THE MOST WONDEROUS AND HUMOROUS
AUDIO ADVENTURE I KNOW
THE Adventures of Jack Flanders
|1. The 4th Tower of Inverness||2. Moon over Morocco|
|3. The Incredible Adventures of Jack Flanders||4. The Ah-Ha Phenomena|
|5. Dreams of Rio||6. Dreams of Amazon|
|7. Dreams of India||8. Dreams of Bali|
|9. Dreams of Sumatra||10. Mystery of the Jaguar Reef|
|11. Midnight & the Casa Luna 1&2||12. Return to Inverness|
The 4th Tower of Inverness
The majestic spires of the ancient Victorian mansion of Inverness rise out of the fog as a lone figure walks up the mountain from the bay.
"I've hitchhiked a lot," Jack Flanders later explains, "consequently, I've walked a lot."
Arriving at Inverness, young Jack Flanders encounters strange happenings at the old Victorian mansion. Jack counts only three towers in Inverness, his aunt, Lady Jowls explains, "There is no fourth tower of Inverness." Jack is certain he has seen a fourth. An old jukebox, which he cannot locate, plays a haunting 1950's tune just before an accident happens. Jack pursues the hidden jukebox, searching through sliding panels, hollow walls, and underground passageways until finally he discovers the entrance to the Fourth Tower that only he can see. In all these years, eight people have ventured into the Tower, never to be seen again. Jack is the ninth...
Thus begins Jack Flanders' quest to find his way into the non-existent tower and discover the secret of the Lotus Jukebox. Upon entering the tower, Jack discovers steps that spiral endlessly upward. On each level there is a door, and as our hero opens each door he steps into different dimensions: strange worlds of myth and mystical fantasy. Unlike most mysteries, this adventure leads Jack deep into his own consciousness in a trip that spans several of the many dimensions that make up reality.
Fortunately, writer Meatball Fulton and the rest of the cast and crew at ZBS Foundation are willing to take us along on the journey. It's a massive undertaking -- the seven-hour audio drama spans six compact disks -- but there isn't a dull moment in the lot.
Writing and producing audio dramas is a labor of love for the folks at ZBS and it shows in the quality of the work. A non-profit organization dedicated to keeping aural fantasy alive and helping people use their imagination more skillfully, ZBS proves it doesn't take a massive organization and high prices to turn out top-quality products. These people care about what they do.
Fulton has done an expert job of weaving music, mysticism and mystery into an updated version of the classic 1940s radio drama. It's an eclectic blend to say the least. That's what happens when you mix gurus and vampires.
In fact, it's the seductive energy vampire, the Madonna Vampyra, who first introduces Jack to the Whirlitzer of Wisdom, an antique jukebox hidden in the walls of the mansion. At two plays for a dime, the Whirlitzer provides quotes from Ram Dass and other metaphysical gurus.
"You finally get to a place where you can say Krishna's name with love," Ram Dass intones, "and your ego pats you on the back and says 'pretty good'."
"Kind of a short selection," Jack muses, "but not bad."
Meanwhile, the interaction between the Madonna Vampyra and Jack Flanders harkens back to the glorious patter true film noir buffs have come to love. For example:
The Madonna Vampyra: "What did you do before you became a houseguest?"
Jack: "I was a hitchhiker."
Those hitchhiking skills get quite a workout when Jack gains entrance to the fourth tower only to find it a gateway through limitless dimensions, each posing its own unique challenges and promises ... and each providing one more clue to unraveling the mystery of the Lotus Jukebox.
In addition to the Madonna Vampyra, Jack is aided -- and at times confounded -- in his quest by a host of intriguingly quirky characters, including:
Her plan to bring Jack up to speed results in a highly satisfying, entertaining and thought-provoking seven-hour drama. It's a story that's meant to be savored, preferably in a dimly lit room with a comfortable chair, a little incense in the air and your favorite drink close at hand.
The Fourth Tower of Inverness is classic radio, a humorous adventure, with many levels of meaning behind the mystery. It is a beautiful allegory of illusion and reality.
