Zom-com Bride of the Dead in the works

23 May, 2013 by Don Groves

Les Hill will play one of the leads and co-produce Bride of the Dead, an Australian zombie horror/romance/adventure/comedy.

The film will mark the feature writing and directing debut of Ryan Eckersley, who cut his teeth as a director on Neighbours and Big Brother. Eckersley has teamed up with executive producer Robert Lewis Galinsky and they are confident of raising the budget of $5-8 million from private investors. 


Set in a post-Apocalyptic world, the plot follows a woman named Samantha who gets engaged to her boyfriend Peter. During his buck’s party at a zombie strip club, Peter is bitten on the arm. He flees the city to protect Samantha and she hires Jack, who is struggling to let go of his past, to help find her fiancé before he becomes a zombie. Jack and his band of brothers are zombie hunters, employed by life insurance companies to find infected people, put them to rest and bring back their locating chip as proof they’re deceased.

Hill, whose credits include Underbelly, The Pacific, Rescue Special Ops and the upcoming Australian WW1 drama The 34th Battalion, will play Jack's right hand man Ralph. Eckersley worked with Hill on Candy for my Baby, a short film he directed for Tropfest in 2007.

Eckersley wrote the Bride of the Dead script in between shooting Big Brother in Queensland last year. “I have always loved zombie films and I set out to write a zombie film that I would want to see,” he told IF. “I also wanted to add in more drama than a typical slasher film. Most zombie films focus on the outbreak, where I wanted to focus on how society would recover after it, ie. insurance companies that still make you jump through hoops after a zombie Apocalypse.”

Searching for an Aussie producer who is versed in the horror genre, he found the US-born, Melbourne-based Galinsky on IMBD.com through the latter’s film Prey. Galinsky “has helped me take this from script to advanced development and in cast and investor discussions in a matter of months instead of years,” Ryan said.

Galinsky said he is confident of drawing on the pool of investors that financed Prey and is willing to commit funds to two of his other projects, Dust and Glory and Final Four. Simon West is set to direct Dust and Glory, a long-in-the works comedy action-adventure love story set during the RedEx Trials of the 1950s, after he finishes the Heat remake with Jason Statham. Galinsky is producing that film with Blue Star Entertainment’s William Sherak and Jason Shuman and with David Parker and Nadia Tass’ Cascade Pictures.

Galinsky is writing the screenplay of Final Four, based on the true story of Australian basketballers who played in the US college basketball league, and he’s working with NBA star Andrew Bogut and Bogut’s business partner Bruce Kaider at One Management Group.

Also on his slate is the Michael Hutchence biopic Two Worlds Colliding, adapted from the book Just A Man -The Real Michael Hutchence by the INXS front man’s sister Tina Hutchence and their mother Patricia Glassop. Dominic Cooper is in the frame to play Hutchence. 

He’s exec producing Nulla, a psychodrama from rookie screenwriter Gary O’Toole and producer Kaarina Lindell. The narrative follows an Australian soldier, an Iraq veteran, as he sets out to drive from Melbourne to Perth with a buddy, a US soldier. En route there’s a horrific accident. Fast & Furious’ Paul Walker is in talks to play the lead.