A lot of movies are bad, some movies are good, and a handful of movies are so bad that they are great. Then, there are those movies – those very, very few – that transcend any established ideas of “good” or “bad” and find themselves in a special place in the world of cinema. For years, movies like Troll 2 and The Room have been loved by thousands around the world, not for their merits as works of art but for something different from and far better than what could have been intended by their creators. New cult hits come about once or twice a decade, and while it is still relatively new, Fateful Findings has quickly proven itself among the greats.
The movie follows Dylan (Neil Breen), a man gifted with magical powers by a magical rock he found as a child. He works as an author but is secretly hacking into government and corporate computer networks in order to expose their corruption to the world. As he dives further into his work and his life becomes stranger and more dangerous, he must find the strength to finish what he started.
I love this movie so much.
Like many other cult hits, Fateful Findings is a film that is uniquely its own. It is ostensibly a psychological thriller, with clear inspiration from David Lynch and others, but it fails to deliver a genuine thrill. Instead, it delivers comedy, a little bit of boredom, and a whole lot of weirdness. Characters in Fateful Findings tend to repeat their lines and to repeat them, and everything is a bit too stilted for us to treat them as real people. Breen himself works at a desk with no fewer than three powered-off laptops that he abuses regularly by throwing books at them or swiping them onto the floor.
This film is all over the place in terms of its plot, characters, and themes. For example, I never knew that I could laugh so much at a scene of murder, but Breen’s deadpan delivery of “I can’t believe you committed suicide. I cannot believe you committed suicide. How could you have done this? How could you have committed suicide?” is absolutely hilarious. The film’s finale, which features a self-proclaimed human insurance company and the President of The Bank, is one of my absolute favorites of any movie and for all the wrong reasons.
Much of what makes this film such a pleasure to watch is the earnestness with which it was made. Neil Breen works professionally as an architect but makes movies in his spare time and does so simply because he wants to. I personally can’t find much enjoyment in intentionally bad movies, as there’s a certain cynicism behind movies like Sharknado or Samurai Cop II that I can’t enjoy. “So bad it’s good” is a profitable section of the industry, and any schmuck can spend a few thousand dollars and very little effort on a film that ends up potentially making them millions.
With Fateful Findings, we instead have a man with a vision. Neil Breen hates corrupt governments and corporations, and by gum he’s gonna make movies about them. This one acts as a sort of wish-fulfillment for Breen in that he stops these powerful entities by exposing their wrong-doings to the world. Publicly sharing his evidence – or in his words, “the files and supporting documents and supporting truths: the factual documents” – allows him to bring them down and save us all.
I can’t recommend this movie to everyone, as plenty of people will understandably see it as simply a bad movie. For those of you who enjoy cult films, though, I can’t recommend it highly enough. You will laugh, you might cry, and you will never forget Fateful Findings.
Released 2013 | Not Rated | 100 Minutes | Directed by Neil Breen
Starring Neil Breen
*The ‘!/10’ score is reserved for my favorite movies that I enjoy ironically. I can’t in good faith rate them highly, but I absolutely can’t rate them poorly.