Is it self defense if they’re running away?
In a quiet Georgia town, three teenagers are about to grow up really fast. Nito (Jose Angeles) is the new kid in town from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s pretty much left to raise himself as his father is basically not too thrilled he’s around. But things are looking up once he catches the eye of fellow high schooler Krista (Shirley Chen), an aspiring actress who has trouble discovering how angry she can get. After he comes to her rescue at a party, they start spending more time together, but only when Nito isn’t out being a teenage cliché with his neighbor.
The literal boy next door to Krista is her old friend, the adorable incel Adam (Will Madden), a 24-year-old sociopath who spends his time trying to become internet famous with his videos about guns. He learns the all too harsh truth about how people on the internet can be, and assures them that he is more than they perceive him to be. Everything turns when Nito is coerced into doing something he doesn’t want to do and ends with the community looking on as everyone loses something they love.
What could have been a deep dive into the psychology of a gun nut turns into a commentary of how the public sees gun violence. Our ‘hero’ is praised for his bravery only because no one know’s the truth and it is not until an actual investigation is done, that they are swiftly knocked off their pedestal and seen for the monsters they really are. The real hero of the film has to hope that her voice is loud enough for those in power to hear. Sadly, as we all know from recent events (in the USA), is that sometimes the villain wins.
There is some great editing and clever camera work thanks to the film being written and directed by Danny Madden (Will’s brother) and wonderfully acted by all. The film only scratches the surface of a deeper issue on how in the USA, a hero is measured by his actions and not the intent behind them. Violence is so ingrained in our culture that the shear fact of committing a triple homicide, with two people being minorities, is celebrated even without all the evidence. Only the public opinion matters, facts don’t.
Blue Finch Film Releasing presents BEAST BEAST on Digital Download 30 April
Review – Beast Beast
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), April 25, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 85 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Blue Finch Film Releasing release of a Vanishing Angle, Arsonist’s Films, Persona Entertainment production. Producers: Tara Ansley, Jim Cummings, Matt Miller, Benjamin Wiessner. Executive producers: Casey Bader, Alec Baldwin, Christine Caro, Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat, William Pisciotta, Matthew A. Stewart.
CREW: Director/writer: Danny Madden. Cinematography: Kristian Zuniga. Editing: David Brundige, Danny Madden, Pete Ohs.
CAST: Shirley Chen, Will Madden, Jose Angeles, Courtney Dietz, Daniel Rashid, Anissa Matlock, Stephen Ruffin, Chip Carriere, Kron Moore, Susan Gallagher.