Featuring Robert Lorick as Jack Flanders, Valerie Manches as Lady Jowls, Murray Head as Lord Jowls, and M. Fulton as Chief Wampum.
Reviewed by Darryl Riser
Moon over Morocco
Once in a far away land there existed a knowledge of natural magic that has been lost to modern man. Jack treks to Morocco, believing that in this primitive country, where magic remains an integral part of daily life, he may find this knowledge. Jack discovers far more than he expected when he steps through the Gate of Peacocks, the entrance to that lost world. Jack has stepped out of modern day Morocco and into the realm where the knowledge of magic is a requisite survival skill.
The environments in Moon Over Morocco were recorded by author M. Fulton while traveling around that country. You'll hear the Medina, the Casbah, the music of the snake charmers, the lonely call to prayer from the minaret of the mosque, the dogs of Tangier as the moon becomes full, the music of the desert tribes recorded in the Sahara and Berber music recorded at festivals in the Grand Atlas and Rif Mountains. Music is recorded by Paul Bowles.
Featuring Robert Lesser as Kasbah Kelly, Dave Adams as Mojo Sam and Taurean Blacque as the Storyteller Mustafa.
The Incredible Adventures of Jack Flanders
In the dead of night, a large shipping crate is delivered to the home of our hero Jack Flanders. Opening the crate, Jack discovers a green velvet overstuffed chair. Each night at the stroke of midnight, Jack sits in the soft, comfortable chair which comes alive, luring him onto its velvety realm. Everyday reality fades away, and Jack finds himself in a strange, other-world of magic, pirates, and sorcery where huge puffballs cling to ceilings and walls, masted sailing ships with wings fly the skies and islands float in the air...
The next time you settle into your favorite easy chair, you might want to test the cushions, or bring along a suitcase.
Like a modern day Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Incredible Adventures of Jack Flanders is five hours of humorous fantasy adventure, with Robert Lorick as Jack Flanders and Dave Herman as the Narrator. Tim Clark, who composed the music for both of the Ruby series, has created some splendid, ethereal space/fantasy music.
The Ah-Ha Phenomena
Jack Flanders returns, disguised as a dervish, and tip toes through invisible planes in search of the ancient archives that hold all the great past, present, and future Ah-Ha's! Jack encounters trolls, wizards, demons and mythological beasts on his quest for the wonderful Ah-Ha's.
Dreams of Rio
Hypnotic voodoo beats, lush jungle noises, tropical rains, an enigmatic European Professor, an alluring female anthropologist...a few of the ingredients which M. Fulton has fashioned into his latest audio fantasy, Dreams of Rio, an engaging romp through the forests and samba clubs of Brazil. Dreams chronicles the tropical adventures of hero Jack Flanders as he treks through the mysterious wilds of Brazilian rainforests and impossible situations in his search for the Lost City. The crisp, stereo recordings come vibrantly alive with luscious ambient sound recorded by Fulton and Clark on location in Brazil.
Dreams follows Jack who escapes from the U.S., a country transformed into a giant shopping mall, and undertakes a journey to Rio to retrieve a statue for a friend. Once in his hands, the statue cracks open to reveal a crystal skull. This is just the beginning of an endless chain of chilling plot twists and turns. Along the way, Jack encounters vampire bats, voodoo musicians, a Carmen Miranda museum, and an alluring German anthropologist, Frieda, with whom he falls hopelessly in love. Together they journey to the Lost City.
Featured in the cast are writer/actor Robert Lorick as Jack Flanders, Spanish actress Virginia Rambal as Carmen, Dave Adams as Mojo Sam, Brazilian actress Maria Pompeu as Mia Josefa, and Goerge Ernst as Prof. Klaus Vargas. Music is composed by Tim Clark.
Dreams of Amazon
Jack's interest is piqued when a mysterious woman joins him at his New York restaurant table, whispering, "Take me home, Jack."
His excitement veers to trepidation as she removes her ears, nose and lips to reveal a crystal skull. Without a doubt this is a different sort of date. Then his apartment transforms into a sweltering rainforest and we're off -- to orchid-scented evenings, the vivid sounds and textures of the tropics, and the enigmatic world of the Lost City.
