Revenge of Zoe

Back in the spring of 2018, I was asked to drop by a Tucson comic shop for a brief walk-on appearance as one of the customers in a film called Revenge of Zoe. The film actually debuted at the TusCon science fiction convention in November 2018, but as with many small indie films, it then went onto the festival circuit. As it turns out, it won the Grand Prize for best Science Fiction Feature at one of those festivals, the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas. At last, the film is now available for anyone to view.

Revenge of Zoe Lobby Card

The premise of the movie is that two years ago, screenwriter Billy Shaw wrote a blockbuster superhero movie about the golden age classic comic book heroine “Fren-Zee”, aka “Zoe Muldoom Zephyr.” However, Billy couldn’t have done it without the help of nerdy comic book store owners Pete Raynoso and John Burns. But Billy got a little too full of himself and publicly took all the credit for the film.

Now, Billy is friendless, drug addicted, and broke. He’s also convinced that he’s being haunted by the ghosts of Fren-Zee’s creator Nick Levine and, more impossibly, by Fren-Zee herself. After losing his last valuable possession in a drunken poker game, Billy gets a miraculous phone call from his agent with an offer to write the sequel to “Fren-Zee” for a huge payday.

But first he must find a way to mend his relationship with Pete and John and get them to help him write the screenplay. Then, maybe the ghosts of Nick Levine and Fren-Zee will leave him alone.

Revenge of Zoe is a hilarious feel-good comedy feature film about a bunch of dysfunctional people who make their living in the world of fan culture. Shot largely in  real life, functioning comic book and game stores, Revenge of Zoe is about creativity, acceptance,  friendship and everything that makes fan culture awesome.

​The film features a terrific cast of skilled and likable comedic actors, and includes industry cameos from comic book creators, authors, at least one science celebrity and an amazing soundtrack contributed by some popular indie rock bands.

As with many people, I have long been fascinated with the process of television and film production. Back in 1989, I worked as an extra on the television series, Unsolved Mysteries. So, it was fun to return to another film set and this time actually have a real speaking part. As I say, my part was brief, but it still earned me a listing in the opening credits. Here we see me carrying my purchase to the counter just before my big moment.

In the foreground, you see Nathan Campbell as Pete, Eric Schumacher as John, and Michael Guyll as Owen sharing a group hug. Clearly I’m not sure what to make of all this. One thing that made this day memorable was meeting Robert Francis and his wife Elisa Costa-Francis who, a few months after this was filmed, would be on the production team for the cinematic trailer we filmed for The Astronomer’s Crypt.

As I said at the outset, the movie is now available for anyone to stream and it’s absolutely free to watch at:

Be sure to check it out!

5 comments on “Revenge of Zoe

  1. Congrats on the film–I’ll want to check it out. The title *Revenge of Zoe* sounds very familiar to me, but I honestly don’t know where I heard of it.

    I never did understand taking credit for someone else’s work–at least while they were still living. I can sort of understand someone taking credit for a dead person’s work because the deceased won’t be around to contradict their claim, and won’t be available for future collaboration. But, as apparently happens in this film, taking credit for a living person’s work is virtually shooting yourself in the foot.

    On a related note, there’s some serious suspicion Clement Clarke Moore didn’t write “A Visit from St. Nicolas” aka “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem was published anonymously, and Moore didn’t claim authorship until the people who could verify the author were all dead….

    Come to think of it, the author of “A Visit from St. Nicolas” was me. Can I still get royalties?

    • Thank you. The movie was actually released in 2018 and I’ve mentioned it here on the blog a couple of times, so it’s always possible you heard it mentioned here. If not here, if you follow news of any film festivals, it may have been on a list.

      Fortunately, no one has ever tried to plagiarize me (that I know of…), but I have had instances where bosses have taken credit for things I designed and built in my more engineering-focused day job. So I’ve experienced a variation on the theme and can relate to it. Of course, it’s a hard thing to combat when its your boss who takes the credit — but I can see how the power dynamic could be similar to a writer who’s on the inner circle of a film studio working with writers on the “outside.”

      Interesting, if true, that Clement Clarke Moore didn’t actually write “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Alas, I believe you allowed the poem to slip into the public domain, so getting royalties isn’t on the table. Still, being in the public domain, you can publish a copy and make money that way! 🙂

      • Yeah, I probably did see the movie mentioned here. It sounds like fun.

        Sorry you had bosses taking credit for your work. I don’t understand that either. If I were the head of a large company, I’d look for bosses under my employ who gave credit to their team, not to ones who took the credit themselves. That’s also a sign of a good military officer–one who gives credit to their underlings.

        Taking credit for underlings’ work is, to me, self-destructive–you’re going to loose loyalty, and your effectiveness as a boss is bound to drop, which is bad for your future as a boss.

  2. Sounds like a fun one!

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