I had the pleasure of chatting up the talented voice actor Steve Rimpici this week. Steve has voiced over 100 characters in the film, television, video game and book world, including Dr. Wolfgang Wagner in “The Pupper Monster Massacre” and the audiobook version of the horror book success “Braineater Jones.” Keep reading to find out more about Steve and jump into his wonderful world of voice acting!
HMS: Steve, thanks for answering our questions at Horror Metal Sounds! We are excited to have you as a guest! I’m also excited to confuse myself with another Steve/Stevie conundrum!
SR: Thank you for having me! I find it better to deal with other Steve’s so that in case there’s a problem, you never know who gets the blame.
HMS: I’ve never looked at it that way…I think that’s gonna be my new thing! So, first, let’s start off by talking about your work in voice acting! What got you into the business?
SR: Well, my first career was in technology sales so I did a lot of presentations and public speaking at conventions. In my spare time I volunteered to be the announcer at my daughter’s competitive gymnastics events. (Let’s get ready to tuummmmmbbbblllleeeeeee!!!!) Over time I had more and more people tell me I should really make a career of this, so eventually I took their advice. I really enjoy the work. It’s always changing.
HMS: What’s the creative process like for you when you have to “get into character” for a voice over?
SR: Excellent question and it’s different for most voice actors. Typically when I start reading a script, I’ll hear a voice in my head and I usually end up going with my first instincts on things. If there is a character breakdown, or even better, a picture, that helps to shape the voice correctly. Some authors, like the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler (Mr. Kozeniewski of Braineater Jones fame), wrote descriptions for almost every character (Alcibe is Honduran, the old cemetery guy is Italian, etc.) so helps me match my voice to the author’s vision. Once I’ve settled on a voice, the rest comes down to acting to bring the character to life.
HMS: To your credit you’ve got a few great horror titles such as “The Pupper Monster Massacre”, “Easter Casket” and you’ve done the intro to the twisted short, “Dots”. Tell us a little bit about what it was like working on these projects. Which one is your favorite?
SR: These three films come from two extremely talented but very different directors. John Zhao’s “Dots” is a serious (and seriously disturbing) film about women slaughtering men for fun and profit. John’s done a number of other films and “Dots” was a big departure for him. “Puppet Monster Massacre” and “Easter Casket” are both by Dustin Wayde Mills. If you haven’t heard of him, you will at some point. He’s built up quite a fan base in the indie horror film community. In “Easter Casket” (a live action film about a killer Easter Bunny), I was the voice of the Mega-Pope (think the Wizard from the Wizard of Oz, on crack). “Puppet Monster Massacre” was a starring role for me as the voice of the evil ex-Nazi scientist, Dr. Wolfgang Wagner, who creates a monster to eat teenagers. The movie is just as the title promises - a horror film completely comprised of puppets getting into all kinds of naughty fun. I enjoy doing accents and German is always a blast for me to do. PMM is definitely my favorite.
HMS: From what I understand, you’ve done quite a bit of Edgar Allen Poe voice overs for Strobie Studios. Tell our readers about those “Horror of Poe” readings. Are you personally a Poe fan?
SR: Absolutely. Poe is able to paint such pictures with his words and convey such emotion, that you cannot help but get wrapped up in his stories. Each Halloween, Strobie Studios airs several Poe readings for all to enjoy and they allow me the freedom do things a little different from what’s expected. For instance, The Raven was read in a noir style of voice (very similar to Braineater Jones), The Tell-Tale Heart was told with a German accent, and others go from over-the-top characters to British to pseudo-Norwegian.
HMS: What would be your dream horror job in the voice over industry (be it a series, a video game, a movie)?
SR: My ultimate goal is to have my own action figure, so any project that gets me there is fine with me.
HMS: Let’s jump to the future and talk about a very exciting pending horror project. Our readers will remember a few weeks ago that I interviewed Steve Kozeniewski, talented horror author of “Braineater Jones” and “The Ghoul Archipelago”. How about you announce to our readers what you and the other Steve have got in the works!
SR: Yes indeed!! Steve K created a rich universe in Braineater Jones that it deserves much further exploration. We are working with a very talented animator, Zee Risek (Ugly Americans, Pig City and others), to create Braineater Jones, The Animated Series! It’s very exciting and we’ll definitely keep you updated on our progress!
HMS: Tell us a little bit about your ideas for bringing your character to life in “Braineater Jones, The Animated Series.”
SR: Using the audiobook as a blueprint, we’ve got a lot of the characters set up. There are 43 different characters that make an appearance in the book, each with their own voice and personality. It was great fun voicing them all and a cartoon series allows for even more interaction between them. Not to mention all the new character introductions we can make.
HMS: Is the zombie universe of “Braineater Jones” one that you’ve always wanted to dip your toes into? What are some of your favorite genres of horror?
SR: “Braineater Jones” is at its core, a noir detective story and that’s a genre (and time period) I love. The fact that he’s a zombie amps the fun up to 11. As far as horror, I’ve always been a fan and my tastes run the gamut from the smart sophistication of a Poe or Hitchcock to good old-fashioned slasher films to the varying takes on zombies. As long as the story is internally consistent, I’m in. Back when I was in high school (in the before time), I worked for Laurel Entertainment who produced Tales from the Darkside, and Creepshow. Each Friday they’d send me out for a magnum of champagne and 2 pounds of chocolate chip cookies and we’d screen the next episode of Tales from the Darkside. Since George Romero was one of the partners, Dawn of the Dead and all that movie begot, I had an early love of zombies.
HMS: Now THAT is an awesome high school job! But hey, speaking of zombies…it seems the dead have risen and the object to your left is your only weapon against the masses! Tell us what it is!
SR: A pen. FEAR ME! I am the post-apocalyptic Joe Pesci!
HMS: Let’s hope Joe Pesci survives the zombie apocalypse!! Thank you so much Steve! It was a pleasure to have you as a guest and I look forward to your future projects! Best of luck and I can’t wait for Braineater Jones the animated series!
SR: Thank you!
Fun Facts about Steve: Steve is a lifelong Star Trek fan, a member of Mensa and an amateur hypnotist. Steve enjoys helping aspiring filmmakers and authors bring their visions to life. Steve has donated his talent to a number of church and other non-profit projects and welcomes contact from organizations looking for some extra help.
Don’t forget to check out these great Steve Rimpici links!
Stevie Kopas, Managing Editor HMS
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