Connect with us


Interview: Actor Munro Chambers on Horror at Sea Movie ‘Harpoon’

Munro Chambers is best known to genre audiences for his turn as The Kid in the fantastic Turbo Kid. The film which was a blood-splattered nostalgic eighties homage to films such as Mad Max took the genre world by storm and put Chambers on everyone’s radar. Last year he appeared in the very different Knuckleball, proving that he had a very dark side and this is something that he continues to further explore in Harpoon.

In Harpoon Chambers stars as Jonah, one of three friends whose simple afternoon at sea becomes something much more terrifying after a sinister sequence of events. Directed by Rob Grant the film traverses several genres and keeps the viewer on their toes. At it’s heart it’s a dark comedy with a unique brand of quirkiness, one that won’t quickly be forgotten. Fortunately, it’s now available digitally, the film premiering exclusively on Arrow Video’s Cult Film video-on-demand service the Arrow Video Channel, with a physical media release pencilled in for 2020. The Arrow Video Channel is now available to UK customers of Apple TV channels in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and selected Samsung smart TVs, in addition to Amazon Prime Video subscribers.

On the eve of the digital release we caught up with Munro to discuss the film, the importance of rehearsals, and the status of Turbo Kid 2.

You’ve worked with producer Mike Peterson before on Knuckleball, was it through him that you heard about the project?

Yeah, he sent me a script that was Rob Grant’s of course. Rob Grant and I had worked together on Knuckleball as well, but we had never really met because he was editing in Vancouver. He sent me the script and said look at the character Jonah, or I think at first Elias was the character’s original name. I read it and just loved the character. I thought the script was really interesting and unique. I love reading scripts like that, where it makes me think and it’s something I’ve never read before.

Jonah is a fairly complex character, all three of them are, I mean depending on the mood you’re in and how you watch it, any and all of them could be perceived as the hero, or the villain. What was it about Jonah that appealed to you?

You’re right on the money there with all three characters being the villain and the hero at any point. I think that’s what drew us all to it. It wasn’t just that every character was one dimensional. You’re not just stuck in a corner as the hero, the frail weak one, the really strong angry aggressive type. We all have a moment throughout the script / film to play with different emotions and different sides of our character. With Jonah I loved how he had this really sweeping arc. First he’s the character who just pities himself, and the world is against him, and he seems like the one whose most morally correct in that way. Then as it all unravels, you see there’s a lot more to him, there’s a lot more complexity to his psyche than meets the eye. To play with that, and to play with the whole reveal that you find later on in the film, was a lot of fun to play with.

You guys managed to do something that not many indies manage, you had time to rehearse before you started filming. What advantages does that give you as an actor?

It’s huge. Like you said, you never really get that. Just because usually for certain indie films there are a lot of locations, locations are switching, or there are a lot more characters. With this script that was in front of us, it was truly just a three act play in one location. The fact that we were given that gift of three days to hash out our emotional history, the beats that we wanted to play with, and just hit the arc points that we thought were going to be very dynamic for the reveal at the end, was a huge blessing. I think we all benefited from it, directionally, cinematically and just character wise for the three of us. Just to get to know each other and play with the different genres that we wanted to hit. We were very, very grateful that Mike Peterson and everyone on the production blessed us with that.

The film deals with a lot of nautical superstitions, would you say that you’re a superstitious person at all?

Yes and no. There’s never a superstition until you know about it. It’s one of those funny things where, before it entered your mind that it was a superstition you were doing, that your entire life and nothing ever happened. As soon as you knew about it then, ‘oh, these things happen’. I’m not very superstitious. I believe karma is a real thing, but then I also believe in if you do good things, good things will happen. But superstitious, not really.

I spoke to Rob and he said he wasn’t very superstitious until he got filming on the boat, and then suddenly he didn’t want to do anything to tempt fate…

Absolutely, we definitely stayed true to those. We never set sail with certain things on board. Especially because the boat was anchored when we were filming. I think when you know them, you don’t want to test them, but some of them are just ridiculous like the banana one. Other than that, it’s all up to you If you watch it and do your research, a lot of that is real. A lot of that is real superstitions that people believe and that over time people have grown to fear.

There are a few stunts within the film. Given the indie nature of the film, were you guys doing them yourselves, or did you have someone to step in?

No, we were doing our own stunts for this. We had a wonderful stunt coordinator whom worked with us also on Knuckleball. It was all very safe and very well orchestrated. That’s wonderful when you get to do that. You want to be able to do your own stunts as an actor I believe; some people don’t and that’s for their own personal reasons, but I feel like as much as you can, in a safe manner, do your own stunts, I feel like it’s better for the film. It’s part of the fun, the journey of stepping into a character and experiencing what they’re experiencing, again in a very safe manner. We had a lot of fun with that.

