Puzzah Takes Puzzle Gaming Off the Screen and Into Real-Life LoDo

Categories: Games

Adam Roy
Derek Anderson and Sarah Cai hope Puzzah will make a dent in Denver.
The mad composer's voice cuts in over the intercom, taunting us. He's placed a time bomb somewhere backstage at the performing arts center, and I and two other detectives have just an hour to find and disarm it. A clock in the corner of the room ticks down the time as we scour the room for clues, anything that might help us survive.

It sounds like a scene from a video game, but we're nowhere near a TV. Instead, the mystery is unfolding at Puzzah, a new business in LoDo offering an unusual twist on the live escape-the-room games just beginning to establish themselves on America's shores.

As the name suggests, live escape-the-room games are a type of problem-solving challenge in which players attempt to piece together a way out of a locked chamber. The games originated in Asia and Europe, and are increasing in number and popularity in the United States; Puzzah, which opens on Halloween with its first room, "Tick Tock," is the second venue in metro Denver, after Centennial's Clue Room. A third business, Trapped in a Room With a Zombie, is scheduled to open its doors in November.

See also: Aurora Steampunk Board Game Clockwork Kingdom Raises Funding on Second Try

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Merry Christmastime: Film Shooting in Denver Seeks Mob of Extras

Categories: Film and TV

Quiet on the set! A Park Hill location decked out as a Boulder Christmasy scene.
Despite the state's efforts to beef up its movie industry, it's still unusual to see a crew actually filming on location in Denver. And it's even rarer that one of those productions announces it's holding open auditions for scores of extras -- all ages and types, no experience necessary -- to join in the glitz and glamour, the stale coffee and endless takes.

Well, get ready, local thespians, because Christmas comes early this year. Make that Christmastime, a homey, holiday-oriented family feature, directed by Michael Landon Jr., that's shooting around town right now and has sent out a casting call for a hundred-plus extras, with auditions scheduled this Saturday.

See also: Christmastime (The Movie) Comes Early to Park Hill

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10 Things to Do for $10 in Denver This Weekend (8 Free!), October 31-November 2

Categories: 10 for $10


Halloween won't be on a Friday again until 2025. Don't waste eleven years waiting for the next one because there is plenty to do this time. Even if you're not into the whole ghouls and goblins celebration, there are options, including smashing pumpkins, meeting artists and practicing vinyasa. Surf the Westword calendar for more happenings and tell us about ones we missed in the comments.

See also: Ten Top Day of the Dead Celebrations in Denver This Week

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Five Best Horror Franchises to Marathon-Watch This Halloween

Courtesy spinoff.comicbookresources.com
Follow Jason Voorhees through 12 "Friday the 13th" movies in an epic Halloween movie marathon.

Horror films take place in an alternate universe where logic disappears. The villain comes back to life, the car doesn't start and those damn kids always go into the dark basement alone. Instead of spending your Halloween partying with people in Ebola patient costumes, choose a classic horror movie franchise and binge watch every chapter. Compare and contrast different elements, count the number of deaths and finally be the definitive voice on which A Nightmare on Elm Street is the best. Here are the top five horror film franchise to binge-watch this Halloween weekend.

See also: Five Foreign-Language Films That Will Scare You in Five Different Languages

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Choki Gallery Will Bring Bhutan to Denver This Weekend

Courtesy Casey Hartnett
The artwork at Choki comes from a Bhutanese school that teaches arts and crafts.
Casey Hartnett gave up a career in finance to travel the world without a plan -- just guided by his spirit. "If something felt good, then that's the path I chose," Hartnet says. "I just kept following beautiful things. If something made sense, then that's where I would go."

Through a series of twists and turns, Hartnett landed in Bhutan, a small country tucked between China and India. Harnett quickly fell in love with the country, and two years later he's created Choki, a non-profit that showcases art and cultures from developing countries. Choki will open its gallery space inside Carmen Wiedenhoeft on Saturday, November 1 with a permanent exhibit of Bhutanese artwork, including scarves, paintings, drawings, mandalas and photography.

