The Beta Test Trailer: Jim Cummings Takes On Toxic Masculinity Again, This Time In Hollywood

Jim Cummings is about to trade the wolf men of Utah for the shark men of Tinseltown. In "The Beta Test," he portrays a Hollywood agent, a real "Swimming with the Sharks" type, who receives a letter in the mail inviting him to "an anonymous, no-strings-attached sexual encounter" with a secret admirer in a hotel room. He already has a fiancée, and naturally, he's expected to wear a blindfold for this encounter. I'm sure that will end well.

Cummings most recently wrote, directed, and starred in "The Wolf of Snow Hollow," in which he played an alcoholic cop who gets caught up in the mystery of a series of werewolf-like slayings in his small Utah town. The late Robert Forster appeared — in his final feature-film role — as the local sheriff and his character's father. Much of the film showcased a man behaving badly as the case started to unravel him, leaving the viewer to question, "Who's the real wolf?" in this oddball picture.

Before that, Cummings also wrote, directed, and starred as another cop in "Thunder Road," a dramedy based on his own short film, shot in one long take at a funeral for his character's mother. "Thunder Road" also explored toxic masculinity, and that thorny subject seems to be the muse that's currently driving Cummings. By the looks of it, he's returning to it again for "The Beta Test." You can see the trailer for the film below.

The Beta Test Trailer

In "The Beta Test," Cummings shares the writing, directing, and starring duties with PJ McCabe, whose character is also named PJ and who is the first face we see onscreen in the trailer above. Virginia Newcomb co-stars.

Here's the official synopsis for the movie via IFC Films:

A married Hollywood agent receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, murder and infidelity in this scintillating satire.

Written and directed by PJ McCabe and Jim Cummings, THE BETA TEST is a dark satire thriller of Hollywood power dynamics and the vast interconnectivity of digital culture today. This winding thriller displays the problematic nature of the entertainment industry and humanity's willingness to jeopardize our happiness in small and constant decisions. It asks the question "In the age of internet consumerism and digital tracking, does anyone truly have privacy? And can we ever truly rest without having all the answers?"

"The Beta Test" is coming to theaters and VOD platforms on November 5, 2021.