Have you ever heard a scary story, so terrifying that you wanted to jump out of your skin? Let’s up the ante…. have you ever heard a scary story while isolated miles away from help and you feel a paranormal presence has joined the party, and the lights just went out? Me neither, but it’s still early and one can hope. Most scary films originate from some exaggerated truths and folklore. There are some horror films designed to break records for the most screams, high blood pressure jumps, nightmares and now, Laughs mixed with screams! I’m referring to Puppet Killer, the horror story that brings back many of the anecdotes and one-liners from classic horror films we grew up watching.
Lisa Ovies directs this film and she doesn’t waste a drop of blood or a laugh in the pursuit of entertaining us. The cast is stellar and the real who’s who of British Columbia’s talent. Aleks Paunovic as Jamie (Van Helsing, Snowpiercer),
Lee Majdoub as Simon (Sonic the Hedgehog, The 100) Jett Klyne as young Jamie (Wanda Vision, Skyscraper, The Boy), Lisa Durupt as Jessie (Shall We Dance, Heartland), Richard Harmon as Rick (The 100, The Age of Adelaine, Continuum),
Gigi Saul Guerrero as Brooke (Super Monsters, Into the Dark, Marvel Super Hero Adventures). This film does not disappoint and you’ll want to watch it with a group of friends to catch all the Easter eggs Lisa Ovies has placed throughout this soon to be cult classic.
While celebrating Christmas at a cabin in the woods, a group of high school students are stalked by a psychotic killer obsessed with horror movie icons.
Richard Harmon lends his talents to this film as younger brother and stoner Rick. Richard is not one for small performances, having won Leo Awards for Van Helsing and The 100, as well as a CSA nomination for Best Supporting Actor, with a list of nominations as long as my arm. Richard knows his craft inside out and sideways. Although his family is also in the business, he’s quite proud of cutting his own path into the acting world and earning those accolades that come from long hours and dedication to character.
I had the very distinct pleasure of talking to the gifted actor about his fun over the top role in Puppet Killer. I got the impression that it was more fun than work, but they do say that, if you do what you love – you’ll never work a day in your life. Making a film with close friends sounds like a love fest to me, no matter how much blood gets spilled. Roll the tape!
HNMAG “Congratulations on this film, it looked like it was a lot of fun to make.”
RICHARD “It was a ton of fun to make – going out with your friends, in the cold covered in fake blood, there were knives, it was so much fun.”
HNMAG “I had heard that the cast were all friends. That’s rather unique.”
RICHARD “We pretty much were, I knew Aleks previously and most of them, but the main connection for me was Lee Majdoub. He sold me on the film, when he said – it’s a puppet murdering teens in the woods… and then he added – I was to play his 12 yr. old brother. Lee and I don’t look anything alike, so I said, ‘that’s a lifetime opportunity, get me in there’ (laughing).”
HNMAG “I thought it was a great film and I understand it was made over the Christmas holidays.”
RICHARD “It was, I literally had 2 ½ weeks off from shooting The 100, back then. They were crazy enough to somehow convince me to use my 1 break out of the year to shoot this movie with them over Christmas. I don’t regret it for a minute, it was a lot of fun!”
HNMAG “In this film, you play a pot smoking Highschool student?”
RICHARD “The story goes in a lot of directions, in terms of continuity as well. I was told I was playing a 12 – 13 yr. old, even though it was clear that I wasn’t – I had a beard. He’s even there at the Highschool, so I took that as a homage to those ‘80’s horror movies. Even some of the logic doesn’t make sense, nefarious to me as a horror fan.”
HNMAG “You die in this film from getting shot in the eye with an arrow. I never get many opportunities to talk to people that die in their films.”
RICHARD “I am your guy. I think I counted the other day and it was up to 18 or 19 times that I died. That was the first arrow to the eye. I’ve been hung, I’ve been lit on fire twice, I’ve been shot by a fire jet, I’ve been exploded, I’ve been sick, I’ve been an alcoholic that dies from abuse… twice.”
HNMAG “When you’re considering those final seconds of dying in a scene, do you always try to make it different than the last?”
RICHARD “Oh of course, but I think you just make it up in the moment, whatever feels natural in the moment. For this one, I was able to be a little more goofy. The title of the film kind of gives it away but it’s silly, it’s fun and it’s supposed to be a little over the top.”
