Take a Drink: every time there is a close-up of feet.
Take a Drink: every time a woman is not wearing a bra.
Take a Drink: every time Drunk Jim does.
Take a Drink: whenever Dylan says that he’s very busy.
Take a Drink: whenever there is a shot of Dylan naked in the black room (cube?)
Take a Drink: whenever someone says “government and corporate secrets.”
Take a Drink: every time a character throws something. Take Two: for a laptop.
Take a Drink: whenever a line is repeated.
Take a Drink: at every death.
Do a Shot: When Dylan yells “NO MORE BOOKS!”
By: BabyRuth (Six Beers) –
When I was a teenager back in the old days of VHS rentals, there was a section of my local Tommy K’s Video titled “Cult/Offbeat” that contained all the weird and wonderful films that didn’t fit into any other category. That was the first time I ever heard the term “cult movie” and I was as intrigued by those movies as the creepy men who would duck behind the curtain into the “Adults Only” section were of those, uh, films.
There was just something about them that I was drawn to. They didn’t have big stars (or if they did, there were made long before the actors could be referred to as big stars), most of them appeared to have been produced pretty to very inexpensively, and they just looked strange. To me, they were far more interesting than the multiple copies of big Hollywood new releases that lined the walls. I quickly became obsessed with checking out as many of those movies as I could. My friends and I would take turns trying to pick out the weirdest-looking one. Many of them would be duds, but every so often there would be that one awesome find that made it all worth it. That one Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. That one Flesh Eating Mothers. Half the fun was in the hunt, the other half was knowing little to absolutely nothing about the movie and being (hopefully) surprised and or/shocked.
I mean, how could you pass up the opportunity to watch this? Photo: VHScollector.com
These days, thanks to the internet, it’s much easier to discover these types of movies. There are websites devoted to them (one in particular even has fun drinking games!) The word-of-mouth factor still exists, but on a much larger scale. In fact, we no longer even have to discover them on our own. Every few months there seems to be a new contender to the must-see cult film throne complete with in-depth podcasts, subreddits, and clickbait Buzzfeed lists. This takes a little bit away from the grassroots evolution of the past and there are often imposters that don’t deserve the acclaim (what’s up Sharknado?), but hey, this is the world in which we now live. True aficionados can easily tell the difference ,though. The real cult films have a certain quality that can’t be faked, and are rare gems of bizarre genius.
I recently learned of a man, a prophet, by the name of Neil Breen. An architect and former real estate agent turned one-man movie studio, he self-finances, writes, directs, stars, and does everything else down to providing the craft services all on his own. His third and latest offering, Fateful Findings, is currently making the rounds at midnight showings throughout the country and is being hailed as the next cult phenomenon a la The Room. Thanks to the fine folks at distributor Panorama Entertainment, I was able to experience Fateful Findings for myself and all I can say is, had this been in the Cult/Offbeat section at Tommy K’s, I never would have returned it.
This woman was arrested for not returning Monster In Law yet everyone responsible for making that movie went free.
Breen plays our hero Dylan, a novelist (a best-selling one at that, since he autographs multiple copies of his book in one scene) with a seemingly perfect life. One day while crossing the street, he is struck by a speeding Rolls Royce carrying a mysterious woman whose face we never see.
Though we get a good look at her plastic surgeon’s work.
Who is this woman? Was the hit deliberate? What is the deal with the witnesses each waiting a beat to say their one line of dialogue and then repeating it?
We never learn the answer to these questions but we do learn that Dylan always carries a small black cube that has mystical powers. See back when he was a child, Dylan and his childhood love Leah had a magical day, literally. While frolicking through the woods they uncovered a mysterious mushroom and a jewel-filled box appeared inside. That’s when Dylan found the cube. Sadly, Leah moved far away shortly after that day.
Back to the present (or possibly the future judging by the “past’s” brand new cars) Dylan is in critical condition; his head is covered in bandages and his pulse is weak (the doctor notices this, while taking his pulse, even though he’s hooked up to a heart monitor). Dylan’s future seems grim. But wait! Magic happens! Soon Dylan is all better, unhooking himself from all the machines, and walking home to have some hot shower sex with his girlfriend while blood gushes through his bandages.
You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?
But there is work to do! Dylan’s publisher keeps bugging him to finish his next novel; however, he is focused on something far more important. You may not believe this, but there is corruption in large corporations and even our very own government! (I know, I know. Sit down and take a moment if you need it.) Dylan is very skilled computer hacker, so skilled that he can infiltrate the most secure systems without even turning on his computer (or perhaps it just looks that way to us, but he can see everything, because MAGIC!). Soon he’s uncovering the most secret of secrets that are sure to change the world once they get out.
“Holy shit, Olive Garden doesn’t have a real cooking school in Tuscany?!”
