Much like Troll 2 or Birdemic, writer-director Neil Breen's new film, Fateful Findings, is so bad, it's good. Or something like that. Plenty of movies feature the same kind of primitive, low-budget production and amateur acting. But what distinguishes Fateful Findings, which screens at midnight on Saturday at the Capitol Theatre, is its storyline.
The plot revolves around an author (Breen) who suffers life-threatening injuries when he's hit by a car. While recovering, he begins fervently working on a book (he hammers away at a laptop that never actually appears to be turned on) to expose corporate and government secrets, obsessing over his research to the point of alienating his friends and his drug-addicted lover.
After he's unexpectedly reunited with a childhood friend, unnatural forces seem to be at play against him. The movie was so oddly cut and its plot so ambiguous that we didn't exactly know what to make of it.
"There's love lost for and frustration with, for lack of a better term, the human race," says Breen via phone from his Las Vegas home. "I don't preach to people. I'm not being judgmental. I just express myself. In all the films I enjoy having a paranormal twist either directly or indirectly in the films. That's really where I'm coming from. The best descriptions of my films that I've heard from various reviewers, which I like to hear, are that they're genre-defying. It's not a love story. It's not a paranormal film. It's not a political film. It's a blend of all of them in a good, positive, entertaining way."
Breen fully recognizes that audiences may find some scenes humorous even though they weren't intended to be funny. But he says at the screenings he's attended, the crowd usually acknowledges the seriousness of the subject matter at some point.
"There are some films called classics that audiences go to literally laugh at," he says. "They want to see a flying saucer move across the screen and they want to see it dangle from a string. I understand that. That's not what I'm doing. The hardcore cult film aficionados of that genre look for goofy and funny things. People will laugh at parts of my film. I totally understand that. I didn't do it as a comedy or a satire. I've done all of my films as sincere filmmaking efforts. The audience gets quiet once they realize it isn't The Room."
And when it comes to figuring out the convoluted plot, Breen says he accepts the fact that interpretations of the film will vary.
"There isn't a right or wrong interpretation," he says. "If you put three people in the audience, you could have three different interpretations. One person could take it literally and one person could take it metaphorically and one person could take it a completely different way. I welcome that. I never write anything that is black and white."