Movie Review - Zerophilia (2005)

by Emily


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Tags: movies 1, tg 1, tgmovie 1, tgtransformation 1, MovieReview 1
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https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421090/

Country: United States

Language: English

Type of story: Sci-Fi gender transformation

Does it show the transformation? Yes

Sexuality: Sexuality changes with Gender

Nudity: Definitely

How I watched it: I rented it off Amazon Prime for $2.99 (Watch Here)

When I last watched it: December 10, 2022


My synopsis (spoiler-free):


Luke (Taylor Handley) is a virgin.  Well… he was during the first scene of the movie.  But after his first sexual encounter he starts to notice some changes in his body.  First he loses all of his chest hair, then he notices his member shrinking. Then he starts to grow female body parts when he gets turned on. This is a problem because he just met this beautiful girl, Michelle (Rebecca Mozo), and really wants to have a normal relationship with her. When his best friend Keenan (Dustin Seavey), contacts a Dr. Sydney Catchadourian (Gina Bellman) describing Luke’s symptoms, we learn that Luke’s a zerophiliac, or “Z” for short, and can change gender.  When Luke finally learns to transform all of the way he becomes Luca (Marieh Delfino).  But all Luke really wants is to stay male and date Michelle… or does he?


What is a zerophiliac? Dr. Catchadourian explains a zerophiliac has an extra chromosome called a Z chromosome. In real life an extra chromosome doesn’t cause spontaneous gender changes, but since this is sci-fi, we’ll allow it.


* * Spoilers ahead * *


The twist: Dr. Catchadourian has a nefarious plan.  She’s a “Z” too, and when two Z’s have sex, their gender changes, then locks, until the next time they have sex with a Z.  Apparently, Dr. C was a gay man who mistakenly thought he was trans.  He wasn’t, and came to resent being stuck as a woman. So she sees Luke as an opportunity for her to change back to a man - which will gender lock Luke into a woman - but she doesn’t tell him that.  Luke thinks he’s locking in as a man.  Meanwhile, Luke is struggling with the idea that he might subconsciously want to be a woman. At the same time, he’s dealing with trying to date Michelle while not pissing off her brother Max.  You see, Luke has an antagonistic relationship with Max, but when he’s Luca, she’s attracted to him. What Luke/Luca doesn’t realize is that Michelle and Max are the same person - they are a Z too! Too bad Luke doesn’t know that.


I figured out Max/Michelle was the same person midway through the movie. But it does make me wonder if Max/Michelle was able to tell Luke was a Z right off the bat. Max is totally checking out Luke when they first meet. Is there a Z-dar?


The transformation: At first, Luke’s transformation is a single body part every time he gets turned on.  When he falls asleep, his changes seem to revert. Eventually he goes all the way and becomes a woman head to toe. Unfortunately, the only morphing we see from Luke is his face.  We later get treated to the big reveal as Michelle morphs into Max in the shower.


Sexuality: Warning, this section may make your head explode. This movie makes the statement that sexuality is tied to an individual Z’s gender.  But rather it being heterosexual norms like many other mainstream TG movies, one of a Z’s genders can be gay too.  Luke is a straight guy, Luca is a straight girl.  But while female Syndey is a straight woman, Male Syndey is a gay man.  Presumably Max and Michelle are both straight.  (Although I can see a case for Luke and Max being bi.) In order to gender lock, two Zs who are attracted to each other have to have sex.  Which is why Dr. C as a straight woman has sex with Luke to gender lock, but gay male Dr. C cannot do the same with Luca. While I’m glad they made Male Sydney gay, I really wished gender change didn’t affect sexuality.  But the plot demanded that Luke/Luca ended up with Michelle/Max.


They don’t say the T word, but they talk around it.  They actually discuss Luke being trans.  The conversations skirt around using the word “transgender” but go through all of the motions of Luke wanting to be a woman, and this friends showing various degrees of support.


Random Notes:  


  • That opening scene… WTF? A car crash in the woods?  SO random.

  • Janine is a hottie, the movie teases that she could be bi, that’s all it is, a tease.  Too bad or I’d be shipping Luca and Janine.

  • What is Michelle/Max’s gig?  Max swindles the customer, and Michelle comes over to regain their trust?  Not a good business model.

