From chocolate syrup dripping from victims on black and white film, to Dick Smith’s realistic concoction that almost saddled Taxi Driver an X rating, fake blood has evolved and changed throughout the years, creatively adapting to whatever the story needs. Movie blood, in its many consistencies, colors and forms, has been an historical and essential part of the filmmaker’s toolkit. So just in time for Halloween, Dez and Joey walk us through several recipes for fake movie blood that you can make yourself at home, including the famous recipe from legendary makeup effects artist Dick Smith.
Important Reminder: Any time you are shooting movies that include blood effects, gore, violence, or weapons, please let your neighbors (or school campus / authorities) know in advance that you will be shooting these types of scenes, and that all props and effects are fake. Most film schools have strict rules in place for this, especially for prop weapons. Stay informed, be prepared, and you can keep it fun.
Full List of Grocery Store Ingredients Pictured In-Video:
- Clear Karo syrup (corn syrup)
- Dark Karo syrup
- Red Food Coloring (liquid)
- Non-dairy creamer
- blue, yellow and green food coloring
- Powdered cocoa Tapioca pudding (or white yogurt)
- Clear dishwashing soap
Pre-Made Blood Products
Drying Blood Jelly/Jam
Ben Nye Stage Blood
Ben Nye Fresh Scab
Dick Smith’s Famous Blood Recipe
(NOTE: This is a toxic substance, can NOT be used near/in mouth or eyes)
1 qt - clear corn syrup
1 tsp - methyl paraben (can be omitted, but the shelf life will decrease)
2 oz - powdered red food color
5 tsp - powdered yellow food color
2 oz - Kodak Photo-Flo (TOXIC)
2 oz - Water
Questions for @DezDolly or @JoeyScoma? Ask us below!
Want to read more? Here are the works Dez referenced for our bloody history lesson.
Blood Sport - TIME
Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis: ‘Blood Feast’ to Zombificador - Examiner
Filmsite.org - Visual Effects
Arts Reformation - Hays Code
100 Years in Horror: The Greatest Special Effects Makeup Artists Ever! - Bloody Disgusting
A Brief History of Fake Blood - Slate
Easy Riders Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
Godard on Godard: Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard
Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello