Hundreds of Rambo fans sat out in the street to watch First Blood on a 40-foot screen.

REMEMBERING RAMBO: Hope residents, visitors celebrate 30 year anniversary

Visitors flocked to Hope on the weekend to help celebrate the filming of First Blood back in 1982.

Rambo fans arrived in Hope on the weekend to take part in the 30th anniversary celebration of the release of the film First Blood.

Filmed in Hope, the movie has become a cult classic and has inspired several sequels. To mark the anniversary, a walking tour of filming locations, an outdoor viewing of the film on a 40-foot screen and lots of other Rambo-themed events were held.

Dave Dunham travelled to Hope from Vancouver to take in the festivities. Dressed in the traditional Rambo costume, complete with headband, he calls himself a huge fan.

“I drove all the way out here just for this, I’ve lost sleep because of this event, that’s how excited I am. It’s all I could think about.

The 25-year-old Dunham said he fell in love with the film when he saw it as a youngster.

“It’s an instant classic.”

While Dunham made the trip from Vancouver, the distance pales in comparison to some other visitors.

Rambo-maniacs have travelled from all over the world to take in the event, including Japan, England and Austria.

“It was the first action film I ever saw,” explained Martin Krancinger who travelled from Austria to attend the weekend event.

He saw the film when he was 12 years old with his father, and has been hooked ever since.

“It’s my second time here,” he said, adding he was looking forward to the outdoor screening of the film.

Mark Madryga, a meteorologist on Global TV was also on hand, along with  his son.

“The setting here in Hope is the big draw for us. Just the history of this being such a big deal, the whole movie crew and Stallone, who was very big at the time having just done several Rockys, descending on Hope and all the footage of Hope in the movie.

“It’s just a neat thing that Hollywood came to town for a few months and shot a huge film,”

Actor Stephen Chang returned to Hope to help with the celebration.

An original member of the First Blood cast – he played the Vietnamese Commander – Chang was in Hope last year for the Kawkawa Bridge farewell party.

He said he enjoys meeting with fans and has always loved the area.

He also said stars like Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t come out to this kind of event because they like their privacy. Chang said you could offer Stallone $10 million and he probably wouldn’t come.

“So they are going to find a poor VC Commander which is myself,” he said with a laugh.

A resident of Vancouver, Chang said he has also brought some Chinese investors with him to investigate business opportunities in the area.

“I love Hope, because I had been teaching kung fu 35 years ago in Hope. I still have a couple of students here.”

He said he has a very sentimental feeling about the city.

“When I feel desperate, I come to Hope. Why? Because there’s hope,” he joked.

Brian McKinney, one of the organizers of the event said the weekend went like clockwork as 100s of fans took in the sights.

However, the beautiful sunshine was a bit of a downer.

“The true First Blood fans weren’t impressed with the weather,” said McKinney. “They like dreary, low clouds and misty depressing weather – the same weather that provided that dark and gloomy set for the movie.”

On Saturday night, when the movie was shown outdoors, an estimated crowd of between 600 to 1,000 watched at least part of the movie.

McKinney called it a night to remember, as audience members shouted out their favourite lines.

On Munday, the action shifted to Hell’s Gate where the annual Pumpkin drop – which was Rambo-themed this year – attracted 700 pumpkin tossers, many in costume. Even the Sasquatch came dressed as Rambo.

After the event, an exhausted McKinney said fans were asking if a 35th anniversary was in the works? A question, he said, he’ll answer after he gets some much-needed sleep.

 

 

Just Posted

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

Chilliwack parent urges fellow dog owners to keep Fido off school grounds

Risks of harmful encounters between kids on and dogs are too high, says Chilliwack mom

Coquihalla closed southbound near Hope

DriveBC suggests detouring via Highway 1

It’s a snow day for the Fraser Cascade school district

School District 78 has closed all schools and stopped all bus routes for the day

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Abbotsford’s Matsqui prison beefing up security against contraband

Correctional service says officials found a number of unauthorized items during ‘exceptional search’

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Most Read