The Castle 2: The Dance Warp

Written by Ixarix; PSHG Assistant Director I’m going to let you all in on a little secret about myself, I hope you don’t find it too shocking.  I know some […]

Written by Ixarix; PSHG Assistant Director

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret about myself, I hope you don’t find it too shocking.  I know some of you’ll react by saying, “I can’t believe he just admitted that in public.”  Many of you will find my secret  even more perplexing when I tell you that I have a theatre background, that I studied and graduated with an Honours B.A in Theatre and Drama Studies from the University of Toronto.  Okay, here goes…. I’ve never actually seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.   There, I’ve said it, try not to judge me too harshly.

Can you believe he's never seen Rocky Horror.

“Can you believe he’s never seen Rocky Horror? No wonder he looks so serious.”

However,   just because I’ve never seen Rocky Horror, doesn’t mean I’m not aware of it, nor does it mean I don’t know how much fun people continue to have with the musical since its release. Also, I maybe  ignorant of the musical as a whole, but I most certainly am well acquainted with its most famous musical number; “The Time Warp.”  Even though I haven’t seen the number in the context of the movie, I sure as heck danced to it an awful lot as a teenager at the dances I attended in high school.  So, the song and the dance moves that accompany The Time Warp, are very much evocative of my youth.  As I sit here writing this piece, I recall dancing with my friends in whatever dance hall we found ourselves in when this song played and having a great time together.

It’s been a long time since I thought about that period of my life, when I was still young and naïve.  It is amazing how hearing a song like Time Warp  can instantly transport us to a different time or place.

I think I started getting these flashbacks to my youth the moment Director_on_Duty, (Dod), told me that he was developing a dance LMO based on the Time Warp, called the Dance Warp.  He told me this a couple of months ago and I immediately became excited for him and PSTalent, because I knew, deep in my heart, that they would have an instant hit on their hands.    I knew that just like me, there would be a lot of people on Home who would love to have a Time Warp style dance LMO at their disposal.

I also hoped that in the time between Director on Duty told me about it and the point at which it was actually released, no other Home developer would release their own version of the Time Warp,  because as Novus Cooldown told me in a recent interview I conducted with him.

Home developers are some seriously smart folks.  So once we find something that hasn’t been explored in Home yet, we really focus on getting it out otherwise, you never know, someone else might beat you by a week or so. A Moodie Interview with Hellfire.

Dod, had initially hoped to have the Dance Warp ready for Halloween, however, for whatever reason it got held-up in Sony’s Q and A a couple of times.  This meant that Dod had to make changes to the Dance Warp based on their feedback and resubmit it. But, he informed me a couple weeks ago that the Dance Warp had finally cleared Sony’s Q and A and that its release on Home would be in time for Thanksgiving. Further, he then informed me of something else that he was planning, something that would truly give Home users everywhere a reason to be thankful this Holiday season.   He was finally going to release a sequel to his original smash hit, The Castle and that it would be the perfect showcase for the new Dance Warp LMO.

A proper sequel to the Castle has been a long time coming, three years to be exact.  Dod could have easily made one right after he released the first Castle film and everyone would have been happy, but he didn’t.  Instead, he focused on developing PSTalent into a proper studio, building up its rooster of actors and directors and at the same time becoming a full-fledged developer of content on Home. PSTalent and Home are better off because he decided to wait to make a sequel.

I get a bit nostalgic myself when I think of The Castle, because it was the first PSTalent review I ever did for the Gazette. I feel fortunate that my editor Cynella pointed me in its direction back in the summer of 2012 when it was being presented in the Community Theatre on Home for the first time.  I think the original Castle film is brilliant and now I think I am able to fully appreciate what a tremendous job Dod did, given how much more limited Home was at the time he filmed it.  Yet he was able to pull it off and his film quickly entered the mythology of Home.

So it was with all this in mind that my twin, Dragon and I, descended on The Castle 2’s gala premier to mix and mingle with the rest of the Home community.

The Castle 2 Pre-Screening Gala

I was really excited about attending this particular PSTalent gala, more so than any other I’ve attended so far, because this time, I was walking the red carpet not just as a journalist, but as a minor star, since I had a small cameo in the Castle 2.

