The Ten Best Geek Events in Denver in July

Sure, July is all about fireworks and celebrating the launch of the American endeavor, but when it's time to take a break from all the backyard pyrotechnics and flag waving, you'll be happy to find a month well stocked with geek fun. From the greatest fan film ever made to the nation's nerdiest county fair, July will bring the geek. Here are ten of the month's best geek choices, presented in chronological order for easy planning purposes. 

10. Raiders of the Lost Ark celebration! Raiders  tribute film, doc and more
An entire generation of kids who saw Raiders of the Lost Ark 35 years ago wanted desperately to be Indiana Jones. For two of them, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, it wasn’t enough to just pretend in the back yard: They spent the next seven years – plus a bit more after they were all grown up – lovingly recreating the film. That odyssey in adolescent film-making took most of a decade and $5,000 to finish, and now you can see it, along with a brand-new doc about the pair and the film, Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, in the best Raiders-themed double feature to ever not feature the original film (you can see that, too, on a different day).

See the Raiders double-feature at 7:45 p.m. Friday, July 1, at the Alamo Drafthouse. After the films, Strompolos and Zala will stick around for a Q&A. For tickets, $11.25, and more info, visit the Alamo website. The documentary about the filmmakers, Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, opens July 1 at the Sie FilmCenter; Strompolos and Zala will be there Saturday, July 2, for a Q&A after the 7 p.m. showing of the documentary, with a screening of their fan adaptation at 9:30 p.m.. The Sie will show the original Raiders at 2 p.m Sunday, July 3.; for information and tickets, go to the Denver Film Society website. Learn more about the films at the Raiders Guys website.

9. Film on the Rocks: Scream
By the time the '90s rolled around, the slasher genre was feeling pretty tired. Then Wes Craven delivered Scream, revitalizing the moribund genre with a smart, fresh take on its tired tropes. It would be a stretch to say the film saved horror, but it certainly gave it a much needed kick in the ass and gave a whole generation of budding horror fans a first favorite movie, while offering old-school fans just as much to love. Now, at twenty years old, it's poised to charm yet another generation of fans, this time as a venerated pillar of the genre. (Plus, if there's any better place to see it than under the stars at Red Rocks, I can't imagine what that would be.)

Scream will screen Thursday, July 7, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The evening starts at 7 p.m. with a performance by Emerald Siam, with the film to follow. For tickets, $15 to $65, and more info, visit the Denver Film Society website.

8. Films on Tap: Office Space
The lack of laser guns, magic swords and supernatural happenings may suggest that Office Space is not a true geek film, but don't be fooled: Any film about three programmers trapped in a dead-end job, packed with references to Superman III and Kung Fu and wish-fulfillment scenes about taking out that miserable fucking printer, is all about that geek life. You've seen Office Space a dozen times before, but now you get to enjoy it (in 35mm) as a drinking game to chase away that chronic case of the Mondays. Drink every time someone mentions a TPS report — but plan on Lyfting home, because you're going to be shitfaced if you do that. 

Drink and cheer for the triumph of the put-upon nerds of
Office Space at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $11, $8 for seniors and $7 for Denver Film Society members. For tickets and more info, visit the Denver Film Society website.

7. MotherF**ker in a Cape: Women Inside
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 second live taping, the duo will focus on women in comics, with guests Morgan Beem and Cachet Whitman in person to discuss their experiences as women in the comics industry.

Catch the live taping of MotherF**ker in a Cape at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 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.

6. Sci-Fi Film Series
For the past few years, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Denver Film Society have been making the geek equivalent of peanut butter and chocolate: Take some great science fiction films — both recent and classic releases — and add a real scientist to talk about the science behind the film. The results are glorious. This year's slate of films kicks off with Perfect Sense and follows that with 2030, The Martian, the original King Kong and The Matrix. Metro State University film professor Vincent Piturro will be on hand to discuss the films' cinematic merits, along with a scientist with the appropriate expertise on the subject matter. If you've ever wanted to ask an honest-to-god scientist, "So, do androids dream of electric sheep?" this is your best shot.

See Perfect Sense at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at the Sie FilmCenter, with a new film each Wednesday. Tickets are $15 or $12 for DMNS members and $8 for students. For tickets and more details,  including location info for future films, visit the DMNS Sci-Fi Film Series page

Keep reading for more great geek events this month.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato