April showers bring May flowers, but we geeks don't have to wait a whole month to reap the benefits of this one. This month is loaded with great times for geeks of every stripe, from pinball wizards to devotees of '80s cinema, and numerous points between. Dig in to this list of Denver's finest geek events and let your geekiness spring forth.
The Cruel Winter series comes to a close withTales from the Darkside: The Movie
, ending programmer Theresa Mercado's run of horror anthologies. The final Winter entry features the work of Stephen King and George Romero and an eclectic cast including Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Debbie Harry, David Johansen and Christian Slater in its four entires. As always, Mercado will provide movie-themed souvenirs and this month she'll be announcing the theme and films for Cruel Summer.
9) Robotics at the Hangar Everywhere you look, robots are providing ample proof that we're living in the future. Sure, they don't look much like R2-D2, but they're busy doing everything from exploring other planets to defusing bombs, not to mentioning the vacuuming. Catch up on the latest in both hobbyist and real-world robots at Robotics at the Hangar, the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum's annual celebration of our computer-brained servants. See demonstrations of everything from a self-driving car to a police robot, see what the local robotics clubs are up to, and hopefully spark an interest in your children in a career designing, building or repairing robots, the only jobs that (probably) won't ever be taken by robots.
Robotics at the Hangar happens from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 13 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. Admission is free for museum members, $11 adults, $6 for children (under 4 are free) and $9 for seniors, active military and veterans. For more information, visit the event page at the Wings Museum website.
8) Magic the Gathering: Journey into Nyx prerelease The world's most popular trading-card game completes its exploration of Greek mythology with Journey into Nyx. New gods and other creatures of myth will offer lots of new ways to kill your opponent. As always, pre-release events are the most casual of all tournaments, perfect for new players, old players who have lapsed and are looking to return, or casual fans who don't usually make it out for the big tourneys, so you don't have to worry if your skills aren't all that. Everyone is just there to have fun and open the new cards.
Play Saturday or Sunday, April 26-27, at various locations. Price may vary, but expect to spend about $30, which nets you six packs of cards plus a special promo card. Find a location near you with Wizards of the Coast's store locator.7) Geeks Who Drink: Assemble! An Avengers Quiz
The city's premier masters of the pub quiz turn their attention to the Marvel Comic Universe for a quiz on the Avengers-related films and the comics that inspired them. Find five friends that share your love of Iron Man and pals, think up a clever team name, and prepare for 64 grueling questions (okay, probably sixty grueling ones and a few gimmes to let the dumb kids down easy) designed to separate the pretenders from the True Believers. Oh, and drink beer while you do it, and win some cash if your band of nerds happens to be the most hardcore there.
Test your Avengers knowledge at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at the Irish Snug. Admission is $5 a person, with up to six people per team. For more information, visit the Avengers quiz page on the Geeks Who Drink website.
6) Peter McGraw and Joel Warner The Humor Code It sounds like the setup for a joke -- how many geeks does it take to explain a unified theory of humor? -- but it turns out it's an actual book. In The Humor Code, professor Peter McGraw and journalist Joel Warner (a former Westword staff writer) tackle the science behind why we laugh at stuff, traveling all over the world to discover the secret of why some laughs cross all cultural boundaries. The duo will share some anecdotes from their travels, tell a few jokes and maybe even perform some humor experiments on the audience, for science! Plus, it's all broadcast live on Colorado Public Radio.
The spice must flow and it's one plucky boy's destiny to control the universe, if he doesn't get killed by homicidal rivals, giant sandworms or Bene Gesserit testing first. Frank Herbert's classic story runs full speed into David Lynch's hallucinatory weirdness, plus Sting prances around in a space Speedo. It's the one and onlyDune
, celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new digital transfer.
4) Evercon It's not just a gaming convention, it's a gaming convention for a good cause. The students of Everitt Middle School need some money for their band program, and what better to raise it than playing Settlers of Catan and dozens of other tabletop favorites? Two days worth of scheduled games, a massive games library, giveaways, hands-on with local game designers and more, all for a super budget price and a great cause. Everybody wins!
The gaming starts at 9 a.m. Saturday April 26 and runs through Sunday afternoon at Everitt Middle School. Tickets are $16 for the weekend, or $10 a day for adults, or $5 all weekend for kids. For more info, visit the Evercon website.
3) Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown No matter how advanced video games get, but there's still something special about smacking a metal ball around a ringing, blinking maze of machinery. Celebrate the bliss of pinball with collectors, enthusiasts and exhibitors at the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown and Gameroom Expo. If you got the skills, you can compete in the official tournaments, or just play a few friendly games on one of the more than a hundred pinball and vintage arcade machines, all set to free play. It's like 10-year-old you died and went to to arcade heaven!
The event starts at 11 a.m. Friday, April 11 and runs through Sunday, April 13 at the Sheraton DTC. Weekend passes are $65, or $25 for a day pass, with reduced price tickets for kids under 12. For tickets and more info, visit the Pinball Showdown website.2) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
"No matter where you go, there you are." Where you should be going is to seeBuckaroo Banzai
. He's a rock star, physicist, test pilot and neurosurgeon, but he still finds time to save the world from aliens disguising themselves as defense contractors. One of the weirdest cult movies of the '80s, the film is the crown jewel in theAlamo's Class of 1984 reunion
and the best reason this year to leave your house on a Wednesday.
See Buckaroo Banzai at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Tickets are $10.75. For more info, visit the Buckaroo Banzai event page of the Alamo website.1) The Stanley Film Festival
There can't be too many better places for a horror film festival than a reportedly haunted hotel that inspired one of the all-time horror classics inThe Shining
. Last year's lineup includedAll the Boys Love Mandy Lane
, Eli Roth'sAftershock
andBig Bad Wolves
alongside the mandatory screening ofThe Shining
itself. Most of this year's program hasn't been announced yet, but the festival opens with Denver filmmaker Alexandre O. Phillipe'sDoc of the Dead
(I appeared inDoc of the Dead
, for no compensation) and a number of special events, from a zombie walk to Danny Torrance-inspired big wheel races.
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The festival starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at the Stanley Hotel with Doc of the Dead and continues through the weekend. Tickets go on sale April 3. For more info, visit the Stanley Film Fest website.