But truth be told, I wasn’t really excited for myself, I was more excited for Dod and the rest of the folks at PSTalent.  They’d work so hard towards this moment and now it had finally arrived. I was eager to see just how the community would respond to all that they had done.

So before we all headed into the PSTalent theatre to watch the new Castle film together, the community hobnobbed with each other and showed off their latest purchases they had made on Home which included the new Dance Warp LMO which PSTalent had just released on Home that day.

I enjoy covering the PSTalent galas because they’re a terrific community event that occur on a fairly regular basis.  The PSTalent galas could be thought of as snowflakes, similar to each other, yet never identical.     Just like a true Hollywood premier, they are a combination of the usual suspects who turn-up at every PSTalent premier and a bunch of fresh faces who are all bright-eyed with wonder at attending their first gala.  There really is nothing like the experience of walking the red carpet and I love that PSTalent affords so many people on Home the opportunity to experience what its like.

At any rate, these galas attract a wide cross-section of people from the Home community and I try to reflect on the Home community as a whole at these galas as best I can.  I love to see who comes out,  how they’re dressed and how at these galas we all try to put our best foot forward, look our best and try to impress one another.

My twin, Dragon and I snap an awful lot of pictures of the people who attend these galas and we try to include as many of you in our coverage as we can.    One thing I really like being able to do is take photographs of individuals who are well-lit, so if you want to ensure that I take a good photograph of you at future PSTalent events, find your light and hopefully I’ll find you in it.

Dragon, my go to photographer.

A well lit Dragon.

The theatre provides a bit of a challenge for photographing individuals well, because much of  the space, especially in the lobby around the entrance to the PSTalent theatre is dimly lit.  Also, both Dragon and I dislike using the flash on the camera, because it tends to wash-out peoples features, it actually leaves them looking a bit matted and less vibrant.

If I don’t include you in my coverage in a particular gala, don’t worry, I’ll try to include you in a future gala article.  Also, if I’ve included you in a previous article, I’ll be more inclined to try to included people I haven’t used in my coverage before.

So, let’s dive into the gala and see who I spied.

 

Ix

Ixarix in the lobby, dressed in a suit from Lockwood, doing the Dance Warp.

” Moetet here said the Castle 2 was ‘awesome’ be sure to get that down” Dod informed me, Moetet had seen the Castle 2 earlier in the day and had just told Director_on_Duty that she loved it.    Moetet sported one of my absolute favorite looks of the evening, a sort of classic feminine style that was evocative of the 1920s and 30s.   For some reason she put me in mind of Daisy Buchanan from the Great Gatsby.

Mo

MoetetChandon74

Cocobaby_84 is just plain awesome and she looks particularly fierce in this photograph Dragon snapped.  I loved her simple style at this event, the black scarf and white top were clean, simple choice that really worked well.  She was also very busy at this event, asking trivia questions and giving codes out for the new Dance Warp to anyone who answered her question correctly.

Coco fierce

The fierceness of Coco.

I absolutely love Darth_Granny’s sense of joie d’ vivre. She has a terrific vibrancy and sense of fun that she infuses the Home community with.  In the picture that Dragon snapped of her, she looks like she’s on the verge of letting out a tremendous laugh.  The outfit she wore at the gala last Wednesday got me all excited for Christmas too.

Granny

Checkershur, on the left,  wolfen40 on the right, were another pair of stylish Home ladies, as is  xLady_Bugx seen in the picture below them.

wolfren

white relaxed

Angelz_soul was a particularly dramatic addition to the nights festivities, what with her vibrant red hair, smoldering black eyes and glamorous black gown.  When I saw her that night, she reminded me a little of Jessica Rabbit, though a darker version perhaps.  She also is one of the featured performers in the The Castle Part 2: Dance Warp, performing the role of the bride.

red2

Theworld101 was one of the very stylish gentlemen I spied at the event, with his tousled black hair, smart-looking glasses, white jacket and shirt.

white dressed guy

This photograph Dragon took of DesiGamer2005, in the foreground and lilnicki330 in the background is one of my favorites that he took that night.  While on the one hand, both guys are looking very dapper,  what I really like about this photo is that Desi is in sharp focus, while lilnicki is slightly out of focus in the background,  the result is a picture that has a nice sense of depth.

