Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The strangest romantic comedy of all-time?  Yeah, I don’t think I’d be going out on much of limb by proclaiming that.  Director Martin Curland’s debut film, ‘Zerophilia’ is STILL screwing with my head even though it’s been like three days since I’ve seen it.  The movie is just plain weird, but not in a psychedelic, visual type of way.  The presentation of the narrative is as straightforward as they come, Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back – more or less.  It’s the more or less thing that’s just… whoa.  I gotta hand it to the dude, as he’s taken the most tired, retreaded, nearly worthless genre in the history of movies and stood it on its’ head, managing to create a very memorable, very odd love story.


When we meet young college student Luke (Taylor Handley) he’s out in the middle of nowhere in the woods, in his tent reading a book.  He nearly gets run over by an out of control pickup with a camper, but he does manage to barely escape.  The unseen British female driver of the pickup is extremely apologetic, so much so that she offers to make  it up the Luke by offering him some sexual healing.  What normal twenty year old is going to turn something like that down?  Not the one I know.  Anyway, after that little sexual encounter some strange things start to happen to young Luke, particularly when he becomes aroused, such as the spouting of a healthy pair of tits and penis shrinkage.  Needless to say, this can cause one to become concerned but fortunately for Luke his roommate Keenan (Dustin Seavey) has forwarded these odd symptoms on to a lovely internet Doctor named Sydney (Gina Bellman) who drops in with the obvious diagnosis.  Luke is a Zerophiliac, a condition activated by that initial sexual encounter which turned on his rare Z chromosome.  This chromosome allows the bearer to become either completely male or completely female, with the change occurring after orgasm. 

Allrightythen.  This little situation is causing some problems as Luke has fallen for

pretty Michelle (Rebecca Mozo), but since he begins to turn into a female when he gets close to her and has to flee, this pretty much dooms the relationship.  Complicating matters are Michelle’s hunky but hostile brother Max (Kyle Shmid) who has the hots for Luke’s female self Luca (Marieh Delfino).  But we must not forget about Dr. Sydney floating around the background who seems to have some other motive going on that extends far beyond ‘helping’ Luke.  Oh what a tangled web we weave.


This was a very sweet little movie, which is saying something because generally I’m not one for romantic comedies.  Admittedly, as the movie started, I watched it with all the enthusiasm and fervor as I would watch any Rom-Com I have no interest in seeing, particularly one with young people in it, but Taylor Handley has an easy acting style which lends itself quite freely to this kind of work, and he does a fine job of reacting as you can only imagine one would react when they found out their penis is missing.  Overall the cast does a fine job in their respective roles in this little gender bending romantic comedy and quite honestly, I could find little fault with the film itself, and it was quite amusing watching Luke as Luca trying to figure out how in the hell manipulate whatever needs to be manipulated to achieve an orgasm as a woman and turn back into male.  I’ve often said that I were a woman for a day, the very first thing I’d do is play with myself.  The second thing would be hang out at the showers at the local U.  Don’t think I’d pick up some dude though.  That’s just too freaking weird.  Which is the same problem that Luke has as he is attracted to Michelle when he’s Luke, but he’s also attracted to Max when he’s Luca.


Then they throw in the twist, of course, which screws things up even more and when they resolve the whole issue, as has to happen in these kinds of movies it throws up a lot of issues that I must question post movie.  I’m not going to get into that though as this would be spoiler territory, but it is a strange situation, let me tell you.


‘Zerophilia’ was a lightweight, harmless little film which touches on the concepts of male / female relationships in a very unique way without getting in to heavy.  It could have gotten very serious if it so chose, but chose to skirt most of the heavier issues with light comedy and wit, and I didn’t mind that at all.  All in all, a good debut for director Martin Curland.

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