See also: Review: Dmitri Obergfell Collapses the Old Into the New at Gildar Gallery

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Kara Duncan

Kara Duncan, "Filling the Void'," press-molded casts, three unfired white clay bodies created for the 2007 show "Luminous." Visitors were encouraged to walk on the work, crunching the casts to create remnants and dust. This was Duncan's only personal exhibit at Vertigo.
#47: Kara Duncan

Through the '90s, Kara Duncan went the art-school route, finally ending up at Cranbrook, where she earned an MFA in ceramics under the tutelage of Tony Hepburn. But in 2004, the artist began a new journey, when construction began on Vertigo Art Space, the gallery she's run since 2006, in an 1880s-vintage building in the Art District on Santa Fe. At Vertigo, Duncan gives established artists room to stretch without focusing on the commercial aspects of art, while also offering a launching pad to younger artists and students looking for a foothold in the early stages of a difficult career choice. Artists don't just exhibit work at Vertigo, they thrive in the character-building space. We invited Duncan, who supports her artists every inch of the way, to elaborate on her place in the art world by answering the 100CC questionnaire; keep reading for the result.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Jill Hadley Hooper

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Five Lessons Learned From Binge-Watching 31 Zombie Movies

Categories: Geek Speak

Phantasm II, one of the few highlights of my torturous adventure in zombie filmdom.
By the time you read this, I will be 29 movies deep into my seventh annual zombie movie marathon month. This year, in defiance of both common sense and my own advice, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and clear out my backlog of unwatched zombie movies, so my marathon has consisted of only films I'd never seen before -- meaning no old favorites, no "safe" films that I knew I'd enjoy. And, since I've already seen more than two hundred zombie movies, the lineup has been a combination of newer releases and stuff I dug out of the bottom of the barrel -- sometimes both at once. Now, as I approach the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm here to share what this experience has taught me.

See also: A Guide to Nazi-Zombie Cinema, and Why Nazi Zombies Are Not a Good Idea

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Cinema Contra Presents a Devilish Lineup of Halloween Short Films Tonight

Categories: Film and TV

Equinox, 1970
Equinox will screen tonight at Glob.
If you want to summon some ghosts, sip on witches' brew and watch a satanic smorgasbord of documentary, experimental and narrative shorts, head to Glob for Cinema Contra tonight . Film programmer Anthony Buchanan promises that the ghost of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey will host this unique mix of 16mm and digital prints.

See also: Anthony Buchanan's Found Footage Frenzy Is Beyond Belief

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Review: Dmitri Obergfell Collapses the Old Into the New at Gildar Gallery

Categories: Art review

Gildar Gallery
Dmitri Obergfell, "Apotheosis," mixed materials.
Yinfinity: New Works by Dmitri Obergfell
Gildar Gallery
82 South Broadway

The Gildar Gallery is a modest, nearly anonymous South Broadway storefront with minimal exhibition space, but to his credit, director Adam Gildar continues to present a schedule of thoughtful shows, even if some of them aren't entirely successful. That's hardly what I'd say about the current offering, though, because it works in spades. Yinfinity: New Works by Dmitri Obergfell positively vibrates with aesthetic and conceptual energy -- just like Obergfell himself.

See also: Chuck Parson Builds Momentum With a Huge Show at Z Art Department

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Mary DeForest's Epic Adventure Led to the Latinometer -- a Classic Bullshit Detector

Mary DeForest loves Jane Austen. The 68-year-old academic has read each of the author's novels over 100 times. "I went to her tomb at Winchester Cathedral and burst into tears," she says. "I couldn't believe she was dead."

DeForest has spent much of her academic career defending Austen's legacy. "Austen was unpopular in the '60s because all of her characters got married, and people weren't supposed to get married," she says. "It was my guilty pleasure loving Austen. All my best friends hated Austen. They said she was demeaning to women."

So DeForest set out to prove her friends wrong.

See also: Sixteen Years After His Death, Not-So-Famous Novelist John Williams Is Finding His Audience

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