Cool guy photo.

Here is another great shot Dragon took, this time of LadyTrexy69 of the Homeling collective.  The Homelings are such a massive presence on Home. I love their distinctive look and seeing their presences at the events I attend on Home.  I’d love to do a Homelings piece in the future, just putting that out there.

Homeling

I was really happy when I learned that Pokemon_Mew_24 finally became a Guide on Home earlier this Fall.   Mew, is one of the nicest guys on Home that I know, cheerful and always willing to help out.  I also love the distinctive look he’s adopted, spotting the purple coloured Whimsy tail from Lockwood which does indeed resemble a Vulpix tail from Mew’s beloved Pokemon series.

Mew

SteelerNation69 is another one of the awesome Guides on Home and it has been my pleasure getting to know him as well this year since becoming a Guide myself.  Here he is at the gala sporting a particularly cool looking outfit, featuring a rainbow jacket, lightning pants and cool pair of shades.

steeler

I try really hard at these events to make sure I get the people’s names down who are in attendance, especially those I photograph.  However, sometimes I miss people’s names, like the beautiful lady to my right in this photograph Dragon took us.  Hopefully she’s not to embarrassed to be seen with someone whose never seen Rocky Horror and will let me know who she is.

ix and friend

I thought countrygal45 looked quite elegant that night with her simple black dress and blonde hair.

countrygal

Kozzzmo, the name says it all.  I also really liked the picture that Dragon took of him.

koz

And here he is, flanked by two beautiful ladies, Tbaby2008 and ej5311.

tbaby, koz, and friend

Tbaby2008 is truly one of the most breathtaking individuals I’ve encountered on Home.   Here’s the picture Dragon snapped of her on her own, while he worked the crowd.

tbaby

Linahhh’s Santa Turkey outfit really made me laugh when I spotted it. In a room full of turkeys, she was indeed the standout. Gobble, gobble.

1461168_10152162128432494_198980911_n

I’m pretty sure this is Eurdarst in the picture below, if it is not, let me know and I’ll correct my mistake.  At any rate I thought she was a knock-out in the photograph Dragon snapped, looking truly stunning in her red gown and cascading red hair.

red 1

Skaterguyny’s punk biker outfit was very cool, I  liked that he chose to bring an actual motor bike to the gala.   As is true in most of the cases on Home, anything goes.

bike

StephieRawk’s was an extremely busy individual at the gala to, busy asking trivia questions as well and handing out codes to people who gave her the correct answer. . Later I learned that Dod had been very generous and had released a ton of codes for the Dance Warp so that as many people as possible in the Home community to enjoy it,  he’s such a generous, thoughtful guy.

stephie

Stephie doing the Dance Warp between trivia questions.

Seeing Stephie in a costume like that inspired me to get into my Castle 2 costume as well, so I snuck into my wardrobe and quickly put on my costume and quickly returned to the gala in my Gold Shorts outfit.

gold shorts

Hey Stephie, we’re a pair of Superstars!

There was so much going on that I almost missed the announcement that we were heading into the theatre for the screening.  It wasn’t until I looked up and saw that the theatre lobby was emptying, that I realized it was time to head inside.  Once in, I settled into my seat and enjoyed the show.

I don’t take a lot of pictures in the theatre partly because it is so dimly lit,  but I couldn’t help take one final shot when I spotted Conrad_Max at the screening, doing the Dance Warp as well. Whenever I see Conrad on Home, I’m reminded of the Sink Conrad Max event that was held last year in the Cuttthroats space.  I had a lot of fun at that event and when I think of it, I’m reminded of what a good sport Conrad is.

conrad

 

The Screening – Castle 2: The Dance Warp.

title

The Castle Part 2: Dance Warp was shown in the PSTalent Theatre as a double-bill with the original Castle film preceding it.  This was a great opportunity for the community to jump into the Ghostbuster Mobile one more time with Dod and take a trip down memory lane before seeing the sequel.  Also, there are probably a lot of people in the Home audience who like me last year, have never seen the original Castle film, so now was the perfect opportunity to head to the theatre and experience this masterpiece for yourself.

