Horror-on-Sea interview with House Shark writer-director Ron Bonk
House Shark (2017)
Director: Ron Bonk
Writer: Ron Bonk
Stars: Trey Harrison, Michael Merchant, Wes Reid, Wayne W. Johnson, Nathan Bonk
When he finds a shark that can travel on land residing in his home, an ex-cop enlists the help of a grizzled former real estate agent, and an eccentric “house shark” expert to kill the beast.
Date & Venue: Saturday 13th January 22:30pm
Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK
Following on from his throwback exploitation horror She Kills (2016) which played at Horror-on-Sea last year, writer-director Ron Bonk returns with his latest action horror-comedy House Shark. I got a chance to ask Ron Bonk a few questions about what we can expect from the film.
Q. House Shark is a new horror spoof which will be playing at Horror-on-Sea, what can we expect from the film?
Insanity… it starts crazy and just goes up from there. Jaws (1975) and shark-movie fans will enjoy all the jokes and homages.
Q. Shark films have gone through an unusual evolution in recent years, but where did you get the idea to bring it into the home?
I wanted to do a shark movie for years, was even trying to come up with an angle where I could shoot it on my usual budget level but still come up with something pretty effective. But then the idea to compact it down and take a comedic angle hit me. I could make MY shark movie, scratch that itch (for now), and do it in a b-movie style. I initially intended it to be more PG, but as it expanded and went through re-writes it resembled something closer to Blazing Saddles (1974)”.
Q. Jaws is acknowledged as one of its main influences, but where there any other films which inspired House Shark?
When Jaws became a hit, producers began looking at every possible animal out there to take their own angle on the idea. Movies like Grizzly (1976) and Piranha (1978) came out, and my movie is as much a love letter to Jaws as all the man vs. nature knock-offs it inspired back in the late 70s.
Q. Are there any elements of the finished film which are different to the original script?
Well the shark gag itself was much larger than expected, and it required some minor changes as far as blocking, movement and interactions with the characters. But by and large what I wrote out we were able to capture on film.
Q. You bring back some of the cast who you worked with previously on the exploitation film She Kills (2016). Did you write any of the characters based on the people who you wanted to bring in for the film?
Yes, 100%, the three leads were written for Wes, Trey and Michael, and I was on them to make sure that they committed to the movie. I knew they’d be magical together in a movie and they didn’t disappoint.
Q. What is one of your favourite scenes in the final film?
Hmm, I think the underwater scene, it was the most fun to shoot, and seems to consistently get the most laughs and reactions.
Q. You have your own production company SRS Cinemas which specialises in rare underground movies. How did the company come about?
I had always enjoyed playing out movie ideas with friends in the neighbourhood when I was growing up. In my late teens into college, I would write out short stories. Being a filmmaker was the dream, but I thought it was impractical. But thanks to consumer brand video camcorders I was able to enter the field through this new back door. And it’s allowed me to grow from there, as a filmmaker, testing ideas, trying different techniques and so forth. It’s sort of a trial by fire, this is my film school, but I learn a lot with each and every production.
Q. Do you have any other projects which you are working on?
I wrote and am producing Johnny Z right now, which is being directed by my producer Jonathan Straiton. I’ve written three new scripts, but not sure which will come next and too early to reveal any details. I’ve also pitched and idea to and will produce a new movie from Mark Polonia which will be revealed in early 2019.
Q. If someone is looking to write their own horror film, what advice would you give them to get started?
You really have to push through it. A lot of people, a LOT, have ideas, but writing them down and forming them into a script is the hard part – and so few will actually do that. Sit down, put on some music that inspires you, and just start writing those ideas out. Don’t worry about it being perfect immediately, don’t worry about the form, just get it all out of your head and on the page. Later you can organize it, put it in order, add to ideas, delete other ideas, and just keep plugging away. Before you know it, you’ll have an extended summary, and from there can form it into a script.
You can find out more about Ron Bonks films and SRC Cinema on the website: www.srscinema.com
You can find out more about the feature films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website.