‘Sam & Mattie Make A Zombie Movie’ Documentary Centers On Filmmakers With Down Syndrome

April 5, 2021

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]


 
 
What do you get when two best friends with Down Syndrome rally their hometown of Providence to make their dreams of making a horror movie come true? You get the inspiring documentary Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie!
 
 

The two inspiring guys convinced Sam’s older brother Jesse and his band of filmmaking friends to join them in bringing their film to life. The only rule: the duo’s original artistic vision must remain intact. This meant Sam and Mattie would storyboard, script, produce, cast, and star in their dream project: 2016’s Spring Break Zombie Massacre.
 
 
This is just one of those magical stories,” says co-director and director of Spring Break Zombie Massacre, Bobby Carnevale. “We started out thinking we’d be filming their movie with iPhones and ketchup, but Sam and Mattie’s big dreams were infectious, so everyone offered to pitch in. The fact that we ended up with such an incredible film proves that when you bring the right people together, you can do anything.
 
 
I don’t think I’ve ever smiled more while watching a movie in my life,” says Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Farrelly (Green Book), who serves as executive producer. “Sam and Mattie are superstars!
 
 
The two filmmakers, Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt met at the Special Olympics and quickly formed an unbreakable bond fueled by their love of movies. Soon they were pitching ideas to all who would listen: a racy teen zombie flick they proudly proclaimed would be “the greatest movie ever,” exploding with sex, gore, and more over-the-top violence than you can shake a machete at.
 
 
They convinced Sam’s older brother Jesse and his band of filmmaking friends to join them in bringing their film to life. The only rule: the duo’s original artistic vision must remain intact. This meant Sam and Mattie would storyboard, script, produce, cast, and star in their dream project: Spring Break Zombie Massacre.
 
 
This is just one of those magical stories,” says co-director and director of Spring Break Zombie Massacre Bobby Carnevale. “We started out thinking we’d be filming their movie with iPhones and ketchup, but Sam and Mattie’s big dreams were infectious, so everyone offered to pitch in. The fact that we ended up with such an incredible film proves that when you bring the right people together, you can do anything.
 
 
With Jesse narrating the journey, Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie chronicles the unique and often emotional challenges of this independent film production and the unexpected triumphs along the way. Living the dream finds the team launching a successful Kickstarter campaign, attracting the attention of Farrelly, and landing television interviews all over the country, including a raucous guest spot on Conan. The documentary culminates in the ultimate payoff: presenting Spring Break Zombie Massacre to the world.
 
 
Proudly unconventional, totally honest, and a little punk rock, Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie spotlights an underdog story like no other. It shatters disability stereotypes and celebrates the creative power of neurodiversity. Ultimately, the film challenges viewers to reach for the stars themselves, echoing Sam and Mattie’s personal mantra: “Rock on, go wild!”
 
 
Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie is set to be released on Digital on April 6, 2021, from Gravitas Ventures. 
 

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