Breen in 2017
Neil Breen is an American independent filmmaker, character actor, architect, and real estate agent. His films have garnered a cult following for their poor acting, writing and editing quality, and no-budget production values.
Life and career
Neil Breen grew up on the East Coast of the United States, and developed an interest in film and filmmaking at an early age. He studied architecture and initially became a licensed architect in California. He gained a small following after releasing his first film, Double Down. Over the next years, he continued to work as an architect to finance his next film, I Am Here.... Now which became his breakout feature and garnered "a lot of attention." Since then, he has established a reputation as a cult amateur filmmaker.
Breen writes and stars in each of his own films. The characters he portrays hold advanced and often superhuman abilities and use them in grandiose struggles against corrupt forces and institutions. Fateful Findings features Breen as a hacker imbued with supernatural powers by a magical stone he found as a child, who uses his skills to expose government and corporate corruption, while in Double Down he plays a rogue government super-agent. In other films, his protagonist is a god-like, messianic, or otherwise chosen figure; Pass Thru, for example, has Breen playing a messianic entity who arrives from the future to wipe out 300 million "bad people" to usher in a new era of peace. Breen has said that his films have a "sense of social responsibility" and reflect the "mystical or paranormal side of life."
His first feature film, Double Down, was featured on RedLetterMedia's Best of the Worst online series, whilst Fateful Findings was covered by YourMovieSucksDOTorg, another well-known film critic on YouTube. Since then, Breen's films have been picked up by arthouse theaters and film festivals, including the 2012 "Butt-Numb-A-Thon" and the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival. In Paste magazine's 2014 list of the 100 best B movies, Breen's film I Am Here.... Now was ranked 21st, with the author noting that he thought Breen would one day earn a place in the "terrible movie hall of fame" alongside Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau. Breen's third film, Fateful Findings, was compared to Wiseau's The Room by the former film's North American distributor Panorama Entertainment. Breen's fifth feature film, Twisted Pair, was released in October 2018.
- Double Down (2005)
- I Am Here.... Now (2009)
- Fateful Findings (2012)
- Pass Thru (2016)
- Twisted Pair (2018)
- Untitled Twisted Pair sequel (TBA)
- Bell, Josh (February 6, 2014). "Local filmmaker Neil Breen's unique (and terrible) movies earned him a cult following". Las Vegas Weekly. The Greenspun Corporation. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Galil, Leor (18 December 2018). "In praise of Neil Breen, an auteur who finds new and exciting ways to be bad with every movie he makes". Chicago Reader.
- Olson 2018, p. 76.
- Jones, Alan. "Bad-movie lovers need to meet Neil Breen". The Dissolve. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Howard, Jason. "An Interview with Director Neil Breen". Influx Magazine. Influx Magazine. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Vorel, Jim (May 9, 2014). "The 100 Best "B Movies" of All Time". Paste. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- Rife, Katie (July 24, 2018). "Clear your calendars, Neil Breen has a new movie coming out". The A.V. Club. G/O Media. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- "Double Down (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
- Olson, Christopher J. (2018). 100 Greatest Cult Films. Lanham; Boulder; New York City; London: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1442208223.