Sam and Mattie Make a Zombie Movie

If my memory is correct, we were in full Covid lockdown when I saw a documentary arrive on video-on-demand (VOD).  Since I now had more time to watch movies, I decided to watch it and I’m glad I did because I loved it. 

The documentary is called Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie! Unbeknownst to me, a few years back these young men released a film called Spring Break Zombie Massacre! This doc was about how that movie came to be. I rented it on demand and was so impressed I purchased the DVD. 

It’s about two great friends, Sam Suchmann & Mattie Zufelt. They are hard-core horror fans and love movies (Mattie’s favorite film is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and it doesn’t get better than that for me).  Loving movies wasn’t enough, they dreamed of creating one of their own.  They were determined to make it a reality. The documentary follows them as these young men wrote the storyboard and script. Sam and Mattie were seen acting out the scenes in their backyards. Their families watched and encouraged them throughout the process. They decided to crowdsource and raised almost 70K! Lots of folks donated their time and service. Their parents and family were along for the dream – Sam’s brother Jesse happens to be a filmmaker and got a group of friends to help make this film. Jesse and his friends would drive back from NY to film over many weekends. Peter Farrelly (½ of the famous directing Farrelly Brothers) even got on board and helped them with the film. 

What makes their story so compelling is that Sam and Mattie are two young men with Down Syndrome. These two budding moviemakers never let their disabilities stop them, in fact, they have probably done more before they were 25 years old than most people would in their lifetime. Sam and Mattie have considerable courage, dedication, passion, and love and have made their dream a reality and a success.

Both Sam and Mattie are somewhat local celebrities in my state of Rhode Island. Now, RI is not known for a hotbed of filmmakers/actors, but we have a few to brag about: the Farrelly brothers, Richard Jenkins, James Woods, and especially Viola Davis (a small known fact is that we went to school together and our moms played bingo together every Friday night. I was fortunate to see her in many school plays).

Since Sam and Mattie are local, I messaged their Facebook page to ask if they would be giving autographs because I would love my DVD signed.  Chris, Mattie’s father, got back to me and said they would love to sign it. Fantastic!  I work at the zoo in RI and thought it would be an excellent place for us all to get together. It turns out Sam and Mattie love the zoo. 

On a Saturday, I met Mattie and his mom, Sam and his parents, older brother Jesse, and his young nephew and niece. I told them I was a huge fan and we hit it off right away. I gave them a private tour of the zoo grounds and arranged for them to talk with a zookeeper. The whole group enjoyed themselves, we talked about animals and movies and the guys told me they are working on a sequel! 

As our tour was ending Jesse gave me a swag bag with some amazing merchandise. I did not expect that, and it was a happy surprise. I received a signed mini poster, three shirts, a signed Blu-ray of the movie, and Sam & Mattie indulged me by signing my documentary DVD. We took advantage of the photo-op at the main entrance. I got three copies, one for Sam, one for Mattie, and one for me. It was a wonderful day and one I’m sure to remember for a long time.

Sam & Mattie Make A Zombie Movie (2020) – Documentary

Although this documentary came out a few years after the film, I watched the documentary first. This documentary runs 107 mins and right from the start we learn about Sam Suchmann & Mattie Zufelt. They are two childhood friends close to graduation and finally making good on their dream to create a zombie movie.

Sam’s older brother, Jesse, and his friend Robert Carnevale co-directed the documentary.  They and their college friends decided the best way to spend their weekends was to drive back to Rhode Island to film a horror movie for his brother and best friend. You can see right away this is a production of love and witness the joy and excitement of making a movie.  Local celebrities and Hollywood effects and makeup teams all joined this magical ride. The journey was not an easy one for Sam & Mattie nor for their family and friends. Sacrifices were made by all but in the end, their dream came to fruition. 

If you are reading this you must be a fan of horror films, I hope you also love indie horror films. This is a must-see. I rate it 8.5/10, there is no way you don’t walk away from this film without smiling.   


Spring Break Zombie Massacre (2016) – Indie Horror

After watching the documentary, I had to see their entire film but couldn’t find it anywhere. When I connected with Sam’s father Chris and made plans for a meeting. I hoped there was a chance they had a DVD or Blu-ray I could purchase (I was not disappointed).

Spring Break Zombie Massacre is an action-pack, bonkers zombie movie which runs 45 minutes. There was much action, some very good SFX, and too many laughs to count. You’ll have a tough time catching your breath and the laughs are almost nonstop. The film finds our two heroes getting ready for senior prom when zombies attack. From the moment the film starts to the “killer” action finale with over 70 gallons of fake blood, death, and lots of zombies filling the screen. You could not love these two writers/stars of this film anymore if they were your best friends!  

I have to give this film at least a 9/10!! This could possibly be the best indie double feature you can possibly watch this year! Use the link below to buy Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie (2020) and Spring Break Zombie Massacre (2016) and last I checked they are on VUDU and most VOD sites.  8/10

The documentary is for sale on Amazon. Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie: Sam Suchmann, Mattie Zufelt, Paul ‘Pauly D’ DelVecchio, Peter Farrelly, Mattie Zufelt, Sam Suchmann, Jesse Suchmann, Jesse Suchmann, Robert Carnevale, Jesse Suchmann, Robert Carnevale: Movies & TV

Spring break Zombie Massacre can be seen on VUDU, PLEX, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON PRIME, and Apple TV

Jason Schoolcraft


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.