Beast Mode: Yes, There's Such a Thing as a Splatter Comedy

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Beast Mode

Imagine a skin cream used by shamans in a remote jungle. It's derived from a rare flower, and it has miraculous healing properties for severe scarring. But there's a catch (of course there's a catch!) -- whatever you are in the inside, it brings to the outside at the stroke of midnight. If you are beautiful on the inside, you'll be beautiful on the outside.

But if you're a monster on the inside...

The cream is taken by force and, eventually, ends up in secret circles of Hollywood, coming to the attention of horror film producer Breen Nash (C. Thomas Howell). When Nash accidentally backs over his bad-boy leading man, Huckle Saxton (James Duval), he panics and hides the body. His primary fear is that the funding will be pulled from his newest film venture, BEAST MODE, and he tries to do a WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S with Huckle to put on a show for his primary backer, Pish Rudabaker (James Hong).

When Nash encounters a near-double of Huckle, he convinces the naive newcomer to take Huckle's place. The only problem is he has some facial scarring. And that's when the stories of the cream come to the surface, thanks to makeup expert Zelda Zine (Leslie Easterbrook), and everything starts to go off the rails.

Through various hijinks, the cream ends up in the hands -- and other body parts -- of a number of different people, all of whom turn into grotesque, angry creatures bent on evisceration and decapitation. Once Nash discovers this, he sends his assistant out to find a cure. But will it prove to be too late when Nash himself accidentally gets dabbed with the goop?

Featuring appearances from Robart Costanzo and Ray Wise, BEAST MODE revels in its goofiness, relying on campy overacting and jokes centered around farts and pot, even as it throws an arterial spray of blood and intestines all around the set. If you're looking for the typical slasher film, replete with tense scenes of stalking punctuated with spring-loaded cats, this isn't it. But if you go in knowing that it's a gore-porn sardonic look at Hollywood, you'll be in the right frame of mind to laugh along with the cast and crew.


3.0 / 5.0