An Almost Morbid Obsession
1428 Elm: Your acting resume is very diverse but you do quite a bit of work in horror. What is the allure of the genre for you?
Ted Raimi: Well, its really quite simple. I can never not think about dying. Horror movies, books, television and radio are really nothing more than a rehearsal for that moment that none of us want but is most certainly coming. You can feel, at least I do, more at ease to a tiny degree of relief after watching a horror movie.
I think to myself, “Well, seen that. So, let’s see another way I might die one day.” (Insert laughter). That’s the allure. You could say I am morbidly obsessed with death but yet quite positively thinking about ways to alleviate that fear. I think that is what horror is for me, anyway.
1428 Elm: As a child, were you scared of a lot of things?
Ted Raimi: Oh, yes, I was. I was scared of everything as a kid. First, I am the youngest of 5 kids but my nearest sibling is 6 years older than me. So, I grew up in a house with basically nobody in it. My mom and dad would work and I was alone a great deal. And my mind would wander a lot.
We lived in an old house in Detroit, Michigan that was noisy and creaky. It was a time when my imagination would run away with me. Also, as I got older by today’s standards, I was bullied badly but in those days it was normal. But still, I was always afraid of getting beaten up all the time, which I was.
Some kids start working out and learning how to box, other kids run and I would just sit and think about it. That didn’t save my goose at all in junior high and high school. I got whipped pretty good on a frequent level. You live in fear all the time.
If you’re a creative kid and your mind turns to the arts, you start thinking about horror. That’s how it began for me.
1428 Elm: Is there a chance that in the future on Route 666 you might have some guests join you to act out some of the tales?
Ted Raimi: I never thought of it but now that you mention it, I don’t see why not. That’s a terrific idea.
Lost Recordings, Doctor Strange 2 and Red Light
1428 Elm: When we interviewed Bruce Campbell, he told us about your comedy album with him, The Lost Recordings. Sean Connery, JFK and John “The Duke” Wayne make an appearance. What else can you tell us about it? After seeing Campbell’s faux audition tape on Twitter, we know he does Connery’s voice.
Ted Raimi: Oh, yeah. He did that one. Bruce is a cavalcade of voices. He could have, had he wanted to, made a fine living doing voiceovers for cartoons. He could have gone any number of acting ways.
He’s so good at it. We recorded a bunch of sketches over a period of 3 or 4 days. They were hellacious sessions because we would get into the recording booth at 8:30 in the morning and for four solid hours, we would just improv historical scenes.
It was actually Bruce’s idea. The concept was historical scenes that you have read about but there are no historical records of. So, for example, its true that John Wayne had a meeting with John F. Kennedy. He was invited to the White House, the movie The Comancheros was screened there for Kennedy and his staff sometime in the early 60’s.
Nobody knows what happened in that meeting. So, one of our sketches was well, let’s figure that out.
Then we went on to improv Jack Warner (the head of Warner Brothers) scouting a new location in the middle of the desert for his studio. This old Canadian Jewish guy meeting these country western guys out of California and what that must have been like in 1922.
Crazy scenes that you might imagine. We would do this day after day after day. We had like three dozen sketches that we will hopefully combine into one comedy album. There’s a lot of editing that needs to be done. It all depends on if we both have the time to see that through.
1428 Elm: Now, we have to ask this one for our readers. Since it is a tradition that you appear in your brother Sam’s films, is Doctor Strange 2 in your future?
Ted Raimi: Oh, right. You are the first one to ask me this. I have seen these blurbs all around the internet. The answer is, I honestly don’t know. I wish I could tell you yes or no. I don’t know if the studio wants me or doesn’t want me, I could not say. Its possible but I don’t know.
1428 Elm: Any future projects that you have in your pipeline that you want to plug?
Ted Raimi: I am gathering up momentum for Red Light which got put on hold because of the pandemic. It’s a horror film that I am starring in and co-producing with my good friend, Marco De Molina and directed by Alex Kahaum.
Basically, it is a good, solid movie about two brothers who decide to take revenge on these millennials. It’s sort of an intergenerational horror story. I don’t want to give any more away. That’s the essential gist of the picture. Once it’s made, I am dying to know what millennials say about it.
It’s not very flattering but that’s okay. Sometimes we need to be nudged this way or that way. We will see how this one goes. We just have to wait for things to start firing back up again.
Many thanks to Ted Raimi for taking the time to talk with us.
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Tune into Route 666 for the first episode on May 2. You can find Ted Raimi on Apple podcasts, Buzzsprout, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Overcast, Pocketcast, Castro, Castbox, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Deezer, Listen Notes and RSS Feed.
Will you be listening to Route 666 on May 2? What Ted Raimi project do you most want to see? Let us know in the comments.