CERT: TBC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (US), TBC (UK)
Adam Singer, Aeon Cruz, and Dalena Nguyen are the cosplaying creators of a comic book, who accept an invitation for a costume battle that turns into something much bigger in Monster Force Zero, the debut feature from award-winning short director Nathan Letteer. Featuring turns from former WWF and WCW wrestler Pat Tanaka as a wise, old janitor, and Star Trek: Voyager’s Garrett Wang as himself, Monster Force Zero is a light-hearted genre romp, which spins out from the convention floor, through the sexy after party (as if!), and finally into a battle for the future of planet Earth.
Letteer clearly has an affection for the Comic Con culture, and the film never feels as though it is mean-spirited. Rather, these are real people having an adventure as a result of their hobby, and as much as the world might like to classify that hobby as geeky, the cosplayers and comic creators on show here are nothing to be laughed at, except when they want you to. Some of the cast are more polished than others, but this matches the lo-fi, 1980s aesthetic of the piece, like some last-minute grab from the convenience store VHS rental section that you can never remember the title of years later but that worked perfectly well at the time.
There’s a lot to like about Monster Force Zero, the debut feature from award-winning short director Nathan Letteer, and while it has its shortcomings, they’re easily overlooked because it’s obvious how much fun everyone is having making this film. Monster Force Zero is eighty-five minutes of silly fun, and there’s plenty of room for that in 2020.