BEAST MODE (2020) Reviews and overview

‘Fame is a monster’

Beast Mode is a 2020 American comedy horror film about a Hollywood star who is dying so uses a herbal elixir that turns him into a shape-shifting creature.

Directed by Chris W. Freeman (616: Paranormal Incident) and Spain Willingham (First World Problems) from a screenplay co-written with Drew Fortune, the movie stars C. Thomas Howell, James Duval, Leslie Easterbrook (Devil’s Rejects), Carrie Finklea,  Robert Costanzo, James Hong, Tony Todd and Ray Wise.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“It’s amusing to watch, and Duval plays both parts well. But again, this is no stiff Hollywood biopic. This is, at heart, a gross-out comedy in the bones of a horror movie. And I thought it was pretty fun.” Comic Years

“Apparently it’s supposed to satirise Hollywood bad behaviour, but it’s fundamentally too tame for that, besides which it has nothing to say that we haven’t heard a thousand times before. With a couple of exceptions (Leslie Easterbrook acquits herself well and Ray Wise, in his one scene, is enjoyable as ever) the acting is atrocious. To be fair, it would take real talent to make anything out of the script…” Eye for Film

“The gory practical effects will further appeal to fans’ nostalgia. This is throwback horror-comedy done the right way. It is not exactly The Player, but it is amusing and Freeman & Willingham keep its feet firmly planted in genre ground. Enthusiastically recommended for horror viewers with a sense of humor…” J.B. Spins

” …this film leaned heavier in favour of situation comedy shunting the horror aspects aside for the most part. It felt like two different movies cut together rather than a cohesive whole. The cast are likeable however the film’s tone doesn’t quite hit the right note with the comedy likeable but never funny increasingly becoming rather one-note.” My Bloody Reviews

“The script is witty, with several one-liners landing exactly as they should, but some of these well-earned laughs are overshadowed slightly by a tendency to include intrusive sound effects that feel too juvenile to carry off. That said, the comic timing wins out with excellent performances and some excellent cameos from the likes of James Hong and Ray Wise. A mixed bag…” Scared Sheepless

” …a very entertaining blend of biting Hollywood satire and 1980s style monster movie with a certain comic book vibe to it. And while some of the comedy in the movie is too crude to hit its mark, overall it’s a really fun ride, carried by a solid ensemble led by a very likeable C. Thomas Howell and sparkled with many Hollywood veteran cameos, with some wonderful monster makeup and also gore where gore is due…” Search My Trash

Beast Mode isn’t as much a comedy about monsters in Hollywood as it is a comedy about Hollywood that has monsters in it. And as such, it is fairly funny as it lampoons the film industry and the quest for fame at all costs. And the climax is an inspired bit of lunacy that progresses from a publicity event turned Monster Mash, to a showdown between creatures that resembles pro wrestling gone berserk to a shot or fifty at police brutality.” Voices from the Balcony

“The horror side of the film is quite insane. It kicks in during the second half of the film and the FX are quite well done. The fact we see “cursed” make-up is quite something fresh for today’s era […] Beast Mode is a satire on Hollywood mixed in with the classic monster movie, all with great and at times funny performances from the veteran cast. This gives a new meaning to “the dark side of fame”. World Film Geek

Choice dialogue:

Trammel Steadfast: “Celebrity is a mask. It fattens the ego, eats the soul until one day you wake up and you can’t take it off.”


In the USA, Beast Mode was released on DVD and Digital on December 1st 2020 by Devilworks Pictures.

Cast and characters:

C. Thomas Howell … Breen Nash
James Hong … Pish Rudabaker
Ray Wise … Trammel Steadfast
Leslie Easterbrook … Zelda Zine
Robert Costanzo … Chrome Mangle
James Duval … Huckle Saxton
Daz Crawford … Scram
Suzanne Quast … Kira
Adam Zastrow … Officer Len Reynolds
Douglas Bennett … Ezequiel
Carrie Finklea … Muffy Meyers
Kristina Ho … Keemsee
Constance Brenneman … Ali Goldberg
David Castro … Uruguayan Guerilla
Isabella Cascarano … Mother Chic’ya
Thomas Downey … Tommy Noble
J.T. Jackson … Officer Burt Sanchez
Stephen Chang … Fearless Man
Aaron Scotti … Dustin Foxxx
Albert Minero Jr. … Boris Yelson (as Albert Minero)
Patricia Kalis … Mira
Melissa Ricci … Lydia
Teddy Margas … Finnegan Mutto
Sherry Edwards … Nectarine
Allana Matheis … Flex Dikko-Saxton
Teodor Falcon … Transylvanian Guy
Spain Willingham … Hampton Rust
Debra Terranova … Self
Vanessa Barco … Karla Kow
Steve Fix … Chauncey Peepers
Jacob Smyle … Diner Bartender
Riley Donovan … Son Chic’ya
Christian Dubey … Hans Goldberg
Big Mike Mitchell … Self
Robert Lutz … Doug
Luccia Rivera … Daughter Chic’ya

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