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.
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: https://tubitv.com/movies/578850/revenge-of-zoe
Be sure to check it out!