The ten best geek events in Denver in May
Take a break from all the Star Wars to enjoy some zombies.
May is here, and let's hope you geeks like Star Wars. This month is packed with events tied to everyone's favorite franchise set in a galaxy far, far away since May 4 -- as in May the Fourth be with you, because geeks love puns -- is a Star Wars holiday and May marks the anniversary of the original film's release back in 1977. Don't fret if you've already had enough Jedi, Sith and Ewoks to last a lifetime, because in between those Lucasfilm bookends, there's plenty of other good geek stuff going on, too. From a celebration of robots to free comic books, these are May's best geek events:
10) Films on Tap: Tremors
The finest movie ever made about giant sandworms invading a small town can only be improved by one thing: being turned into a drinking game. Classic B-movie fun, Kevin Baco, and booze -- what else can you ask for? Plan on taking a cab home from this one, because you'll be drinking every time the creatures appear or the main characters bicker, and that's going to leave you a little woozy. Oh, and get there early -- the first fifty people through the door get their first drink free, courtesy of Breckenridge Brewing.
See it and drink at 9:45 p.m. Friday, May 9 at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $10, or $7 for Denver Film Society members. For tickets and more info, visit the film's event page at the Denver Film Society website.
9) Geekshow II
Geek is a broad subject. Science fiction, fantasy and horror all fall under that umbrella, plus the various dedicated fandoms. Then there are the makers (people who build stuff), cosplayers and gamers, and even that is just scratching the surface. If you wanted to scratch that surface and see what kind of weird shit was underneath, you could do a lot worse than Geekshow II, a variety pack of all kinds of geeky nonsense, from 3D printing to acts of musical nerdery. And it's a benefit show for the Concoctory Hackerspace, a collective dedicated to makers, hackers and general weirdos.
8) Nerd Nite Denver
Nerd Nite is a lecture series that takes fun, nerdy topics, adds booze and generates fun. The inaugural Denver nerd night pairs lectures on two of geekdom's greatest hits -- zombies and artificial intelligences -- into one evening of inebriated academia. Where else can you discuss the ethics of killing the undead, find out when you will be replaced by a computer and catch a nice buzz while you do it? Okay, maybe in your basement, but where else can you do it with fifty or so other drunk nerds?
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7) Cruel Summer: Dawn of the Dead
Theresa Mercado's Cruel Summer series tackles zombies, and she's starting things off with arguably the greatest zombie movie of all time. The original Dawn of the Dead built on George Romero's undead mythos, posed questions about the worth of consumer culture and unleashed some of the greatest kill scenes the world had ever seen. These days the effects look a little dated, but everything else about the movie has aged like a fine wine, making it a better, more important film now that it was more than thirty years ago.
6) Free Comic Book Day
Comics are well accepted as a valid art form these days, but there are still a lot of people who haven't got the memo. Maybe that's you? There's no better time to correct that oversight than Free Comic Book Day, which is exactly what it sounds like -- comic book stores give you comics! Sure, there are some rules (no, you can't go in and just grab whatever), but hey -- free comics. What's not to like?
Free Comic Book Day runs all day Saturday, May 3 at participating comic-book stores throughout the metro area. Visit the Free Comic Book Store website for more info, and to find a participating store near you, use the handy store locator.
Do you like robots? Of course you do! You're a geek. We all love robots. Celebrate your love of artificial intelligence and metal men at Robo2, a multimedia, multi-artist show dedicated to androids, 'bots and all your other varieties of electronic and mechanical life. You might see anything from elaborate costumes to classical style portraits of famous droids, but one thing is for certain -- it's all about the robots, no matter the medium. Oh, and if you're a bit of a robot artist yourself, they're still taking entries through next week.
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4) May the Fourth Trilogy
If you prefer to celebrate your Star Wars fandom with the cacophony of live music rather than an in-depth discussion of the Extended Universe, the May the Fourth Trilogy weekend is for you. Three days of music, a costume contest, mimosa brunch and more are all on the agenda, and you can do it all while dressed up as any character from any science fiction, fantasy or comic universe you want -- Star Wars is just the jumping off point.
The weekend starts Friday, May 2 at 3 Kings Tavern with a show headlined by In the Company of Serpents, and continues all weekend at various venues. Tickets are $35 for the whole package, or you can buy individual tickets to the various events. For more information, check our event listing and the May the Fourth Denver website.
3) Star Wars Uncut
At this point, you've probably seen Star Wars about a billion times, but you've never seen it quite like this. Casey Pugh spearheaded a fan-sourced effort to recreate the original film via fifteen-second snippets in every imaginable medium, from live-action recreations to animated action figures, and more points in between than you can probably imagine. And now you can see it on the big screen in all of its ludicrous, Frankensteined glory.
2) Big Trouble in Little China
Any of John Carpenter's films from the '80s could be his best film, but Big Trouble in Little China is probably his most John Carpenter film, in part because it features Kurt Russell in his prime. There's also a shitload of magic, ancient evil, wisecracking, ass-kicking and vintage special effects, with a story and vibe straight from the comics. It's fun, it's a classic, and it's on the big screen for you to enjoy in the company of others who appreciate the best that '80s urban fantasy epics had to offer.
One of Denver's oldest and best conventions keeps getting better, year after year. This year, for the first time, May the Fourth -- aka Star Wars Day -- falls on the same weekend as the annual StarFest convention, which is pulling out all the stops in honor of the event. Indulge in everything from a Jar jar dunk tank to the Miss Empire pageant, with special Star Wars guests Billy Dee Williams and Sam Witwer. Or ignore all the Star Wars events and focus on the minic-cons within the larger con, including DoctorWhoFest, HorrorFest and ComicFest, to name a few, and non-Star Wars guests such as Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Revolution) and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: TOS and films).
The con starts Friday, May 2 and runs through Sunday, May 4 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center and the Hilton Garden Inn. Three-day passes start at $55 ($24 for kids ages six to ten) in advance, with single-day and special-event passes also available. For tickets and more info, including a complete schedule, visit the StarFest website.
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