This weekend's science fiction/horror/generally strange aesthetic festival, Contamination 2011, had its unfair share of prize moments. The Sheraton Wesport Chalet was a hub of moderately famous meetings (Sean Patrick Flanery from The Boondock Saints, actor Eric Roberts) and cult B-level classics (Kung Fu Rascals, Never Too Young To Die) on constant rotation in its side theater. It also had lots (and lots) of gore and action figures. While you take a look at our photo slideshow of the weekend's eclectic schedule, Daily RFT has documented the five coolest aspects of Contamination 2011.
5. Awesome tattoos Walking into the basement lair that housed Contamination's vendors and autograph stations, the first thing you noticed was the introduction at the entrance. A family, all of its members wearing gas masks, is arranged with its youngest member under a sign reading "Are you my mummy?" We'll get to the one-liners later, but the welcome was a pretty good indication of the rest of the weekend. The second thing you notice is the tattoos -- awesome and in the hundreds -- covering prime real estate all over the bodies of the attendees. The majority were, of course, horror-themed. We counted three Chucky doll tattoos and several 2D scar marks where we're assuming Freddy Krueger got some people.
4. Deadly jams If it wasn't from Norway -- or at the very least Sweden -- chances are your metal genre of choice was not played at Contamination this weekend. When asked who was in charge of the music, the organizers had no answer, but whoever the DJ was knew how to coordinate a horror convention. The exception in a soundtrack focused heavily on black and death metal was Queens of the Stone Age, played perhaps as a respite at 9 a.m. Saturday. Despite its volume and enthusiasm, the music was occasionally overshadowed by the strange next entry on this list.
3. Dr. Cryptosis The seldom seen but frequently heard host of the daytime events was a ghoulish-voiced character named Dr. Cryptosis. The doctor, whom we're guessing is not a medical one, borrowed heavily from old Vincent Price movies and divided his intercom time equally between making shout-outs to the ladies (Read: "vixens") at the event and dropping ominous references to "mysterious" events held later in the day. The results were both hilarious and heartfelt in a deadly (we couldn't help ourselves) way that made us forgive him for evoking Count Chocula more than Count Dracula as the days wore on.
2. The dedication We mentioned earlier that this list won't focus on specific moments -- there were way too many -- which means that some of the aspects are a little broader than others. That said, we've got to give a shout out to the patience and perseverance of Contamination's attendees. They took their time and took it again. But, hey, these are people who paid $20 for one autograph. They don't mind standing in line meet a celebrity screamer or to hand-select that perfect Vincent Price illustration (a legitimately tough decision). In the meantime, while they waited they enjoyed fringe benefits that only Contamination could offer, such as eating gummy candies shaped like brains and having their fortunes read by a clairvoyant parked curiously close to the bathroom door.
1. Wacky wordplay Warning: There was a lot of it. Contamination 2011 included about as many meaningful catchphrases as it did scenes of meaningless violence, and while some of the options hit about six feet under the belt (A shirt reading, "Necrophilia: Because Dead Girls Can't Say No"), most were awesome (every other slogan). Some plays at cleverness were actually just inexplicable (a DVD called Cockhammer: Sanity is for Sissies). If you counted the number of puns that included variations on the words "night" and "knight" alone, you'd be in the hundreds. You'd probably also be laughing.