Short Film Review: MR. SAM

MR. SAM is a stylish 29 minute short written and directed by Zeus Kontoyannis. The film follows Mr. Sam, who is a mortician, and a tutor to his young friend Sandra. Mr. Sam decides to tell his mother about his unusual romantic relationship—he’s in love with a man named Mr. Robertson. But there’s a catch. Mr. Robertson is a corpse. Afterwards, Sandra accidentally catches Mr. Sam in a hairy situation, which sets off a chain of crazy events.  

The film features Christopher Piccione (Daredevil), Catherine Ashome Bradley (Happy), Steve Blanchard (The Enemy Within), Matt Hopkins (The Misogynists), and Whitney Harris (YORT).

The film looks sleek and stylish; it’s professionally shot and often perfectly symmetrical, making it a pleasure to look at. My favorite part was Mr. Sam’s makeup. In his pale, smooth makeup and nicely pressed suit, he looks like a corpse. It’s a fantastic detail that adds to his depth as a character. There are other nice details too—Mr. Sam’s workspace is meticulously organized, showing that he is both obsessively clean and takes pride in his work.

Mr. Sam is not an easy character to portray, but Christopher Piccione slips into the role with ease. The other acting is a bit performative at times, but it somehow fits the quirky world of MR. SAM. The more we get to know about Mr. Sam, the more we realize why he loves corpses. It’s refreshing to see a character who is so off the wall become subtly humanized. Cathy Finlay gives an over-the-top performance as Mr. Sam’s mother, and Steve Blanchard is great in his brief role as Mr. Sam’s Papa.

MR. SAM is a wonderfully charming, dark, weird drama. It deserves praise for serving up a wacky premise and following through with wild results.  

Remy Millisky
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