Is it Heinz Tomato Soup or Strawberry Jam?
Seriously people, blood doesn’t look like either of these food sources and I’m mildly disturbed that you want me to be hungry during these scenes! That guy just got his leg chopped off, blood is fountaining out, and I’m thinking ‘mmm lunch time’.
Okay look, I know the majority of the tomato soup movies are low budget and that’s fine. You have a lot of stuff to pay for and figure out. But blood just isn’t that orange – add some food colouring or hair dye (although this might make the clean up your biggest problem).
And then there’s the strawberry jam looking gore – okay yes the jelliness of the jam gives it the clumping effect you’re probably looking for in clotting blood and strawberries do have a very flesh like appearance. But it’s too red! Try grape or mix the two maybe.
Bet you’re wondering why it bothers me – other than because it makes me hungry?
When you’ve absorbed me in a film little things out of place can catapult me back to my reality. This is true of all stories. Something that doesn’t fit, that seems out of place, or wrong, can have the horrible effect of disengaging the reader or viewer.
So when choosing fake blood….consider these things*
- It’s predictable
- It’s surface tension is slightly less than water’s
- Blood falls in a sphere not a tear drop shape
- a drop of falling blood will not break into smaller droplets
- the surface the blood lands on determines the spatter
- narrow ends of elongated bloodstains point to direction of travel
Corn syrup? As long as it’s not too red.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be less obviously not real.
Of course you could try pigs blood…
…and give your actors the gift of smooth, youthful skin whilst they lay around pretending to be dead.
Dammit now I want beef heart stew!
P.S. On Friday this week It Is The Demon In Me is being relaunched through Wallace Publishing – it’s had a good clean up and can now be bought in paperback too.
I’ll post the links on Friday 🙂
*From S.H.James, J.J.Nordby (2005), Forensic Science, Second Edition, Taylor & Francis: London
Horror and Fantasy Author – Also writing as K.T. McQueen. Love Western Horror, cowboy boots, my cactus Collin, & my Demon Cat.
Moths – I hate moths, the way they flutter at your face!