“I can’t believe you committed suicide, I can not believe you committed suicide. How could you have done this? How could have committed suicide?” is a line that should join the ranks of “Oh, hi Mark” in the annals of horrible film history. The movie whence this soliloquy on suicide came is Fateful Findings, written, directed and produced by Neil Breen. I’m not sure if fate was cruel or kind when it placed this film in my path. It is an incredibly bad film with an exceptionally thorough lack of quality. Its not every day you find a film like this one.
Breen is an architect, who in his spare time makes movies. The films always star him in messianic roles surrounded by large breasted ingenues. Trying to explain the level of production and acting in these films is not an easy task. The phones don’t ring before the actors pick them up. The main character is a writer and his desk has 6 open, but turned off laptops on it. The psychiatrist’s office is an empty boardroom with a dozen chairs around a long table. At a certain point the mind balks and you just can’t believe what you are seeing.
Above all, what stands out is the acting. I swear to god if you went outside right now and grabbed the first person you saw, they would be a better actor than anyone in this film. It doesn’t make any sense, no one acts a badly as the people in this film. The darting uneasy eyes that don’t know where to look, the flat, lifeless affect, the seemingly random intonation as if someone had removed all punctuation from the script, the stiff, uncomfortable postures, the mechanical gestures, every aspect of their acting is zombified, but it is the huge pauses between every line that truly grinds your soul to dust. Between each phrase there is at least 40 seconds of dead time. Between sentences its longer. If you edited out the silent pauses this film would be 10 minutes long, and it would still be hard to bear.
The camera work is something special too. Breen has a penchant for shooting from the knees down. He must believe it adds some kind of mystery to a scene, either that or he has a foot fetish. One of the best scenes in the film is shot in this manner. Dylan, our hero, has a bad head wound and his head is profusely bandaged. He steps into the shower and the camera cuts to a below the knee shot. Then we are treated to a minute or two of blood washing down his leg, and then more blood, and then some chunky looking blood, followed by torrents of blood. Then his girlfriend steps in and they make out while the blood continues to flow.
Everything that happens in the film is reiterated at least three times, using almost identical dialogue. Dylan’s girlfriend is addicted to pain pills so she and Dylan have several arguments where he reproaches her for her addiction and she half denies it and half apologizes for it. They are friends with another couple who are also in a constant state of conflict. In this case its over the husband’s alcoholism, so in total we get to hear roughly the same argument at least six times. The crazed followers of Breen’s work often recite lines from the films, and you can see why. By the time the film is over you have the lines memorized.
For some people finding this film will be a revelation. Those who enjoyed The Room, and enjoy discovering the demented coteries of fans that accompany such films, will celebrate the discovery of Fated Findings. Its not only a gem but Breen has generously made four more! He has dug his own special rabbit hole of disastrous cinema for us to fall into. I count myself among those who would gladly take the plunge but for the more sane among us you will want to carefully limit any exposure to Fated Findings or any of Breen’s opi. By reading this article you have already flown dangerously close to the sun.
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