Interview with the Cast and Crew of Monster Force Zero

Today we welcome some very special guests: the cast and crew of Monster Force Zero. MF0 is new indie movie with a retro sci-fi story that’ll have you reminiscing about your favorites from the ’80s and ’90s. Best of all, MF0 features a team of cosplayers at the center of the plot. Knowing cosplay is a big part of the movie, we of course needed to get the scoop.

Monster Force Zero is available now on Amazon Prime and YouTube. The motion picture soundtrack is also available on Amazon in all its synthy greatness.

Keep reading for the influences of Monster Force Zero, and what challenges the crew faced when constructing their costumes and props.


What is Monster Force Zero?

Mike Pacitto (Exec. Producer, Writer):
First and foremost, it’s a love letter to creatives and home-gamers. Especially to those of us who keep trying to get our original work seen by the world, but struggle against the big corporate enterprises that dominate entertainment and otherwise find the hurdles to succeed in that realm so daunting.

It’s homage to pulp sci-fi, ancient aliens, B-superheroes, cons and nerd subculture.

It’s a bear hug to geeks, cultural outcasts and otherwise good folks who often feel like they’re on the outside of the cool club looking in.

Nathan Letteer (Director, Writer):
Monster Force Zero is so many things. It’s a cosplay movie, dripping in synth, with furries and aliens. It pays tribute to the B movies and sci-fi films from the 80s and 90s.

Shale LePage (Yetiboot):
It’s a fun soon to be cult classic that many generations to come will enjoy. It has action, it has romance, it has a Yeti, it has Furries, it has a stellar 80’s stylistic sound track, it has a guy from that wildly popular t.v. show based on space exploration, it has a WWF super star, it has, it has, it has…!!!

So, if you want to watch a film that is wildly entertaining and has a little of something for everyone, MF0 has it. Plus, it may be the only film I’ve seen that represents and shows the world of Comic Cons in such a loving and fun way.

Aeon Cruz (Ammorama):
A group of cosplayers with their own comic book that travels the country with the different comic cons selling their comic and trying to make a name for themselves. Then one day, at Galaxy Fest, life changes. They go into battle with another group of cosplayers and unknowingly help the battle for earth.

Heath Heine (Gunns Lazer):
It’s the greatest public service announcement to show that nerds no longer have to emulate bullies to get ahead.

Omid Harrison (Quiplash):
Monster Force Zero is about a team of cosplayers who try to promote and save their brand when they stumble upon a way to unlock their powers and go toe-to-toe against a rival team, the D.O.D (Destroyers of Destruction), in the scrimmage sanctum and end up saving the world.

MF0 Cast


What was the original inspiration for MF0?

Mike (Exec. Producer, Writer):
Sitting in the basement as a kid watching Ultraman, reading X-Men before anyone knew who X-Men was, playing Gamma World instead of D&D, heavy synths and laser beams, and basically everything our fellow weird, strange, wonderful, friends were into (but couldn’t tell you how many points were in a field goal … and didn’t care).

MF0 Poster 2


What are your chief cultural influences for MF0?

Mike (Exec. Producer, Writer):
80s Marvel and electronic music, Japanese sci-fi, ancient alien lore, early tech and gaming from the Commodore 64-era, etc.

Nathan (Director, Writer):
I was born in the 80s and was a teenager in the 90s. I grew up going to the video stores with my friends and family and checking out films like They Live, The Fifth Element and Total Recall. I wanted MF0 to look like a movie you could have easily rented at a Blockbuster in 1989.


Pat Tanaka

How did Garrett Wang (Star Trek: Voyager) and Patrick Tanaka (WWF/WCW) get involved in the project?

Mike (Exec. Producer, Writer):
Met Garrett at a local con (perfect) and he was game. Met Pat through a friend at a pro wrestling show and he was game. Pretty simple.


What was the creative process for coming up with the characters?

Mike (Exec. Producer, Writer):
A little bit of 420 from time to time (Colorado), endorphins, and revisiting the joyful process of creating characters in roleplaying and video-gaming over the years.

Nathan (Director, Writer):
Mike had the characters fully fleshed out. He handed us complete character sheets with various references for us to look at. The actors brought a lot of input too. Some even went as far as building their costumes.

MF0 Concept Art


Did the cast have any input on the design and direction of their cosplay personas?

Nathan (Director, Writer):
Yes, they did. In fact, a lot of them were very involved. What’s awesome about MF0 is that many of the actors actually cosplayed before joining the production and brought a lot of that experience to their character and costume.

Aeon (Ammorama):
Ammorama was originally drawn with her hair tied in a low pony tail. But inspiration came from Chun Li on Street Fighter for the buns and some strands of hair left down like ribbons and a Harley Quinn pigtail look turned into braids.

