Dear Hollywood: Enough Already With The Digital Blood

I bring this up because I watched Harry Brown last night (which was both better and worse than I thought it was going to be). Harry Brown is the one with Michael Caine as a British pensioner who goes Death Wish on a bunch of drug-dealin’ kids. One of it’s strengths is it’s a great looking movie, confining itself mostly to a horribly-depressing “estate” (British for “projects”) that reeks of verisimilitude.

Or, rather, it does right up until the point where any violence happens, at which point the film-makers decided to save a few bucks and use the dumbest-looking CGI blood effects I’ve seen since, well, the last terrible digital blood effect. I’m not anti-CGI by any stretch - tools are tools, and CGI can be utilized well - but bad blood effects pull me out of a movie like almost nothing else can. At that point, you might as well just go full-on Scott Pilgrim on the movie and write “BANG!” on the screen whenever a gun fires.

So, in conclusion: Bad effects are bad.

Agreed. For the most part it looks terrible. I know it probably saves a ton of time and money (having to re-set squibs for a blown shot must suck, big time) - but for the love of god…

The digital gore in Romero’s last zombie flick was dreadful, and tons of Japanese films go that route now, too…


Yeah, squibs rule. Sometimes practical effects are just better.

Also you can always tell who is going to get shot in the chest next (hint: it is the guy in the loose fitting new white shirt keeping his arms away from his chest)

Blood effects should not be handled via computer, yeah I agree with that.

I’d rather have NO blood effects at the moment of impact if it means using computer graphics.

Shoot a character and have him(or her) act shot as usual, then cut to whatever. Next we see him(or her) then we can see the blood stains/pools forming- that’ll work for me.

For gore films it has to be real fake blood. C’mon, that’s what your audience is watching the movie for! Unless your gore movie has Kelly Brook naked in 3d, in which case feel free to use any means necessary.


yeah, what was up with the blood splatter in that game? i was grossed out watching the cutscenes until i got desensitized after a few hours.

It is out of control, that’s what. I turned it off in the options after I my character was covered head to toe in blood splatter after killing rats in the kitchen during the noble origin.

The only time it ever worked was in the zero gravity assassination scenes in The Undiscovered Country. It was also mauve.

That’s true - I thought that was an excellent scene. Very well done.

. . . and for that matter, digital swords and arrows, a la the recent Zatoichi. When the sword blade somehow bends and flickers after you run a guy through, I just don’t care as much. They need to realize that a perfectly straight object moving correctly in relation to a real human is outside of their grasp for a few more years.


[I]…he explodes like a blood sausage!

…your bullets turn him into a thin red paste

…fine red mist[/i]

(old and creaky game designer rants:)

I remember when he had to use words! None of these fancy graphics!

Wasteland, right? I loved that game.

And we put a maturity warning on the game because of those phrases!

Admittedly, rather cynically, since our target audience was older teens anyway - it was intended as a marketing tool, not a caution to parents.

As to the actual thread - yeah, blood and gore can be overdone or distracting.

I thought Zodiac had decent digital blood, but otherwise I would rather have squibs. If old school is good enough for Kubrick and Private Pyle, it’s good enough for the rest of us.

It didn’t look great though…

But it’s really 300 that doomed us. And the hilarious thing about that blood is that it vanishes before it hits the ground.

I don’t mind the digital blood as much as I do the stuff they do with guns. I hate when it’s clear they didn’t use actual guns with blanks and just have the actor jerking the gun on cue then edit in the flashes later. It never looks even remotely right.

freddiew (sorry, can’t post links, just look him up on youtube) manages to pull it off pretty well sometimes. Check out his future FPS and Time Crisis videos, for example.