Oz director-scribe

Australian film and TV writer-director Colin Eggleston, best known for his supernatural thriller “Long Weekend” (1978) died in Geneva Aug. 10 of undisclosed causes. He was 61.

Melbourne native rose to prominence in the industry as a writer-director for leading TV shingle Crawford Prods., starting with the popular series “Homicide” in 1964. He later assumed writer-director chores on subsequent Crawford series, including “Division 4″ (1969), “The Long Arm” (1970) and “Matlock Police” (1971).

He segued to feature film direction in 1977 when he helmed the softcore pic “Fantasm Comes Again” using the pseudonym of Eric Ram. “Long Weekend,” which quickly became a cult success, was his second feature, and it was followed by “Innocent Prey” (1983), which was partly filmed in the U.S. and featured Martin Balsam.

In 1985, Eggleston directed “Sky Pirates,” an Aussie attempt at an Indiana Jones-type adventure, which was given a major launch but which quickly tanked at the box office. His other credits include the low-budget “Cassandra” and “Outback Vampires,” both 1987.

Eggleston had been living in Europe for several years. He was married at lest twice and had three children by the first marriage.

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