The Beta Test
The writer-director-star of offbeat US indie Thunder Road scores once again with his darkly funny satire set in the twilight world of Hollywood.
Co-writer, co-director, editor and star Jim Cummings plays Jordan Hines, a scuzzy Hollywood agent whose moral compass is always pointing south. In spite of this – or perhaps because of it – he is ruthlessly effective at his job. That’s the impression everyone gets. And in an age when the agent appears to be less essential than it once was, impressions are everything. So, he’s enticed when he receives an invite, by post, to a sexual tryst with a stranger. The promise is that the only limit to the encounter is his imagination. But once his desire has been fulfilled, Jordan finds nothing is enough. More to the point, desire is destroying his grip on reality and his life, once on the up-and-up, now appears on course for a nose-dive.
Drawing from the same well as The Player, Swimming with Sharks and Ivans xtc., but with a nastier bite, The Beta Test is yet another original film from Cummings (this time working with co-writer/director PJ McCabe).