Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Neil Breen|
|Produced by||Neil Breen|
|Written by||Neil Breen|
|Edited by||Neil Breen|
|Distributed by||Panorama Entertainment|
Fateful Findings is a 2013 American drama film directed, written, produced, edited by, and starring Neil Breen, who was also in charge of production design, set decoration, makeup, sound editing, catering, and casting. The film was screened in 2012 at the invite-only Butt-Numb-A-Thon, had a public festival debut 23 May 2013 at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was released to theaters in early 2014.
The film opens with author and vigilante-hacker Dylan (Neil Breen) reminiscing about his childhood friend Leah (Jennifer Autry), who he has been in love with since he was eight. While walking in the woods Dylan and Leah had found a secret stash which hid a magical black stone. In the present day, its mystical powers are revealed to Dylan after he is hit by a car and survives the accident through a mysterious and miraculous speedy recovery. Dylan reveals to his wife, Emily (Klara Landrat), that he has not been writing a new novel but instead has been using his hacking skills to expose "the most secret government and corporate secrets". His commitment to this mission is tested by his wife's downward spiral into alcohol and drugs ending in an overdose, the murder of his best friend framed as a suicide, and continual sexual seduction by his best friend's underage step-daughter.
Plagued by haunting dreams of a mystical book of secrets, Dylan begins seeing an additional psychotherapist and is encouraged by the discovery of his lost childhood girlfriend (Brianna Borden) (revealed to be his nurse during his recovery from the accident). Despite his efforts, he is continually harassed by unseen spirits. His life as an author slowly deteriorates and he confides in his new lover, Leah, that his work may be discovered. This culminates when Leah is kidnapped by an unknown assailant. Dylan manages to track the attacker and uses his heretofore unknown teleportation powers to rescue Leah from her kidnapper. Before releasing his findings to the world Dylan chooses to see his psychotherapist one last time only to find that she has been a ghost the entire time and he must now question the council of spirits that guard the mysterious book. In the end, he releases "the most secret government and corporate secrets" to the world. During the speech an assassin attempts to thwart Dylan but is killed by Dylan's powers. Exposed, government officials and executives (including the president of The Bank) throughout the world take their own lives, in public exhibitions to applauding crowds. Dylan lets the world know that they have the power to fight the tyranny of corruption and work outside of government and corporate systems just as he has done.
After Breen built buzz and a cult following with his previous films, Fateful Findings played at Harry Knowles' 2012 Butt-Numb-A-Thon, an invite-only film festival. In 2013, it played at the Seattle International Film Festival's Midnight Adrenaline program. The festival's programmer, Clinton McClung, said that he chose the film despite its amateurishness because of its uniqueness and cult appeal. Panorama Entertainment subsequently distributed it in the U.S.
Alan Jones of The Dissolve wrote that the film could only have been made by Breen, as his incompetence makes what could have been boring instead fascinating. Peter K. of Twitch Film wrote, "It's not just for enjoying hilarious incompetence, more purely it is for the act of watching eccentric choices made by even more eccentric people."
Fateful Findings has become a cult film. Describing why he thinks it deserves to be a cult film, Nathan Rabin called the film outsider art that is just as unpredictable and unconventional as Citizen Kane, though because it is too competent and everyone is too obtuse to get it.
Jason Howard of INLUX Magazine began his interview of Neil Breen by praising the film, writing "Ever on the hunt for the next great 'cult classic', I recently stumbled upon Fateful Findings" and "it only took about a minute into the film for me to discover that I was watching something special that had more to offer than the typical film".
- Howard, Jason (27 April 2014). "An Interview with Director Neil Breen". INFLUX magazine. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Singer, Matt (22 October 2013). ""The next cult classic" Fateful Findings coming to theaters in early 2014". The Dissolve. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Bell, Josh (2014-02-06). "Local filmmaker Neil Breen's unique (and terrible) movies earned him a cult following". Las Vegas Weekly.
- Schmader, David (2014-01-30). "This Weekend: The Return of Fateful Findings". The Stranger. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- Jones, Alan (2014-06-20). "Bad-movie lovers need to meet Neil Breen". The Dissolve. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- K., Peter (2013-06-25). "Fantasia 2013 Review: FATEFUL FINDINGS, Beyond All Working Definitions Of Cinema". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- Yamato, Jen (2013-10-22). "'Fateful Findings' And The Business Of Movies So Bad They're Good: Video". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- DeMarco, Laura (2014-03-07). "In the midnight hour: Cult classics 'Rocky Horror,' 'The Room' and the new 'Fateful Findings' keep Cleveland fans up late". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- Rabin, Nathan (2015-12-08). "Why Fateful Findings Deserves Cult Status". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-05-30.