By Anita Baffoni WPRO News
Once a dream now becomes a reality as two lifelong friends who have down syndrome get to see their “Spring Break Zombie Massacre” film hit the big screen on Thursday. The film will premiere at Providence’s Columbus Theater at 7:30 P.M.
Rhode Islanders Sam Suchman and Mattie Zufelt, both 20-years-old, went viral after a Kickstarter for the film raised more than expected, upwards of $70,000, and people in the production industry volunteered their time and special effects equipment, some from New York.
Bobby Carnevale, a Rhode Island native who studied in New York, directed the film that was shot in the Ocean State.
“It really is a testament to these boys, how they are able to gather people from all walks of life to work on a project that might seem like, originally everyone was ‘oh, this cute zombie film’ then you watch the film and you’re like, ‘oh wait a minute!'” Carnevale said.
The story tells a tale of two friends who must save humanity after the devil shows up and ruins their prom night. Suchman and Zufelt get revenge at their Spring Break party to conquer the devil-zombies. As an extra in the movie last summer, I had a first hand look into the set where the spring break party happened.
“Both of them know that they want to be stars,” Carnevale said. “They kind of knew that from the beginning and you put the camera on them and they are ready to go and it is kind of a phenomenal thing to see.”
Many Rhode Islanders starred in the film as extras and Johnston’s own, Paul Delvecchio, also known as DJ Pauly D who starred on MTV’s Jersey Shore, is featured in the finale. Zufelt says Delvecchio is his hero.
The trailer was released this week and went viral in just 24-hours, according to the RI Film office. The film was invited into festivals in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
A behind-the-scenes documentary is being filmed of Suchman and Zufelt on their journey making the film and their experience watching it, in full, for the first time.
The two met while competing in the Special Olympics, and they wrote the script for the film years ago. Carnevale said they produced it exactly how Suchman and Zufelt wanted.
Tickets for Thursday’s event can be purchased at www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1198317 or at the door, on a first come first serve basis.