomfortable to watch Neil Breen interact with women. Passionate kisses are just gross and bizarre and I just worry for the women's lives. There are so many awkwardly staged scenes designed to show most of a woman's breast without full nudity and they somehow feel dirtier and stranger than if the film had just gone full nudity.
Fateful Findings is not my favorite Neil Breen film (still Double Down) but I really enjoyed the hell out of it and recommend it to fans of bad movies. There are parts of the film, like his constant destruction of laptops, that make me wonder how much Breen is in on the joke. "He can't actually think that's effective filmmaking" I'll shout at the screen... but I don't know, I don't get Neil at all. Fuck laptops! Then there will be other times where he is naked and embracing a clothed women in silence where I just think "no I think this motherfucker is just crazy." There is a scene where Breen, as he is prone to do, hacks corrupt governments and corporations and releases their secrets and then he just has six leaders of corporations and governments there to be punished and they all start killing themselves and it is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in a film. It's the sort of stuff that makes Breen's work hard to pass up.
See it if you are into bad movies.