Neil Breen is a messianic being. Well, according to all of his films he is. If you’re a fan of so-bad-they’re-good movies like The Room, Birdemic: Shock & Terror or Trolls 2, then you need to check out Neil Breen. For those unaware (or uninitiated), this man has achieved the impossible: He makes disaster artist Tommy Wiseau seem like a Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan or Woody Allen in the making.
I hope to bring Breen himself to the attention of a much larger audience, as this man knows no rules when it comes to film and, in a way, his mannerisms are something to behold.
If there's one thing you can take away from watching a Neil Breen film (or just watching the highlights reel from one of his features), you can tell that Breen takes things seriously. He genuinely believes his films are great. Not once is there a knowing nod to the camera. This guy loves to blow his own trumpet and you almost have to admire his faith in his work. Although, it begs the question: Is it bad to laugh at someone's work when they're clearly putting all their time and money into it?
The answer: No. A Neil Breen film doesn't help itself. Everything — and I truly mean everything — about his films are funny, more than earning the title of so-bad-it's-good. However, you have to give it to Breen, he has stated in past interviews that he wants every ones of his sets to be professional as possible. I cannot accuse him of simply phoning it in behind the scenes.
When comparing any Breen feature to legendary disaster filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, the latter looks like an Oscar contender. With Wiseau's The Room, the soundtrack doesn't sound as cheap when compared to Breen's film. The cinematography and camerawork, limited and flat though it may be, still has a few points of interested scattered throughout. The Room does has a filmic feel to it despite its ineptitude and inconsistencies, and all of this becomes fully realised if you watch the following 3 masterclass movies from the messianic man himself Neil Breen.
1. Fateful Findings
No, that's not Mary Lynn Rajskub in the background there, though it'd be very interesting to see an actress of her talent appear in a film like this. Fateful Findings is the ultimate Breen feature — a drama/thriller involving copious amounts of laptops, hacking, suicide and magical powers.
Much like The Room, Fateful Findings packs dozens and dozens of hilarious and accidental one-liners, some of the worst yet most entertaining acting you're ever going to see. Of course, Breen himself is loving every minute of it as a man capable of pulling porn-star-level actresses.
2. I Am Here...Now
Here is another Breen film where he directs, stars, writes, produces and basically does everything. He also makes his character another godlike being who comes from heaven (I think), finds himself very disappointed in the human race, and sets out to change it. Cue the most obvious bad guys, a very amusing scene where some guy pushes over in someone in a wheelchair, and Breen hopelessly trying to bestow magic upon Earthlings in multiple low-angle shots that look up at him as he watches the disappointing human race. Copy and paste the same "filmmaking" techniques from Fateful Findings and you get this class drama.
3. Double Down
A brilliant loner takes control of the city and as he fights with his fits of overwhelming depression and obsessions with love and death. It’s clear in this film that Breen sees himself as the most skilled hacker with amazing powers. He has many medals and is great with a gun.
However, you can still expect to laugh at the film once again, particularly when Breen’s Aaron Brand throws himself to the ground and yells “I can’t do this! I can’t go on like this, I’m an American, I love this country!”
4. Pass Thru
Artificial intelligence from the future visits the Earth to kill all humans. This feels like I Am Here…Now again with artificial intelligence slapped onto the synopsis. It's alarming and worryingly clear that Breen, who clearly doesn’t understand the basic concept of filmmaking, also doesn’t understand romance or sex, as amply demonstrated here and across his features.
His films reach cringe-level peaks when Breen (who loves to be in the nude), pairs himself up with some attractive but bad actresses (who also get nude) just so Breen can stage some seriously unbelievable sexual encounters that seem conjured up by the mind of a 10-year old.
If you're looking for Tommy Wiseau quotes, then look no further than Breen, who cradles his friend in his arms and exclaims:
"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?" I can't help you out of this one Jim. Goodbye my friend."
If you want some of the worst acting to grace the screen, then Breen is your guy. Want awkward sexual encounters, or bad dialogue that makes Birdemic seem like a Coen Brothers piece? What about a series of films that defy the conventions of filmmaking? Breen is your guy. Here is a trailer to get your tastebuds tingling.
Which of Breen's films have you seen?