'Zerophilia'

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Zerophilia
Written and directed by Martin Curland
Opens October 13, Village East

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A case of provocative issues at the mercy of unskilled execution, Zerophilia is a psychological-horror comedy that pokes its toe into dangerous sexual waters but then scurries away. Virgin college student Luke (Taylor Handley) has recently enjoyed a passionate one-night stand, but since then he hasn't felt like himself—not to mention that his penis is shriveling and he's developing C-cup breasts. Even more troubling, this condition manifests itself most acutely when he's around his new girlfriend, Michelle (Rebecca Mozo). How can he keep dating her if his attraction might permanently turn him into a woman? As Luke struggles to combat this affliction, with the help of his close friends and an eccentric, libidinous doctor (Gina Bellman, vamping for all she's worth), Zerophilia positions itself as a campy satire on masculine stereotypes and gay panic. (One of the film's smarter jokes, left—like so many ideas here—uncultivated, is that because Luke is such a sweet, sensitive guy maybe he would make a better woman than man.) Writer- director Martin Curland teases us with his premise, even throwing in a potentially juicy twist when Michelle's hunky brother (Kyle Schmid) unknowingly falls for Luke's female persona, which triggers unwanted urges in Luke as well. But the film quickly devolves into plot contrivances, on-the-nose dialogue, and witless humor of the "Dude, my best friend has boobs!" variety. Zerophilia can't decide if it's supposed to be silly or sincere or outrageous and therefore is none of the above.

 
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