The Arrow interviews Ron Ford
Ron Ford has many titles. ACTOR: Camp Blood, Passion To Kill… WRITER: The Fear, Dead Time Tales (also directed)… and DIRECTOR: Witchcraft 11 (also wrote), Hollywood Mortuary (also wrote and starred). In a nutshell, the man loves the genre, the work and he can do everything. Ron took the time to spit a couple of words The Arrow’s way. Here they are...
1- What's your favorite horror movie?
It depends on what day you ask me. I like the old classics mostly, but love many modern horror films as well. List of favs would include KING KONG, FREAKS, THE INVISIBLE MAN, FRANKENSTEIN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, NOSFERATU, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, THE CAT PEOPLE, CURSE OF THE DEMON. Can't go wrong with any of those!
2- You're a jack-of-all-trades: Writer, director, actor, which one satisfies you the most and why?
Directing, because the director is the person who is mostly responsible for the final product. Directing a picture is nearly the best way to control the outcome of your vision. The best way is to also write and edit it. But I do side with the French in believing that the director is the primary author of a movie. He juggles and controls all the creative elements -- at least in an ideal situation.
3- What according to you are the main ingredients to a successful low budget horror film?
To not be boring, whatever that entails. There are many things that are compelling to watch and many things that aren't. Try to choose only compelling things. If you want to assure commercial success at a micro budget level, it's always best to include some nudity and gore. It makes your movie a LOT easier to sell. But hopefully these elements can be integrated into your movie without seeming forced merely for financial consideration.
4- Were you satisfied with the way your screenplay "The Fear" was adapted to the screen?
No, the script was re-written a lot and many pages were never filmed because the director was too slow. Many of the more intelligent story points were never filmed, and some that were filmed were not in the final cut for reason that I can't begin to fathom. I thought the story was confusing because of it, and also some really dumb things were added. But I thought the final result was fairly atmospheric and well-acted. It was kind of a unique horror movie, too. It certainly has its moments. I thought it was a masterpiece compared to the sequel (which I had no involvement with)!
Who were/are your inspirations in the horror field?
F. W. Murnau, Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, James Whale, Tod Browning, Jacques Toureur, Terence Fisher, David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese (a master at horror imagery!).
6- Any new projects coming up soon?
Nothing definite at the moment. But lots of maybes. Maybe a movie about a giant cockroach for Vista Street called DEADLY SCAVENGERS, and also maybe CLAIRE'S MOVIE, my serial killer project, for Combs International Productions. On the stage, it seems very likely that my play THE BARON & ME (a comedy based on Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi) is going to be produced in LA. And I am developing a one man show about Orson Welles for another theater. Not exactly horror, but another of my favorite artists.
7- Which one of your films are you the most proud of?
HOLLYWOOD MORTUARY is the most realized and personal of all my movies. I came out closest to what I set out to make. It makes me laugh every time I see it. I love the movie.
8- What's the biggest disappointment of your career?
I directed a nearly pornographic rip off of Terminator for Korean investors called TURBORATOR that was so vile and so dumb that I used a pseudonym for my director's credit. I did not write the incomprehensible script, and I did this job solely for the money and hated every second of making it. It is available in the USA from Vista Street in two radically different edits called RED LIGHT STALKER and A PASSION TO KILL. Neither one of them makes a lick of sense.
9- You're on a deserted island, you can bring one CD, one hot girl, one movie (there's a VCR there) and one bottle of booze...how would it turn out?
The CD would be Bob Dylan's BLOOD ON THE TRACKS. For the hot girl I have to pick my wife, or else my life will be worthless after this interview sees print. I wouldn't bother with the booze, and for the video... Tough question. Gotta go with CITIZEN KANE. That's the movie that keeps giving no matter how many times you see it. Sorry it wasn't a horror movie!
Citizen Kane is always a great choice in my book. Thanks a bundle Ron, don’t work too hard and come back anytime. If you guys don’t know the man’s work, I recommend you check out “Hollywood Mortuary” it’s a wonderful intro to one of the genre’s hardest working chaps.