Along with these most fateful of findings, there are obstacles on the home front. Dylan’s girlfriend Emily is hooked on drugs. You see, her pill-taking for pain relief has gotten out of control (which Dylan states at one point). Things are further complicated when someone from Dylan’s past resurfaces in the most fateful of ways. And then there are his close friends Drunk Jim, his wife who I prefer to call Screamy McTits, and their Lolita-esque daughter Ally who has a crush on Dylan (naturally). They are a very dysfunctional family which someone working on righting the crooked wrongs of the world should probably just stop hanging out with, but Dylan’s a caring, stand-up guy (as most writer/director/star protagonists are) so we get to learn all about them.
I’m just going to stop here because I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. Though even if I did, you’d probably still have no clue once this happens:
First off, I need to toast any person that has the ambition and passion to produce a movie all by themselves, regardless of the end result, because getting to that end result takes major work, time, and money. To have the ambition to see the whole process through and create something out of nothing is admirable. People will often say “oh, I could make a better movie than that!” But do they? No, they don’t. Would they actually be able to? No, probably not. So cheers to you Neil Breen, for having a vision and putting it out there.
The main purpose of a film is to entertain. And I can without a doubt say that everything about this movie is entertaining. Every scene. Each line delivery. Every special effect. Multiple viewings are encouraged. I watched it twice and enjoyed it even more the second. I even picked up on many things I missed the first time. Like the fact that Drunk Jim always “works” on his car by polishing the driver’s side mirror. It suddenly occurred to me this is symbolic because Jim seems to be focused on what is behind him (his past), rather than what is in front of him (his family). And then there are visual differences between Dylan’s two psychiatrists’ offices. At one, they each sit at one end of a very long conference table, while at the other there are only two folding chairs practically touching. This stuff is deep.
Let’s just make it clear right here that every additional beer I assign is not meant to point out something I didn’t like about this movie, but something captivating about it that another beer would enhance. Of course, be sure to drink responsibly. Don’t be like ol’ Drunk Jim.
Speaking of, I could watch a whole movie about Jim, Screamy, and Ally.
Or even better, their scenes recut with sitcom music and canned laughter—somebody get on that stat!
This sure is one wacky family unit! I’m still trying to figure out what purpose they serve in the movie as the characters could be omitted entirely and not change the central plot at all, but I sure am glad Breen decided to include them because they are wonderful.
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of paranormal stuff takes place in this film: magic mushrooms, ghosts, and weird pink smoke,
but some of the best moments are in the quieter scenes of everyday situations. It’s in these where the viewer can truly appreciate Breen’s interpretation of the world, its inhabitants, and their interaction with one another.
My favorite is the dinner scene. It’s something people do every day, most of the time pretty uneventfully, but here it’s a fascinating study in film-making choices. The close-up reaction shots, the dialogue, the direction– all of it. At one point Ally mentions her interesting school project about elephants in Africa. Unfortunately, we never get to hear any more about the elephants in Africa because Drunk Jim is a jerk.
There has to be a reason the elephants in Africa are mentioned. Maybe they hold the key to all the magic!
Okay, okay, I’ll stop talking about Drunk Jim and his family. On to the mysticism! Now, it’s a little difficult for me to put into words because even after two viewings, I still don’t completely have a handle on how all the supernatural stuff plays into everything; however, I can say with the utmost certainty that it definitely does.
When I was a child I asked my father to explain heaven. I had many questions as the concept made no sense to me. He said to think of it as trying to explain the world to an infant. Of course this is impossible because the infant does not have the capacity to understand. This is the best way I can describe Neil Breen’s work. We are all infants. We do not have the power to fully understand. We just need to believe.
It seems Breen realizes his audience may have difficulty following everything at times, and he does attempt to help us by having characters repeat their lines often. (“Call 911! Call 911” “Is he dead? Is he dead?”) He also is sure to include as much detail in his dialogue as possible. (“Your purse is here lying on the walkway leading up to the front door.”) As a viewer, I am grateful for this.
Those greedy politicians and corporate shysters get their comeuppance in one hell of a climax as Dylan discloses his findings in Washington D.C.
Edward Snowden’s got nothing on Dylan.
Meanwhile, Wayne and Garth are in Delaware.
So what are these “government and corporate international secrets all over the world” that Dylan has uncovered anyway? Well, those details aren’t important. What is important is that Dylan exposes them. Hopefully this will inspire people all over the world to do the same.
Breen has crafted a unique soaring epic in Fateful Findings. It has everything a person could ever want in a movie and also everything a person never knew they wanted in a movie. Breen refuses to be contained to a single genre and instead creates one all his own.
So if you want to stick to conventional, predictable, big-budget Hollywood yawn-fests, then go ahead and check out the latest new release at your local multiplex with all the other sheep. But if you want to see something entirely original, otherworldly, and just plain fun, find a Fateful Findings screening near you. You won’t regret it. Trust me.
Last Call: Be sure to sit through the credits until the very end. Remember what I told you about Breen being a one-man studio?