The ten best geek events in Denver in July
If Fourth of July picnics and World Cup hysteria aren't doing it for you, July has plenty of geek entertainment to offer -- whether you're looking to get your game on, enjoy Star Wars in the traditional Shakespearean form or just sit in the blessedly cool, air-conditioned embrace of a movie theater while watching science-fiction classics. Here are July's ten best geek events.
See also: From Basket Case to Raiders, the undying cult of genre film
10) First Friday at the Hall of Justice
Wade through the sea of art lovers on Santa Fe Drive for some geeky delights at Zac Conley's Hall of Justice comic and entertainment art gallery. Nationally syndicated sports and editorial cartoonist Drew Litton and local illustrator/cartoonist Zak Kinsella headline the show, which also features the work of another half dozen local comic artists. Throw in the gallery's usual collection of nearly a quarter million dollars' worth of comic and entertainment art, and you've got a perfectly geeky First Friday destination.
The show starts at 4 p.m. Friday, July 4 at the Hall of Justice comic and entertainment art gallery. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Hall of Justice Facebook page.
9) Magic: The Gathering M15 prerelease
The newest Core set for Magic: The Gathering, the world's most popular trading-card game, is hitting shelves this month, and that means it's pre-release time. Magic's pre-release tournaments are among its most casual events, meaning they're a great way to dip your toe into the water of competitive play, even if you're a total noob. Heck, especially if you're a total noob, since the Core sets are the game's entry-level product and this is a sealed event, so you don't even need to own any cards to participate. If you've been playing the digital Duels of the Planeswalkers on your computer or console and wondering if it's time to make the jump to the actual card game, this is the way to do it.
July 12-13, various locations. Price may vary, but expect to spend about $30, which nets you six packs of cards plus a special promo card. For more information, check out the official Magic: The Gathering website, and find a location near you with Wizards of the Coast's store locator.
7) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The original grimy, crazed redneck murder family classic is forty years old, and still just as fantastic as it was the day it was released. Now it's back in theaters with a spiffy new restoration, meaning the original grime and grit will look more vibrantly disgusting than ever before! Whether you're seeing it for the first time or the fortieth, this is a rare opportunity to catch the grindhouse classic on the big screen, in all of its larger-than-life, chainsaw-wielding glory.
Keep reading for seven more of the best geek events in July.
7) Shakespeare's Star Wars Party with Ian Doescher
Ever wonder what the Star Wars saga might have looked like had it been written by the Bard? Ian Doescher did, so he went ahead and made it a real thing, adapting the entire saga into iambic pentameter in the style of the one and only William Shakespeare. Doescher will be here to discuss and sign the latest, The Jedi Doth Return, and the local 501st Legion -- Denver's own Stormtrooper group -- will be on hand to help him celebrate. Dress up in your finest Shakespearean and/or Star Wars finery and join the fun.
6) Bloody Sunday: Friday the 13th
See where it all began: the start of the Friday the 13th franchise. Josh Hartwell's monthly movie series is serving up the classic slasher along with a helping of free beer, free popcorn and some fun movie trivia. It's the next best thing to going to a real-life summer camp haunted by a psychotic killer out for vengeance, or at least a chance to meet fellow horror fans who yearn for the way teenage troublemakers used to be killed for their transgressions.
5) Conclave of Gamers
You ready to get your game on? Board games, role-playing games, card games and more will be on offer at the third annual Conclave of Gamers. Three days of gaming, with everything from tournaments (for you hardcore competitive types) to pre-release game playtesting (for you cutting-edge types) are on the menu, so no matter how you like to roll (dice), you should find something fun to do. Plus, most every game is preceded by a "how-to-play" intro, so you can join in almost anything, even if your knowledge of games starts and ends with checkers.
The gaming begins at 10 a.m. Friday, July 25 at the Crowne Plaza DIA. Tickets are $36 presale, or $42 at the door for a three-day, all-access pass. For more information, visit the Conclave of Gamers website.
Keep reading for four more of the best geek events in July.
4) The Princess Bride Quote-Along
The perfect geek romance movie is back, in convenient, fun, quote-along form! Join Wesley, Fezzik and Princess Buttercup for the best, most swashbuckling time you'll ever have talking back to a movie screen. All your favorite lines -- "Inconceivable!" "As you wish" and even "My name is Inigo Montoya..." -- will be cued up for you to quote along as they play, and there will be props to push the whole experience over the top.
See it at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 11 or 2 p.m. Sunday, July 13 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Tickets are $12.50. For tickets and more info, visit The Princess Bride Quote-Along event page on the Alamo website.
3) Video Vortex: Time of the Apes
Every once in a while, something comes along that is so weird, so random, so utterly goddamn insane, you just have to stop what you're doing and look at it, mouth agape in complete awe and wonder. The utter WTF of Time of the Apes is just such an occasion. It starts with a Japanese TV ripoff of Planet of the Apes. Then cheapo cash-in king Sandy Frank comes along, cuts up all 26 episodes into a single movie, re-dubs it all in English and releases the resultant mutation to the world. Thanks to the miracle of VHS tape, you can enjoy Frank's madness for yourself, but be warned -- you may never be the same afterward.
See the insanity at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Tickets are $1 (yes, a single buck). For more info, visit the Time of the Apes event page on the Alamo website.
Photo by Anne Barhyte
2) Cosplay in Colorado
Cosplayers spend unreal amounts of time, money and energy to recreate elaborate, true-to-character outfits that go well beyond a typical "costume," in effect creating pop-culture performance art based on their favorite comics, games, books and more. Now those efforts are the focus of a fine-art photography exhibit, featuring some of the state's best cosplayers in full regalia, backed up with interviews explaining why they do what they do. From the hardcore cosplay fans to the merely geek curious, the Cosplay in Colorado show will offer a tantalizing look into one of geekdom's most fascinating pastimes.
1) Sci-Fi Film Series
When the Denver Film Society and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science team up for a science-fiction film series, you know it's going to be great. The formula is simple, yet brilliant: Pick a science fiction classic, and then get a real scientist to introduce the film and talk about the science in it. Metro State University of Denver film and English professor Vincent Piturro will be on hand to introduce each film and give you some film-school context for it, as well. This year's program includes Upstream Color, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Alien and Gravity.
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