Best friends' zombie movie gives audiences something to smile about

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- If you want know how to be a great skateboarder, Mattie Zufelt is not your man. Sam Suchmann won’t get you into the X Games either.

But if you want to know how to form a perfect friendship, these two young men from Rhode Island, both with Down syndrome, can tell you all you need to know.

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Mattie and Sam

CBS News

“I just care about Mattie. Mattie is basically everything I wish I was,” Sam said.

“To me, he’s like a brother, so he’s part of me,” Mattie said.

Sam and Mattie met about 10 years ago. They were in Special Olympics together and have been close ever since.

For the past few years, one of their favorite activities has been to pretend like they’re making a movie -- a zombie movie -- which their families, at first, didn’t give a second thought.

“It seemed like another phase, like any other phase,” said Sam’s brother Jesse. “But it just kept coming up, it kept coming up.”

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Sam’s notebook

CBS News

Jesse also noticed they were doing the same scenes over and over, so he did some prying. That’s how he found a notebook where Sam had storyboarded an entire feature-length film.

“I was like, ‘I can’t believe how good this is.’ And I think that was when I realized that they had put so much work and heart into this that it had to happen,” he said.

After raising $70,000 on Kickstarter, Sam and Mattie’s movie actually came to life, or death, as the case may be, with a New York premiere.

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Mattie and Sam at the New York premiere

CBS News

It’s called “Spring Break Zombie Massacre,” and Sam and Mattie wrote every word of dialogue.

A warning: It’s really gross in parts, terribly offensive in others and completely ludicrous throughout.

In other words, it’s destined to become a Halloween cult classic.

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“We got jetpacks!”

"Spring Break Zombie Massacre"

“I don’t do it for the fame. I do it because I love it,” Sam said. 

“I’m doing it for the money,” Mattie said.

Although they haven’t gotten rich off of the film so far, they are already working on a sequel.

“It’ll be based on a tragedy,” Sam said.

A tragedy worse than zombies taking over the whole world?

“Well, it’ll be uplifting.”

Genius has never been more genuine.

To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.