A GREENOCK actor has been a surprise hit in a cult horror movie as his film career takes off.

Jim Sweeney, from Inverkip Road, plays an ex-army veteran called Mad Mac in black comedy Zombie Resurrection.

It’s just one of a variety of roles he landed during 2014 in film and on TV.

Jim said: “I’ve done six short films, four feature films and two TV pieces for BBC Comedy Unit, and the other is an American TV piece and voice-over work.

“I sent an audition tape and then I went down to see the director and he offered me the part.

“We spent three weeks filming it in Winchester and it was a great experience working with very talented directors Jake Harkins and Andy Phelps.

“It’s been the best year of my career so far.” The Zombie story is set 15 months after a deadly virus outbreak which leaves most of the population as the shuffling undead.

A group of survivors, including Mac, try to make their way to a safe location but they are forced to take refuge in a abandoned school – with surprising consequences.

One reviewer has heaped praise on the Greenockian’s performance, saying: “Jim Sweeney is the actor who steals the show with his no-nonsense, testosterone-fuelled Mac, who loved nothing more than getting his hands bloody, providing one of the coolest scenes of the movie.” The tongue-in-cheek monster flick is out now on DVD.

Jim also starred alongside actors such as Peter Mullan and Daniella Nardini in a forthcoming production of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic novel Sunset Song.

He said: “I play the teacher in Sunset Song, and that should be coming in time for the Toronto and Cannes film festivals “Peter was a lovely guy to work with and good fun to be around — a salt-of-the-earth type of guy.” The local thespian also clinched parts in Scottish period drama Fairy Flag, set in the Jacobite period, and American TV series Outlander.

Jim was formerly a singer in a band and he caught the acting bug late. He finally got the chance to follow his dreams when he lived in Florida.

He said: “I never really knew how to go about it then I bumped into a guy I knew and he told me about local acting classes. It’s a great escape for me.” This year looks just as busy for Jim, with a few roles already lined up, including a feature film from the makers of the Fairy Flag and American horror film Hillcorn Park, where he will play the leader of druid cult.