McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

October 25, 2013

A brief history of fake blood

When it comes to adaptations of "Carrie," the blood literally comes in buckets. For the newest version, director Kimberly Peirce was determined to get the climactic drop of pig's blood just right. As she described it in a recent New York Times Magazine profile, she tried three-gallon, four-gallon and five-gallon buckets, and she tried a three-foot drop, a four-foot drop and a five-foot drop. Trying all these different configurations required take after take after take. When she asked Brian De Palma, director of the classical original "Carrie" (1976), how many takes it took him, he apparently replied, "What do you mean? We did one."

Movie gore has come a long way since the first "Carrie." What pumps through our veins hasn't changed a drop, but what goes in those buckets has been reformulated again and again.

Fake movie blood — sometimes called "Kensington Gore," after the street of that name in London — began evolving long before 1976. For black-and-white films, when blood was permitted at all (the censorship guidelines of the Hays Code in Hollywood didn't much allow it), filmmakers used something quite simple: chocolate syrup. On black-and-white film, it made a starker contrast than red blood, and no one in the theater would ever know it was just Bosco or Hershey's.

At first, technical advances were modest. For "Psycho" (1960), employing state-of-the-art makeup design didn't mean using a new kind of blood, just a new method of delivery: the plastic squeeze bottle. It was brand new with Shasta chocolate syrup. As makeup supervisor Jack Barron explained it, "This was before the days of the 'plastic explosion,' so that was pretty revolutionary. Up to that time in films, we were using Hershey's, but [with the squeeze bottle] you could do a lot more."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.