For the rest of the outfit, wardrobe gave me the silver pants, arm guards, bullet belt and the gloves. I cut the fingers out of the gloves. I had the strappy buckle body suit in my closet from a performance and that seemed perfect to fit with Ammo’s tough exterior and added a buckley faux leather corset. I ordered 2 pairs of the same strappy boots and used the straps from one pair to wrap around my bat.

I also used red and black gaff tape to decorate the handle of the bat and the top of it and on the bat holder and added red gaff tape to my gun holster, gloves, shoes, and on my corset to tie everything together. I also added glow in the dark earrings and leather buckle bracelets, which one had bullets to match with the belt.

Heath (Gunns Lazer):
When I was awarded the role of Jock/Nerd Douchebag/Dweeb bad boy Gunns Lazer; I thought to myself what mashup would bring this character into full effect?! Well, it came down to two blondes Flash Gordon and Duff Man. All I needed now was gold to locks (from a bottle) and remarkable voice, I thought the outfit would do the rest… And it did.

Omid (Quiplash):
Yes, I made a lot of my costume, based off of what I thought an Assassin’s Creed knockoff would look like. Some pieces were bought and made by independent artisans and others were stitched and made by me, especially from pieces I had collected over time for other projects that were never put to use.

Luckily, they all fit together to make a cool Assassin costume that I can wear to cosplay conventions. Some of the pieces were based off of real Middle Eastern tribal clothing, from my mother’s side of the family, that I had adapted to look like the video game character, but still be original and unique to me.

MF0 Art


Were there any interesting or unexpected challenges with fabricating the costumes and props?

Nathan (Director, Writer):
One that stands out in particular was one of the nights we filmed with Greg, who plays Squatch. Squatch has these giant shoulder pads, the kind worn by football players. Well, that night there was a miscommunication between me and wardrobe, and we didn’t have the pads.

So the crew and I jumped into action! We chopped up these padded floor tiles, the kind you see in a kid’s play area or a gym. We constructed replica shoulder pads using the floor tile and black duct tape. When you see the scene where Yetiboot faces off with Squatch, you can totally tell Squatch’s shoulder pads are completely different!

Yetiboot

Shale (Yetiboot):
As far as me having any input in fabricating my costume. Well, that’s an interesting story. When I was approached by Nate (writer, director, editor, friend). He had told me that the role he had for me was the Yetiboot character. When I asked him to explain said character, I was told that I would be a mask wearing, no dialogue having cosplayer.

At first, I was upset because I’m an actor and there’s a bit of narcissism in our DNA, as actors. We wanna be seen and heard for that big chance to be discovered and make it to the Oscar stage…I was also told I’d get a great costume. At that point I said yes, I’d do it, though I wasn’t super stoked about it, because again I wanna be seen and heard.

I told Nate that I wanted to get into character by becoming a cosplayer and putting together my character. So, through tons of time spent on the ol’ interweb and looking, I came up with what is now the world famous Yetiboot – now, one of my most favorite characters I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. He actually really became my favorite after going to a handful of cons and interacting with the attendees.

And my hope, after the masses see the little diamond in the rough, that maybe just maybe someone will wanna cosplay this big hairy lug. Also, it would be kinda cool to see Yetiboot plushies next Christmas right by the Baby Yoda toys.

Aeon (Ammorama):
It was challenging to move around with the leather corset on. It was quite restricting. It made the fight scenes difficult. And when we were filming in the woods at night, I was freezing my butt off.

Heath (Gunns Lazer):
The football gear fit so snug it kept creating a moose knuckle, we later added a cup for added character likeness and superiority. I learned from this set experience that when endowed always use a cup.

Omid (Quiplash):
No real challenges, just a lot of fun.


Any final message or shoutouts you’d like to share?

Nathan (Director, Writer):
The cast and the crew deserve so much praise for their time and effort. They showed up on nights, weekends and weekdays; rearranging their schedules and committed to over 6 months of shooting time. The energy on set was positive, and everyone continued to stay in touch and worked together on other film projects after MF0 wrapped. You couldn’t have asked for a better group.

Shale (Yetiboot):
I wanna give a big shout out to Frank Coffman, the creator of Yetiboot’s mask. Yes, that is a mask and not a really great make-up job. He also created the gloves that I now use, due to the ones that I had deteriorated and are no longer usable. He also made the gloves for Squatch. If you wanna cosplay Yetiboot, and get your very own mask and gloves, go to www.undeadmonsters.com.

Aeon (Ammorama):
It was a lot of fun to not only play Ammorama, but to help bring her to life with the costume. I only wish she could fly or have telekinesis too. Those are great super powers to have.

Omid (Quiplash):
Mostly a shoutout to Shale LePage for doing an incredible job putting his Yetiboot costume together and wearing it every chance he gets.

Heath (Gunns Lazer):
If you look closely you can see Gunns’ socks change throughout the film.

“I’d like to thank your momma, and my momma too.
If there were no mommas, none of us would be here.”
     -Gunns Lazer

Monster Force Zero

About the Author

Tom

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