HNMAG “Have you ever been isolated in a cabin for an extended period of time?”
RICHARD “I wouldn’t say that. I’ve had trips to cabins in woods, but that was by choice and for fun but never ended in someone getting murdered, but maybe just a few young people drinking. I think my experience in going to the woods is what they were looking for in Puppet Killer, but I actually got it.”
HNMAG “Have you ever been in a frantic situation, where you were terrified?”
RICHARD “I was walking to my friend’s house one time and this guy ran around to the side of the house as I was about to open the door. My friend had left the door unlocked for me and as I was going to let myself in, the guy frantically jumped out and asked if I could let him in. I looked down and the guy was in handcuffs and holding a shiv (handmade knife). I figured if I walked away, he would follow me instead of trying the door. I was wrong and as soon as I stepped away, he tried the door. He only got half way inside the door when instincts kicked in and I rushed him from behind. I grabbed him by the clothes, threw him onto the ground then slammed the door and locked it – as undercover cops ran out from the side of the house and arrested him. For the rest of the night, I was so amped.”
HNMAG “You’ve won multiple LEO Awards and been nominated multiple times – also for a CSA Award -Nominated for the film If I had Wings, your work on Van Helsing, The 100, the Age of Adelaine, Continuum and many more. What would you say has contributed to your success?”
RICHARD “I guess caring about it. My job is the one thing in my life that I really care about. I’m a very lazy person for the most part. I think when I was 15 yr.’s old, I came to realize that I loved it. I think with my parents and sister being in the film business before me, they were able to show me where that focus needed to go. Such as respecting people around you and not making it about you, and putting that respect out there while you’re at work. Hard work is important, respect is important and shutting your mouth when you’re on set is important. I thank them for teaching me the importance of that.”
HNMAG “I understand that your sister is in a few episodes of The 100 with you. That’s both remarkable and unique.”
RICHARD “By the end of it, she was probably in about 30 episodes. They didn’t even know she was my sister for the longest time, which was pretty cool.”
HNMAG “Your dad has had a successful career as an Assistant Director (AD) for over 30 yrs. Do you know how old he was when he started his film career?”
RICHARD “I think he’s been in the business over 40 yrs. He was a theatre actor back in the day. He then moved into 3rd AD in Toronto and kept working his way up. He’s a guy that’s worked his tail off in this business and I’m so happy and proud of him for his accomplishments.”
HNMAG “Considering your dad had been working on film sets for so long, did it make it more comfortable when you had to start working on a film set?”
RICHARD “It was a place that I knew I loved, of the few times I was able to visit the set. It felt like a special place I needed to be. I still feel that it’s my happy place but I still get uncomfortable and nervous on set and I hope those nerves never go away. When I’m on set, I feel very comfortable and it just feels right.”
HNMAG “Can I ask you what you’re working on next?”
RICHARD “I can’t tell you what I’m working on but I can tell you what I just finished. I just finished a horror movie called Margo. I think it’s going to be so much fun. It’s a send off to Evil Dead with a modern-day twist. It was made with a lot of talented people and when I read the script, it was the type of film I’d go to see on opening day.”
HNMAG “Would you say that you’re drawn to films that you’d go watch yourself?”
RICHARD “I think so. There’s certainly been a few, where I didn’t think it was for me, but I like that it’s for someone else. It doesn’t have to be for you – there’s a litany of people out there in the world and every single one of them deserves a film that resonates with them.”
HNMAG “How about 1 fun question before we wrap it up? If you could do 1 magic trick, what would it be?”
RICHARD “I’ll stay away from pulling rabbits or animals out of things. I don’t need PETA after my a$$. (Laughing) I think I’m going to go simple with this one and say – guess your card. However, this one time I saw this guy that got this woman to sign a five-dollar bill. He then cut open an orange and that exact five-dollar bill was inside with the signature. I’d like to be able to do that trick.”
Richard Harmon was born on August 18, 1991 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He is an actor and producer, known for The 100 (2014), I Still See You (2018) and The Age of Adaline (2015). He was a terrific guest and you will be seeing much more of Richard in the very near future, coming to a theatre near you!