Look Back: 2017 Victoria Japanese Cultural Fair

22 Oct

sillyjames.jpgBy James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

If there is at least one thing I have in common with author Nancy Singleton Hachisu, 7th dan kyoshi of Kendo Alexander C. Bennett and media mogul Dave Spector, it is sharing their love of all things Japanese. One could call us Japanophiles. But in the end, we all can manage to hold independent critical thoughts on issues pertaining to the country we love.

At Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s Japanese Cultural Fair, someone can become a Japanophile very quickly in the space of a single day. This annual event has been hosted for some time now by the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, a fitting place for any festival or convention starting out. But from what I have seen, this centre may have issues with crowd control in the future because of the large the number of attendees I saw come through.

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“It’s Very Deep & Groovy” When Launch Pad Theatre Dances to E.A. Poe’s Red Death

20 Oct

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Show times:
October 20, 21, 27, 28 at 7:00pm and 9:00pm
October 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 at 8:00pm

Tickets available via www.thecastle.ca or call 250-592-5323 to book.
This show will also return for 2018 during the same month. Interested? Consider making a trip to Victoria, BC to experience Halloween 2018 like never before.

Launch Pad Theatre‘s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe‘s best known stories into one work is not wrapped under the masque of, but with the approach of the Red Death. This seminal work is also the title of this production. It acts as a container for other narratives as audiences are treated to a partial tour of the historic Craigdarroch Castle located in Victoria, BC. A few new areas are used so the hosts of this gathering — Prospero (David Radford), Virginia (Christina Patterson), Christopher (Jared Gowen), Elizabeth (Diana Nielsen) and Vincent (Trevor Hinton) — can divert everyone from the chaos outside. Instead of the gothic, this take is set in the 70’s at the height of the disco craze.

Life in this palace is pretty groovy. Prospero tells us why we have all gathered and to prevent discord from happening, folks are broken up into smaller groups so the party can continue in other chambers. Here and away from their leader’s prying ears, personal stories are shared and they are from the master of the macabre’s library of works. Three out of the eight tales will get heard in one night. As for which of them will be known depends on the colour-coded key folks get to choose before the start of the show.

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Full Moon Musings on Puppet Master: Axis Termination, Legacy & Laserblast

18 Oct

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By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Hardcore fans are most likely hoping Charles Band’s latest film, Puppet Master: Axis Termination is not spelling out the end of his franchise. This subset of movies brings the pulp-era adventures to completion, perhaps leading into the first movie of the series. There can be more made, as there’s an approximate gap of 40 something years before Puppet Master (it takes place 1989 while the Axis films are during WWII), as the little ones need to find their way home to Bodega Bay Inn. Only time will tell if this producer/director will feel inclined to make more, or is cutting them loose for other filmmakers tell their tale.

With this film, Blade and gang are trading masters yet again. Danny and his girlfriend are not at the helm. Instead, the nefarious Dr. Ivan (George Appleby) gets to be in charge. He needs the boys to help thwart the plans of Gerde Ernst (Tonya Kay) and Krabke (Kevin Scott Allen). These Nazi antagonists have a foothold in Southern California and the war this group of Allies and Nazis are waging is an occult one. Their mission is to discover the key to reanimation. To create a new tiny sized army is the goal, but can either do it?

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Crowdfunding a Stay at Twilight Hotel, the Comic Book

16 Oct

TWILIGHT HOTEL PAGE COVER.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I loved riding the Tower of Terror many years back at Disneyland’s California Adventure and always adored the story developed for it. Sadly, that closed down earlier this year and thankfully, the other parks with this attraction are unaffected. However, I often wondered if there would ever be another product that would “borrow” upon this experience. Whether that’s with a new ride, comic book or a movie, perhaps a brand new take on this trope is what’s needed. I’m fairly certain this idea is not what creators Ra X, Michael Aryn, Darrell Smith and Shawn Smith had in mind, but I can dream. After all, isn’t that where some of the best nightmares come from?

Their product, Twilight Hotel, is a four issue comic book anthology which will eventually get a theatrical treatment. This team is seeking crowdfunding to increase the print run of issue one and finish the next. They also have high hopes to get it realized into cinema and I suspect, also gauge how much interest there is for their concept.

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