Do you have any ambitions to become the new Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves?

(Laughs) I would love to. I don’t know if I’d be able to scale down a huge building or something like that. That would get me shaking in my boots, but I’d love to do a film like that because it’s something that I’ve never done. Like I said, when I read something and it’s something I’ve never done, something that’s unique, I’ll jump for it. So if I ever get the chance to do an action film like that and do crazy stunts and go through training, martial arms, firearms training, would be wonderful. I’d accept that challenge 100%.

The fact that Tom Cruise broke his ankle and kept on going, that takes some commitment.

Absolutely, and that’s so severe. I think we’ve all, at some point or another, rolled an ankle or bashed your knees. You’ve had little bumps and bruises. Even in fight sequences when you’re doing fistfights, you’re going to get clipped. But the fact that he’s come out of this with ankles, ribs and crazy injuries, and keeps going, he’s just…some people call him insane, but he’s dedicated that’s for sure.

Harpoon arrives digitally in the UK just in time for Halloween. If people pick it for their Halloween film, what are they going to get from it that they might not get from some of the other offerings out there?

It’s just unique. It’s an isolated dark thriller comedy on a boat. I think you’re going to find complexity through the story-line that you don’t see anywhere else. There’s a little something there for everybody. It’s not just a straight thriller. It’s not a rom-com, it’s not a buddy-buddy story, but it has a little bit of that, of everything. I think we were successful in our execution to bleed them into each other without it getting too muddy. We’re really proud of it. Hopefully people watch it and pick that up as well. We really feel it’s something rather unique and a fun watch.

You mentioned earlier that Harpoon is very much a three act play. Is theatre something that you’d like to have a go at?

Absolutely. My entire career has been film and television, so theatre would be something new. I did a little bit of community theatre so that’s very low scale theatre, but I would love to give it a try. I’d have to be surrounded by some really great people just to show me the ropes and to guide me through it. I think the whole rehearsal process, from what I know about it, and just that journey of day in day out, I think it sounds wonderful working with that character for so long. It’s something I would definitely love to explore given the opportunity.

I’ve been looking through your IMDB page and your next film Entangled sounds very interesting, what can you tell us about that?

That one’s going to be fun. It’s myself Paloma Kwiatkowski, Sandra Mae Frank (whose done Broadway) and Rob Naylor. It’s about four Quantum Physicists who are trying to break through the Quantum realm. They do that successfully and there are consequences to that. It’s a sci-fi thriller, and I think it’s getting its North American premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in early December. It’s directed by Gaurav Seth, and produced by  Michelle Aseltine and Jason Ross Jallet who are phenomenal. It’s a wild ride again and I’m looking forwards to people seeing it. Hopefully people enjoy it. I think we’ve found a little corner that I think is interesting and made for a good story.

Now we can’t talk and not mention the elephant in the room – Turbo Kid 2. I believe it’s still in the script stage, but are you looking forwards to potentially stepping back into The Kid’s shoes again at some point?

(Laughs) Any chance to work with the RKSS, I’ll jump to it. Any information like that you’ll have to pry it out of them. All I know is that what I love about what they’re doing right now is they’re not rushing to get anything out. They want to make sure that if and when we do this, it’s going to be a script we’re really, really happy with, and it’s going to be a story that we feel will live up to the first one. There’s so many times where you have sequels and they fall flat, they never live up to the first. You want to make sure that the fans that liked it so much, that they would like the second one, that they feel fulfilled, and we feel fulfilled making it. But yeah, any chance to work with the RKSS, I’ll jump at it, and if we get to pursue it one more time, I would love it.

Speaking of Turbo Kid’s following, is it weird seeing people dressed-up as your character and having Turbo Kid tattoos on their bodies?

I had moments of that [dressing up] when I was on Degrassi. There were people dressing-up as Eli, but the wild one for me was the tattoos. I’ve never seen so many tattoos. I’ve heard of tales like that from other films, but seeing people having the Gnomestick on their forearm, or the Turbo Kid helmet, that was pretty wild and such a huge honour. That someone would want to permanently mark their skin with a film that we did. Even seeing figurines, I grew up with action figures of my own, so to see one like that was incredibly humbling and just insane to experience. It’s pretty cool when you see that stuff.

Harpoon is now available on the ARROW VIDEO CHANNEL (and also Amazon Prime and Apple TV) from 18thOctober.


Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


Latest Posts


More in Interviews