When a beautiful Indian woman hands Jack his own business card, which she claims he gave her aunt forty years ago, there is no doubt in Jack's mind that another quest is about to unfold. Before the riddle is unraveled, Jack is off to New Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore. In an abandoned palace, he discovers a presence that speaks to him with his own voice. Chanting monks, temple bells and authentic Tibetan horns transport you on a metaphysical mystery through exotic India.
Dreams of Bali
A delightful trip to Bali to visit his old friend Tiffany spins out of control as Jack is confronted with jealous rivalries, black magic, dreams, and spectral visits from a Balinese holy man who sends Jack through a circular doorway to a realm of brilliantly colored stones and vibrant vegetation. Before it's over, Jack must assume the guise of feared Rangda, the Queen of Witches, to rescue Tiffany. A blend of folkways, native wisdom and mesmerizing music accompanies Jack as he seeks to remove the source of the curse that has been placed on his friend.
Dreams of Sumatra
Jesse, a young anthropologist, disappears somewhere in the highlands of West Sumatra, and Jack is hired to find her. There's evidence that she was involved in the Kabut cult, a secret society practicing ancient tribal magic. Jack travels to Bukittinggi as the city erupts in the exotic sounds of celebration at the end of Ramadan, the Moslem holy month of fasting. Sounds just dandy until a mist swirls around him, and he's staring into the gaping mouth of a giant, swirling vortex ready to engulf him.
Another thrilling adventure saturated with the wondrous sounds of Sumatra.
Mystery of the Jaguar Reef
Jack investigates a puzzling case of personality change and soon finds himself scuba-diving into a dilemma off the shores of Belize. Where did this mysterious pirate wreck come from? Is Jack really a pawn in a cosmic chess game? And why does everyone around him seem to be "Walk-ins", except (perhaps) Captain Coco, his local liaison? Pulsing festival rhythms, a dose of potent "Viper Rum" - and the pirate ship ascends into the tropical night sky. Jack is suddenly at the helm suspecting that some kind of alien plot is afloat. And so it is...
Midnight & the Casa Luna parts 1 & 2
The latest of Jack Flanders adventures
PART1. While strolling home one warm Autumn-in-New-York eve, Jack wanders into a coffee shop, the Casa Luna. At midnight, the Casa Luna transforms itself and Jack is no longer in Manhattan, he's somewhere in the tropics (later he discovers, the Casa Luna can appear in several places at the same time, and so can he).
On an island, in the center of a lake, is a palace. When Jack steps into the courtyard, it becomes an ancient medina. It's here that he encounters Leela, a beautiful, shimmering, translucent, and very mischievous, Infrit.
In the center of this maze of confusing passageways, Jack discovers his long lost uncle, the adventurer, Sir Henry Jowls. Apparently, the person who lured Sir Henry into his present predicament is a woman he fondly refers to as, "The Inscrutable Hispanic." It turns out that the "Inscrutable Hispanic" is really the mysterious, enigmatic, "Dragon Lady."
Jack begins to understand why he's in this odd realm when he finally meets the lovely, sphinxlike (and deadly dangerous) Dragon Lady.
PART2. Jack is lugging around a mysterious round, green stone in a bowling bag. He was told to deliver the stone to Sir Henry Jowls, but he can't find him. Nor can he find the Casa Luna.
Jack has been having dreams about a celestial city, the fabled city of the Merkahbah. The Casa Luna does finally appear and Jack finds himself in a desert, at a small oasis village. And there, seated at a table, is Sir Henry Jowls! Except, it isn't the same Sir Henry who persuaded Jack to steal the stone in the first place.
Jack meets the beautiful demoness, Leela, but she too is different. Sir Henry tells Jack the only way he can reach the fabled Merkahbah is to pass through the Twilight Realms of the Hungry Ghosts. So, with the mischievous Leela acting as a guide, Jack and Sir Henry journey into the land of the Hungry Ghosts. As Jack soon discovers, these ghosts are hungry indeed.
Return to Inverness
Coming Christmas 2000