  • On Luke’s second date with Michelle, he’s got game.  Not bad for a guy who was a virgin only a few days ago.

  • After Luca first appears Janine volunteers to have sex, but Luca turns her down.  Damn, Luca!

  • Luca is a guy's name.  It’s Italian for Luke.  I’m glad Max called them out on it.

  • Janine’s method to get Luca to transform is to give her visuals by describing a sexy scene and moaning - which turns on Keenan too.

  • When Luca transforms back to Luke, Janine goes, “You’re a screamer!” Awesome.  Again… I was shipping Luca and Janine.

  • But someone needs to tell Janine the Egg Prime Directive. She’s straight up gifts Luke a dress in broad daylight with his best friend there.  The heart is in the right place, though.

  • Luke throws the dress away… and promptly retrieves it.  Good girl.

  • Luca actually goes out of her way to see Max - and is wearing the dress Janine got her.  And they kiss.

  • During the ending sex montage, there are a few instances where it shows Luke and Max and then Luca and Michelle.  How in the world is that possible given the pre-established rules of gender-locking Dr. C laid down? See my questions for discussion below.


What I disliked about it? 

I really wished they showed Luke’s or Luca’s transformation.  He/She is the main character and thus the one the audience is going to identify with.  Don’t get me wrong - I loved Max/Michelle’s transformation.  


After Luca and Max kissed for the first time, I really wanted the movie to slow down and show them as a couple.  A montage of Luke and Michelle and Luca and Max dating would’ve really shown the differences of how they treated each other when they were a different gender. It would’ve given us more Luca learning who she is as a woman. If not that, then at least a scene before the end, showing Max and Luca hanging out with Keenan and Janine to see how the non-Z friends accept their new reality.


What I liked about it?  

This was very much up my alley.  It’s a bigender movie.  Luke/Luca exists as both genders and I can see myself in this movie.   It was a unique take on a gender transformation movie. I haven’t seen another one like it.  I do wish they spent more time with Luca and her adapting to being a woman.  Maybe Janine taking her under her wing.  It’s totally worth the watch.  It’s funny too! The one-liners are great, and the characters are for the most part likable.


Questions for my readers to ponder:

  • What gender do you think Max/Michelle was born as?

  • Do you think the ending montage was a subtle hint that the quartet (Max,Michelle,Luke,Luca) are all bi or do you think their love and acceptance transcends sexuality at that point? Presumably if one orgasms without the other, then they’re stuck, right?  Unless they’re bi, right?

  • What movie should I do next?

Discuss in the comments or on my Discord.


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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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danifish879

I remember finding Zerophilia clips when I was younger and was so intrigued. Definitely helped me realize I was trans looking back on how jealous I was of Luke ability to transform into Luca
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Elron

This is a fantastic review.
I've seen the movie a few times and never thought that much about it.
It's funny, it's interesting, it's a good idea for a plot. A third chromosome? I've heard of it, but never thought of the implications. Maybe an extra arm, ability to eat ghost peppers, who knows? Spontaneous gender changes were not on my list.

However, Emily digs deep to find the subplots and subtleties that make this movie so much more. Max and Michelle the same person? Wow! And so many Zs in the same area - Luke, Max, the doctor - does this take place in Chernobyl?

I like how Emily looks into the trans aspect of the Movie. Does Luke want to be male or female? He seems lucky, because he can be both. Of course he needs to be careful who he has sex with. He might get stuck in a form that is inconvenient, embarrassing, or totally unfit for his lifestyle. The thought of that possibility never really occurred to me.

Emily asks thought-provoking questions about the structure and pacing of the film. Too much attention was paid to certain elements, while things that could have and should have been explored in much greater detail were left unaddressed.

Emily's review is concise, moving, and well thought out. I am going to watch the movie again, but this time I will be looking behind the nudity, to see what the director and the writer was really trying to get across to the audience.  Thank you, Emily, for opening my eyes to all that this movie has to offer.

Can't wait to read your next review.
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danifish879

So thanks to this review, I watched Zerophilia over Christmas break with my brother. Definitely held up as a cool queer sci-fi cult classic and we had fun that night. Thanks Emily!
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Emily

Awesome! I'm glad this series leads to fun movie nights.
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