Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie Review: A Joyful And Bloody Journey For Two Amazing Friends

Sam Suchmann	...	Self Mattie Zufelt	Mattie Zufelt	...	Self Peter Farrelly	Peter Farrelly	...	Self Conan O'Brien	Conan O'Brien	...	Self Jesse Suchmann	Jesse Suchmann	...	Self Robert Carnevale	Robert Carnevale	...	Self Tyler Schnabel	Tyler Schnabel	...	Self Madeline Brumby	Madeline Brumby	...	Self

Release date: April 6, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed By: Jesse Suchmann, Robert Carnevale
Starring: Sam Suchmann, Mattie Zufelt, Peter Farrelly 

Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie is a feature-length documentary that follows Sam & Mattie, two best friends with Down syndrome, on an epic 10 year journey to storyboard, script, produce, cast, and star in their own dream movie -- "Spring Break Zombie Massacre." Their film, earned national attention from "Today,", Time, "Conan," "PBS News Hour," and many more when it was released in 2016.  The project highlights the process to get this film made and then also presents their film to the public in its entirety for the first time.

Suzy Beck	...	Self Heather Breen	Heather Breen	...	Self 'Puppet' Chris Brown	'Puppet' Chris Brown	...	Self Johnny Collins	Johnny Collins	...	Self Cheryl Daigle-Stein	Cheryl Daigle-Stein	...	Self Paul 'Pauly D' DelVecchio	Paul 'Pauly D' DelVecchio	...	Self Tim Forster	Tim Forster	...	Self Justine S. Harrison	Justine S. Harrison	...	Self Alex Hollock	Alex Hollock	...	Self Adam Johnson	Adam Johnson		 Alan Kudan	Alan Kudan	...	Self Allison Maier	Allison Maier	...	Self Shane Morton	Shane Morton	...	Self Dan Niebels	Dan Niebels	...	Self Mary Pendergast	Mary Pendergast	...	Self Sid Suchmann	Sid Suchmann	...	Self Carol Zufelt	Carol Zufelt	...	Self
This is a documentary about making this film, but it is really a documentary about these two people and their friendship.  The movie itself is the payoff, but the journey to get there is the meat of this documentary.  You get to see Sam and Mattie do what they love and see their unfettered joy at watching their vision come to life, or unlife.  The movie that they make is an encapsulation of their creative vision and interests, allowing them to star in their own amazing fantasy world.  Spring Break Zombie Massacre is a fully indulgent thing, but it is something that very few people ever get to do.  These two pursued their dream project and were able to fulfill it without compromising their creative endeavor.  And the actual creative process is fun to see, watching their vision go from ideas, to script, to storyboards, and then taking input from some very talented members of the movie industry.  

And after the initial primer on the film, we get to actually experience the movie.  The documentary cuts a few times during the film to give a little more insight into certain scenes and some of the backstory behind big moments.  But for the most part you get to watch Spring Break Zombie Massacre in all of its glory.  It is not a great film, but it definitely is a lot of fun.  And it is made that much more enjoyable after seeing the inspiration and creative process.  However, one warning is that there are some cheap flashing effects in some scenes that might cause a headache or worse.  If you are prone to seizures or light sensitive, beware.  But overall, you get to see their uncut creative vision.  And the movie has a really great soundtrack, such as the use of random metal music playing every time a demon shows up on screen.  Again, it is wonderful to see this creativity in full force.

But as fun as it was to see the final product, I also wish that there was more from the creative process.  The movie highlights a lot of what went into it, but it also doesn't showcase enough of the actual filming of the movie.  I would have liked to see more of the filming process and editing of the film, to really make it come full circle.  But again, although the film is the main end product of this documentary, the real payoff is seeing these two friends interact and their uncompromising creative process.  The joy that you get to experience through them is pure and wonderful to see on screen.  

Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie shows an unfiltered, uncompromising look at the creative process for a unique zombie movie, and the beautiful friendships behind it.

Watch it.

Directed by  Jesse Suchmann	 Robert Carnevale	...	(Bobby Carnevale)    Produced by  Robert Carnevale	...	producer Tim Forster	...	producer Jesse Suchmann	...	producerFilm Editing by  Tim Forster	Makeup Department  Shane Morton	...	special makeup effects artistSound Department  Alan Kudan	...	sound
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Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie is available digitally and on demand on April 6, 2021. 

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