40 years of First Blood: Celebrities travelling to rural B.C. town to celebrate Rambo film | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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40 years of First Blood: Celebrities travelling to rural B.C. town to celebrate Rambo film

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in First Blood.
Image Credit: IMDB

Forty years ago, a terrified Vietnam war veteran fought off a sheriff and his deputies in the woods near Hope.

First Blood, a 1982 action film starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo was filmed in the community and since then, the town has celebrated the movie with Rambo Day.

Its tourism centre also offers a self-guided Rambo tour that takes visitors back to iconic scenes. It even has a statue of Rambo, approved by Stallone himself, in the town’s Memorial Park.

READ MORE: Actor Sylvester Stallone approves of Rambo statue erected in small B.C. town

Marking the film’s 40th Anniversary, the Town of Hope is transforming Rambo Day into a multi-day event.

Fans travel from all over the world to celebrate Rambo, “because this is the town where their favourite movie was filmed and they want to see and stand in the same places that Rambo stood in with the same backdrops,” said Tracy Paynter, with the Hope Visitor Centre. In 40 years, a lot of the scenery is still the same.

“We don’t hype the movie, we just provide the people with what they want. It’s done its own thing, it has created its own madness, a great sort of madness.”

In a typical year, the visitor centre will see between 10,000 to 15,000 people visiting the community because of First Blood.

“It was really the birthplace of Hollywood North,” she said. “So many movies after that, people started looking at British Columbia… and from there it really snowballed into what is now a billion-dollar industry in this province."

For the 40th anniversary, celebrity guests including Patrick Stack, who played Lt. Clinton Morgan, Stephen Cheng who played the Vietnam commander who triggered Rambo’s trauma and the family of late Brian Dennehy, who played Sheriff Will Teasle, are visiting the town. A small film crew accompanying Dennehy's family will be creating a documentary about the event.

Preparations for the 40th anniversary of First Blood are underway in Hope.
Preparations for the 40th anniversary of First Blood are underway in Hope.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Brian McKinney

Paynter said this event will be the largest Rambo celebration yet, and bookings have already been confirmed from people as far away as Japan and Germany.

“I anticipate this is going to be big,” she said.

Events kick off Oct. 7 and run until Oct. 10 in Hope and include an art exhibit, paintball, contests including prizes for the best looking Rambo, props, set tours and screenings of the movie.

More information can be found on the 40th-anniversary website.


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