Spring Break Zombie Massacre (2016)

Spring Break Zombie Massacre
Director: Robert Carnevale
Writer: Sam Suchmann, Mattie Zufelt
Cast: Sam Suchmann, Mattie Zufelt, Madeline BrumbyAllison Maier, Johnny Collins, Paul ‘Pauly D’ DelVecchio
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Half-brothers Sam (Sam Suchmann) and Mattie (Mattie Zufelt) were born on the same day to different mothers. Their birth was marked by their huge powers – powers so great, the devil himself (Johnny Collins) came to claim them, but failed. 20 years later, Sam and Mattie are preparing to party through Spring Break when the devil shows up again with a horde of zombie minions to try once more to defeat the brothers.

Spring Break Zombie Massacre is a pure male wish-fulfillment fantasy made film, proving that men with Down syndrome have the same sexist fantasies as men without.

Look, I think it’s great that Suchmann and Zufelt got to make their film. As people with Down’s are shortchanged more often than not (though among people with disabilities they probably get the most room in the performing arts), that they designed their own film, got together a professional crew and kickstarter funding is a big, empowering thing and I don’t mean to belittle that at all. I especially liked that the supporting cast is also full of people with disabilities.

But the problem for me was that their empowerment came at the cost of women. Their mothers are immediately killed off, and the rest of the women in the film are objectified and serve only to prove the sexual prowess of the two guys, throwing themselves at their feet. That disabled people are often portrayed as asexual is certainly a problem, but disabled men participating in hegemonic masculinity cannot be the solution for that.

If we disregard the sexism, Spring Break Zombie Massacre is a fun film filled with fantastic ideas – starting with zombie demons. Their approach of “a little bit of everything” in the genre trope department results in a wild and eclectic mix of genre stuff that keeps hitting at a relentless pace. Coupled with the short runtime, the film practically flies by.

Spring Break Zombie Massacre is certainly a film worth seeing, and I do hope that we will get many more inclusive projects just as this. Just projects that don’t forget to include (disabled) women as much as disabled men.

Summarizing: Fun but not unproblematic.

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