The end of summer is in sight, but there's still plenty of geek fun to be had before it's gone. August has a full slate of nerd-tinged fun, from movies to music and all points in between. Here are the month's ten best geek events, in chronological order.
10. Weird Al Yankovic
You don't have to be a geek to love Weird Al Yankovic, but it's rare to meet a geek who doesn't. Between his dead-on parodies and his clever originals, Yankovic has never shied away from incorporating references of everything from Star Wars to being a giant nerd himself, earning him the title of the King of Geek Pop. Plus, how can you not be impressed that he's still going strong more than thirty years after his first parody hit the airwaves, with more hits under his belt than most of the artists he's satirized?
9. MotherF**ker in a Cape: Too Sexy for Your Dickery: Courtesy for Cosplayers
Dig deep into the diverse and sprawling world of comics and geek culture with MotherF**ker in a Cape, a new Denver podcast taping live at Mutiny Information Cafe. Headed up by local comics writer Alan Brooks and Mutiny Information Cafe comics guru Jordan Froehlich, the podcast aims to shine a light on some of the less-explored aspects of comics and the larger culture that surrounds them. For their third live taping, the duo will focus on cosplay with guests Tara Piehl, Justine McKinney and Michelle Berra, who will talk about their craft, inspirations, and their experience with cosplay at conventions.
Catch the live taping of MotherF**ker in a Cape at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, at Mutiny Information Cafe, and look for the podcast on iTunes and the Mutiny Information Cafe website. Admission is free. For more information, visit the MotherF**ker in a Cape Facebook event page.
8. A Weekend with Richard Kelly: Southland Tales
If you're going to make a career-deflating flop, you might as well make it as weird, wonderful and utterly original as Richard Kelly's Southland Tales. After his successful indie debut with Donnie Darko, Kelly was heralded as a brilliant new voice in film and given free(ish) rein to make his passion project. The result is a dark, absurd comedy about World War III, post 9/11 America and the rise of reality television that crammed more ideas into any given five minutes than most directors manage in their entire career, Southland Tales is a truly unique film that has to be seen to be believed. (Actually, you still won't believe it even after you see it a half dozen times.) You will have questions — and Kelly will be on hand to answer them after the screening. And then you can catch Donnie Darko the next night.
See Southland Tales on 35mm, with director Richard Kelly in person, at 7:45 p.m. Friday, August 12, at the Alamo Drafthouse. Donnie Darko shows at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 13. Tickets are $9 to either; for tickets and additional info, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website.
7. Myths and Legends Con
Not every fandom is big enough to have its own con, but that's why there are events like the Myths and Legends Con. This year's event focuses on Firefly, Doctor Who, The Dresden Files, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, with Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files, as the con's guest of honor. Gaming, cosplay and a couple of themed dances will fill your days and nights, and a bevy of authors and artists will be on hand to talk about their work.
The con runs from Friday, August 12, to Sunday, August 14, at the Ramada Plaza North. Tickets are $35; for tickets and more information, including a full lineup of guests and a schedule, visit the Myths and Legends Con website.
6. Films on Tap: Sharknado
What's that up in the sky? A bird? A plane? Nope. It's a whirlwind full of sharks. To properly enjoy this movie, you're either going to need an overdeveloped sense of irony or a few stiff drinks — or both. You're on your own when it comes to the love of irony, but the Denver Film Society can definitely help with the drinks, and even offers a great drinking game tied to the movie, which is returning in what's become an annual tradition. See a scary shark fin? Have a drink! Main character miraculously avoids death? Have a drink! Bad Jaws reference? Have a drink! By the time it's over, even Tara Reid's acting will seem bearable. Just plan ahead so that you can get home after the Sharknado of booze has pummeled you senseless.
Drink and Sharknado at 9:30 p.m. Friday, August 12, at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $11 or $8 for students/seniors and $7 for Denver Film Society members, and the first fifty people in the door get a free beer from Breckenridge Brewery. For tickets and more info, visit the Films on Tap: Sharknado event page.
Keep reading for give more great geek events.
5. The Toxic Avenger Musical
If there's a less likely candidate for musical-theater adaptation than Troma's ridiculous superhero film The Toxic Avenger, it's hard to say what that would be — yet here we are. Perhaps even more surprising, the show is supposed to be pretty damn great! Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for best off-Broadway musical, The Toxic Avenger Musical takes the classic story of love, corruption and an underdog fighting to clean up his town even after he's been horrible mutated by toxic waste, throws in some loopy musical numbers, and somehow comes up with something greater than the sum of its very weird parts.
See The Toxic Avenger Musical at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from August 12 through September 3 at the Bug Theatre. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, with group discounts available. For tickets and more info, visit the Equinox Theatre Company website.
4. Isolation Man world premiere
Local cartoonist and artist Daniel Crosier is finally unleashing his film Isolation Man on the world. The movie focuses on the plight of the Exquisite Vanishteer, a superhero with the power to make anyone disappear. When he accidentally causes the population of the Western Hemisphere to vanish, he's left alone to contemplate what he's done, while the United Nations moves to neutralize him before he can wreak even more havoc. Goofy, low-budget and full of eclectic Denver personalities, Isolation Man is a superhero film that will change the way you look at "heroes" — or at least the way you look at Crosier.
See Isolation Man at 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 17, at the Alamo Drafthouse. Tickets are $10. For tickets and more info, including a free download of the comic that inspired the film, visit the Isolation Man website.
3. Nerd Nite
Nerd Nite is a lecture series that takes fun, nerdy topics, adds booze and generates fun. This edition features lectures on comics and folklore, algorithms and the psychology of escape rooms, all in one evening of inebriated learning. Grab a drink, get ready to learn, then soak in the company of your fellow drunken, knowledge-hungry nerds.
Forget the recent remake — the original 1987 RoboCop is still the only cyborg law-enforcement officer anyone needs. The dystopian classic about a future Detroit plagued by drugs, gangs and corporate malfeasance looks positively prophetic today, plus it's still one hell of a great action film. Director Paul Verhoeven is at his absolute best here, and the social satire of the film, which tackles everything from rampant consumerism to the militarization of the police, has never been more relevant. I'd buy that for a dollar!
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See RoboCop (on 35mm) at 10 p.m. Friday, August 26, at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $11, or $8 for students/seniors and $7 for Denver Film Society members. For tickets and more info, visit the RoboCop event page.
1. The Graveyard Shift: A Cat in the Brain
Lucio Fulci is the best, most original horror director you've (probably) never heard of. From his unsettling giallos to his seminal zombie films, Fulci pushed the boundaries of gore and good taste while consistently creating some of the most surreal and atmospheric horror of all time. In A Cat in the Brain, Fulci goes meta, playing a low-budget horror director who may be committing atrocious murders or losing his mind, if not both. This is Fulci at his Fulciest — that means lots of gore, and a whole lot of insanity — and while it may not be the best introduction to his peculiar charms, it's still an absolute must-see for horror fans of all stripes.