FATEFUL FINDINGS. It’s even worse than THE ROOM

Today a review for real tough guys-masochists.

Tomasz Bot

10 July 2023

Today a review for real tough guys-masochists. People who like to suck on razor blades, floss their teeth with wire and watch Dancing with the Stars at 300x slow-down. This film is the stringy cold meat of blind ambition that slaps the viewer across the face. It will be so amateurish and embarrassing that even the camera hurt during filming.

There is a scene in Żuławski’s The Devil, in which a demonic figure dances in front of the protagonist, saying: “I can’t explain the world to you, but I can dance it for you.” There’s something about Neil Breen’s film that makes the words… incommensurable, and maybe I’d rather play around with you guys about it. On the other hand, I have read at least one sentence about this title that I applaud. Someone quite soberly wrote that the attitude of director and star Neil Breen can be encapsulated in the statement: “I can’t masturbate in my movie, but we’ll see how close I get to it.” Because – let’s be honest – Breen is shooting a poem here in his honor, introducing metaphysical, messianic threads to it and from time to time torturing some laptops that clearly fell into his hands.

I guess even kids already know that Tommy “hehe” Wiseau made a very bad movie The Room. The text you read can be summed up with the “hi, Mark” emoticon, which is an allusion to the cult game. The Room is a monolith – one title propelled Wiseau to the trash top and made him famous. But in a less explored part of the sky, another star shines with an evil glow. In order to get close to the level of The Room in the world of trash, you need to have a lot of anti-talent. Our today’s hero, Neil Breen, definitely has it. Watching Fateful Findings, you get the impression of communing with a story like Lynch and Jodorowsky, and shot by Homer Simpson after eight beers.

In 2005, the already elderly Neil made his film debut with Double Down – a non-action action movie about a hacker who knows all the secrets of the world, because he can break in anywhere, but he is tapping on the keyboard as if he was seeing it for the first time in his life. Besides, he was so brilliant and defiant that all the intelligence services in the world were after him, and he lived in the desert experiencing mystical visions. The film was so cheap and far from any professionalism that I only remember three things from it. First, Neil clutching a bloody lily in his hands in the pool – after the conspirators shot his beloved in it. Secondly, monologues of the protagonist, which implied that the only chance for the world was himself. Third, that Breen is as unstellar as deep-frozen sawdust. It was a bad movie, you know? Now, however, after Fateful Findings, I can say that the creator of this production was just warming up then.

A boy and girl – Dylan and Leah – find a strange pebble in a mushroom. She’s leaving town soon. Decades later, Dylan is hit on the street and ends up in the hospital, where he recognizes Leah as a doctor. However, he already has his wife – addicted to drugs. He also has a mission – as a writer-hacker (again!) he wants to track down and expose corruption in the world of corporations and politics; hacks (again!) into government websites. A couple of his friends are having trouble having sex, and their daughter is hitting on Dylan. He has such severe migraines that he sometimes drops his laptops. Soon there will be a barbecue where everyone shows up, someone gets drunk at it, and Leah shows Dylan her childhood notebook. If anyone thinks that these threads will merge into some coherent whole, they will be disappointed. We watch a deep, deep off, created far from trends, money, talent, animated only by the director’s (almost 60-years-old) powerful desire to say: look, here I am.

The film consists of two types of drawn-out scenes: ordinary (someone is walking, talking or even standing, but this is really amateur cinema, so even then it is “somehow different than in our world”) and trip (strange mists and glitters swirl around; they mix time planes and Neil’s cerebrospinal fluid mixes with his other fluids, which swell up when the camera moves). The hero provides us with extraordinary experiences. Either he unseales his atomic bonds and penetrates through doors, or he suddenly sits naked in a room covered with black garbage bags, or shows off his naked ass when leaving the hospital room.

The acting of the film lies and squeaks. I haven’t seen such an amateur in a long time. The performers (or “performers”?) say something, but everyone just tries not to look at the camera. They defecate issues into space; there is no dialogue or interaction. Neil plays fainting with knocking over a cup of coffee so badly, it’s like he’s about to spill something for the first time in his life. He’s better at throwing books at laptops. Anyway, the scenes or themes end here suddenly and without meaning. Dylan, usually uptight, suddenly turns into a wild animal and decides to take his wife, here and now, only to tear his and her clothes first and knock the laptops off the desk … Editing is a disaster, as are the dialogues. The camera is sometimes set according to the rules of the cheapest porn – so in different ways. For example, in the scene of Dylan’s accident, he focuses on the shoes belonging to the onlookers. In this production, everything is lame – even brushed away bushes sound bad. It’s the execution level of Raging Fists of the Serpent, but there was play and a conscious choice of path, and Neil throws the whole thing for real. He also seems to believe in this cinema; confidently believed in his and his messianic mission. I think all those actors from The Room who had a problem with the quality of the project, but stayed on the set, here after an hour would run away in panic.

Dylan – sucked even from the shadow of charisma, energy – resembles a dried beaver. It’s also weird that he looks 20 years older than Leah and that all women fall for his magnetic personality. The wife, for example, jumps in the shower with him while the man still has a big bloody bandage on his face, which looks really turpistic. Dylan says no to the attractive teenager because he is a man of impeccable principles, and besides, if he let everyone do that, he wouldn’t have time to write. This fascination with the writer-hacker on the part of women makes sense when we realize that this is an original production and Neil is responsible for virtually every element of it.

The hero is equally strongly pressured by publishers – humanity is hungry for his thoughts. But he writes and loves at his own pace; he also lives in a mystical union with the world hidden under the veil of everyday life. He feels and thinks more, and in moments of anger throws laptops – as convincingly as he writes on them. The ending of Fateful Findings is an authentic horsetail. Dylan speaks on television, which was shot on offensively inappropriate green screen. It reveals to the world the enormity of evil and corruption. It leads to purification. I refer to the screens for details.

My private research with a small group of women clearly proves that Neil is as sexy as orthopedic shoes. In fact, he is the antithesis of sensuality, male magnetism, and does not come across as a sympathetic figure. Unlike the eccentric Wiseau, who probably wouldn’t mind taking one of the interviewees out to dinner. So it is safe to say that he is unlikely to threaten the position of Tommy, who simply has the conditions for a “sludge star”. And although the plots of Breen’s films are even more ridiculous, heavy and packed with absurdity than The Room, their phlegmatic author definitely weakens their power of expression (although it is also part of his, let’s say, strengths – “Dude, you won’t believe how eggless I saw a block in the role of a superhacker and a superplayboy!” I daresay Neil’s images with Wiseau in the lead role could be a wild and crazy combination.

On the other hand, it is Breen who is a real movie geek, not a celebrity carried by the wave of one title – in a few years he has made some truly nightmarish titles with his own money and is not going to stop. In fact, after I thought he wouldn’t stick his head any deeper into his hot fantasies than he did in Fateful Findings, the trailer of Twisted Pair appeared, featuring… two Neils, candy CGI, lots of mystique… some invisible catch. I’ll have to watch it sometime!