As the Castle started playing, I was taken by surprise when I realized just how happy it made me to watch it again. To receive Dod’s warm greeting after ringing his doorbell in the film and to catch hold of his contagious enthusiasm as he encourages us all once more join him on his amazing field trip was a pretty special experience.

See my complete review of the first Castle Film here.

I thought it was a wise decision on Dod’s part to include the first film in the screening on Home because it helped to establish the context for the second film, thus eliminating the need for a lengthy exposition at the beginning of the second film.  I really did appreciated the brevity of introduction to the second film, because it didn’t waste anytime.  Dod gives us a quick shot of the  newly married couple pondering their broken down vehicle with the image of the Castle in the background.

couple 1

We then cut to  them knocking on the door to the castle, seeking some assistance,.   The image of the couple knocking on the door was a nice echo of Dod knocking on the castle door from the original film.  And, who should answer the castle door,  dressed as the castle butler,  none other then Zombie Dod himself.   Whose unfortunate, yet thrilling encounter with the zombies from the previous film seems to have rendered him one of the undead as well. Poor Dod.

zombie dod

Zombie Dod

It is from this point that things amp up.  As soon as the door opens, the music starts to swell and it isn’t long before we’re treated to a full-blown musical parody of the Time Warp.  I love the expression on the couples face as the number starts up, they sort of have a sour, “what the heck is going on” expression on their face.

sour

Dod did a tremendous job filming this number; it’s the kind of musical number that if I were to see during a live performance, would  have me bouncing in my seat and applauding loudly when it finished.  The number has the kind of  go-for-broke chutzpah, that is needed  if it is to succeed and it does.  However, he couldn’t have done it on his own, it is thanks to the commitment of the entire ensemble, that everything was able to come together so well.

Eat your heart out Broadway!

Eat your heart out Broadway!

I enjoyed how Dod incorporated the characters from Rocky Horror with the zombies from the previous film, it was a cleaver mash-up that seemed to imply that the zombies in the Castle really just like to dance and have a good time.

Untitled

I liked how Dod had the zombies dancing on the railing in the castle.

Cocobaby_84 as the piano girl.

Cocobaby_84 as the piano girl.

I also feel that this film demonstrates just how technically proficient Dod has become since filming the last Castle movie, he certainly has more tools at his disposal then he did in the first film, like the Observer camera from Juggernaut which I saw him frequently use during the shoot for the film and which he likely used to get this rather cheeky shot  between my legs.

Cheeky.

One of the miracles of the original Castle film was that Dod managed to make everyone look like they were dancing.  Through the use of clever camera shots and editing, he made the Thriller dance sequence in that film seem like a lively dance number. By comparing the new film with the original, you really start to notice the limitations he was working under at the time and you’ll likely also notice  just how far Home has come since the original was filmed.

As expected, the Castle Part 2, was the ideal showcase for the new dance warp LMO. Sony was super generous and deserves a huge thank you  to supplying the cast with codes for the Dance Warp ahead of the official release date, so we could use them in the film.

A lot has changed on Home in the three years since Dod released the original Castle video. For most of us, the castle we see in the distance from our harbor apartment remains as mysterious and elusive as ever.   Not for  Dod though, he will always be remembered as the dreamer of Home who, with a few cleaver tricks, magically transported us all in his Ghostbuster mobile for our first trilling tour of the Castle.  The Castle Part 2 demonstrated that he still has a lot of dreams in his head and that as long as we’re willing to suspend our disbelief, he’s willing to take us anywhere we want to go, including to the Castle one more time.

Dod the Dreamer.

Dod the Dreamer.

 

About ixarix

I am a assistant librarian. I previously worked in an independent bookstore for a number of years. I love writing, reading and being creative. I studied theatre in university, but somehow wound up working with books. I've joined Home in January of 2012 and have grown to love it and the friends I've made there. Hope to see you in there. Follow me on Twitter @ixarixx