Review by Mark Schwab
November 3rd, 2015
In the spirit of ZEITGEIST - THE MOVIE and LOOSE CHANGE, we now have Neal Fox's "missing step in preserving our freedom" documentary, THE CONSPIRACY PROJECT. Both of the previous two online documentaries went viral on the internet, with millions of views and even multiple sequels - all of which I have viewed. I am not optimistic that THE CONSPIRACY PROJECT will garner the same amount of steam as "Zeitgeist" and "Loose Change" though.
I eat up conspiracy theories so I was very excited when the handsomely produced DVD (along with the soundtrack CD) arrived at Diamond in the Rough Film headquarters. I had not heard of this film although it is a 2015 release playing the film festival circuit so I could have missed it but I couldn't wait to see what composer and director Neal Fox had in store for my senses - hopefully he'd give me tons of anti-government meat to throw around with my friends over many drinks.
However, Fox's film proved to be very different. It isn't a traditional movie or documentary. It's more in line with Michael Nesmith's psychedelic film "Elephant Parts" but infused with conspiracy agitprop instead of visual zaniness. The film is wall to wall music - Neal Fox's original music - while ominous quotes flash across the screen, newspaper headlines are superimposed, and archival footage of government officials is shown. Frankly, it's a series of Neal Fox music videos.
But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. First of all, most of Fox's music is really good. His style is original, with catchy lyrics and some songs like "Fuck the Fed" and "He's Lying" certainly hit the mark of being hilarious political satire but also potent anti-establishment themes. Those two songs also feature clever "South Park" - style animation that skewers both the Political Left and Right extremely well and I smiled and giggled through my wincing.
But in the end, it just wasn't enough for me. TCP skims over too many of these huge issues with a lot of unsourced/undated quotes, recycled memes and out-of-context sound bites - none of it with any narration to drive home its points. I will admit that maybe Fox wasn't going for any of that and just wanted to do a Malcom McDowell/A Clockwork Orange visual assault. If so, then the editing and visuals are fairly strong (although the ending sequence of young people dancing on a parking garage roof could've been trimmed out) and should hold your attention along with the original soundtrack and the production values are good. This isn't a slapdash affair.
There are important questions to be asked and accounted for over subjects like 9/11, Too Big To Fail banks, sketchy international finance deals and obviously the current National Security sureveilance programs but you won't find anything to sink your logical teeth into here. Which is a problem, because If you are going to make big promises of "preserving our freedom" through your film in 2015, you have to deliver more than just music videos.