Fateful Findings may best be described as the greatest cult movie you’ve never heard of. As a film with even less self awareness than The Room, it sets a new bar for so-bad-it’s-good movies. Neil Breen, the man who serves as writer, director, producer and star, is a true visionary of the medium. We can only hope to one day own even a glimmer of his greatness.
It’s A Magical Day
It’s hard to know exactly where to start with Fateful Findings because, as a friend of mine so eloquently put it, the Venn Diagram of its plot threads would be a set of unconnected bubbles. From a car accident to alcoholism, spiritual mystery to elite hacking, almost nothing ever overlaps.
At it’s opening, a boy and a girl (Dylan and Leah) are running through a meadow and come upon a magic mushroom. Not the sort that Breen was almost certainly on while constructing this work of art, but an actual magical mushroom that transforms into a small chest of gems. The boy takes one for himself and from there, in the one piece of connecting exposition in the movie, we’re told that the girl moved away and was never seen again.
Fast forward and Dylan, played by Breen himself, is set to cross the road with a bunch of other feet. I say ‘feet’ because no other faces are actually shown in the opening 15 minutes, only feet. Even when Dylan is struck by a car and approached by a mysterious woman, the camera stays on the feet. Stylistic choice or attempt to cover up that these extras are actually the other stars? Only our new God-King Neil is privy to that knowledge.
What we can be sure of is that, after the fatal crash, a scene that likely took 110% of the movie’s special effects budget, Dylan is brought back to life and gifted special super-hacker skills. How can we be sure of this? Is it explained in the movie? Oh lord no, nothing as basic as that. Instead, we know this because it says so on the back cover blurb of the DVD. No, not in the movie itself, but on the back of the god-damned DVD cover.
It’s A Magical DAY!!!
Once Dylan is revived, the inanity continues. He finds himself in hospital wearing a face bandage not dissimilar to an abandoned paper maché tribute to The Elephantman. Not to worry though, the magical stone also gives him an amazing healing factor. After checking himself out, he makes his way home and proceeds to have bloody facemask shower sex with his much younger wife. Cue Neil Breen nipple shot number one. And yes, it is important to keep a running track of how often this champion of masculinity bares his nipples for our viewing pleasure. As we’ll come to learn, despite looking like the melted wax figure of a 60 year old, Dylan is irresistible to women of every generation.
When the mask finally comes off, Dylan is totally healed, no mention of where all the blood came from. Following this, it’s at a gathering of friends to celebrate his recovery that we meet co-stars Alcoholism Man and Lady Shouts-A-Lot. Yes, I have forgotten the characters’ names. No, they aren’t important enough to look up. Alcoholism Man is Dylan’s best friend and will spend 90% of his scenes wobbling around the screen and knocking shit over. Either that or polishing the same tiny patch of his car over and over again. His wife, Lady Shouts-A-Lot, will spend her screen time over-annunciating words and displaying Breen’s brand of tasteful side boob.
It’s A, Magical Day
On the note of knocking things over, and this is a super-loose segue because in the Breenoverse that’s the only type of segue there is, Dylan begins suffering major headaches. This leads to instances of collapsing on his desk and holding a coffee cup aloft before finally pouring it on himself. In a rollercoaster of a conversation with his wife, he decides to go off his meds. It’s a wild ride as Dylan wants the meds, but his wife thinks they’re bad. Then he gets them and doesn’t want them, then she thinks he should keep them, then he flushes them down the toilet, then she’s addicted to them. All in the space of 5 minutes. All this serves as an early indicator of the split in their relationship.
Between his marriage falling apart and writing a follow-up to his award winning debut novel, (on laptops that are clearly turned off) Dylan’s new life is full of struggles. Not to mention, he has to manage all this while using his newfound super hacker powers to uncover all of the government conspiracies. The corporate ones too. (Still without any power being supplied to the laptops. It seems real hackers don’t need a paltry power source.)
Luckily, our hero finds solace in the arms of Mysterious Nurse Lady, a woman who ignores her regular rounds to stroke his pillow after he checks out of the hospital. In a shocking twist, it turns out that this is actually Dylan’s childhood sweetheart, Leah. From this we learn that, in addition to healing powers, the magic stone also caused Dylan to age like Jack from Jack, because Leah is only in her 20s at the latest. Strangely, she also had no idea who he was when she started stroking his pillow. Right, moving swiftly onwards.
A Place Where Dreams Are Made
Breen’s cast of actors are a top notch group if ever there was one. The man himself has that classic Tommy Wiseau look. You know, the one where it looks like he’s wearing someone else’s skin? Yeah, that one. Alcoholism Man’s jelly-esque wobblings from scene to scene surely peg him a future star of the next great Body Horror masterpiece. Other members are clearly master stage actors, as can been seen in their voice projection. Need to relay news to someone sitting at a table with you? Better yell it at them. Laying in bed with someone? Gotta yell at them. Need to whisper something quietly? Yep, you yell it, but with a hushed tone.
Let us not forget Breen’s mastery of special effects. A mystical plume of smoke is so carefully interwoven with each scene that you may miss it. Gunshots will catch even the most hardened viewer off guard while the resultant blood would make any anime fan proud. Finally, watching Dylan deliver his final revelatory speech in front of the Supreme Court will make you feel like you’re really there… In the room… With the green screen.
I Know All Of The Secrets. Secret Secrets That Will Shock And Amaze.
Fateful Findings is a bizarre mix of the completely mundane and some amazing fever dream. Any coherent discussion of it is an exercise in futility for the average human mind. To truly appreciate its greatness I have to recommend you watch it as part of a group study. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at what other viewers have to say. Thanks to the graciousness of our saviour Neil, the entire thing is available to watch for free on YouTube. Enjoy!
Oh crap, I totally forgot to mention the teenager that just can’t help taking her clothes off around Dylan. Eh, c’est la vie.