ByTaylor Krauss, writer at
Hi, I'm Taylor, and I'm a horror addict. Find me at, @taylorterrible on Instagram, @taylorterriible on Twitter
Taylor Krauss

CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD (specifically regarding Cannibal Holocaust)!!!

I'm pretty sure most of us horror fans are big fans of gore. There's something so satisfying as a horror-movie-watcher when a character you didn't like dies in some kind of bodily explosion, or when you're rooting for the villain and they make a crazy kill.

But we all know, with the good comes the bad. CGI effects are slowly taking over, and that means sometimes, even the blood is faked. (Boooo.) To get us back in the spirit of "the grosser, the better," here are 10 times that real fake blood (typically a mixture of Karo syrup, red food coloring, and some thickening agents) stole the show!

10. Carrie (1976 AND 2013!)

Many horror fans will be glad to know that both the original and remake versions of the classic Carrie used real-fake blood for the iconic pig's blood scene.

Director of the remake Kimberly Pierce, wanted to make the scene as close to the original as possible, trying multiple different amounts of blood, and tried from three different heights to get the bucket drop juuuuust right. Props to you, Kimberly Pierce!

Pig's blood at prom circa 2013
Pig's blood at prom circa 2013

9. Evil Dead (1981)

Although Bruce Campbell complained of the Karo syrup mixture hardening on him throughout the day, it was his own recipe (and it looks damn good)! In his autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, he explains how to apply the mixture as well as remove it. Twist: he uses non-dairy creamer!

According to an article on, they used anywhere between 200 to 300 gallons of the stuff on set. Delicious.

8. Cannibal Holocaust (**graphic image included**)

Some of the blood in this film was actually real blood, as 7 animals were killed in the making of the film (-sadface-). I do not by any means condone cruelty towards animals, and even director Ruggero Deodato later apologized, saying "I was stupid to introduce animals."

However, the film was banned in many countries on the allegation that actors died during production because of the incredibly graphic nature of the film. The scene depicted above, in which it looks as if one of the actresses is impaled (and it's REALLY gross) was the scene in question. Deodato had to prove to the court how he made it look so real, and had to show pictures of the actress interacting with the cast and crew after filming.

...Talk about the use of realistic blood.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street

As some of you may know, Johnny Depp made his acting debut alongside Freddy Krueger as Glen Lantz. He also had the coolest death in the film. I call it "the blood volcano." I also call it "poor Johnny."

Fun fact: the amount of fake blood that was used when Glen basically explodes all over the ceiling was so intense that no one wanted to help clean it up. They paid the mechanical FX director's son $10 to mop it up, and he was still there cleaning the next morning when the crew came for filming.

6. Hellraiser

Okay, maybe I'm biased as Hellraiser is one of my favorite horror films of all time. BUT, you can't deny that there are plenty of chain-filled, nasty, skin-ripping scenes.

Sadly, some brutal, gory scenes were cut for the sake of censorship (which could be good or bad) to keep the film at an R rating. These included: two shots of Julia brutally beating a man to death with a hammer (and a shot of the hammer lodged in his disfigured skull...mmm), and a longer, (somehow) bloodier version of Frank's head exploding.

5. Flowers of Flesh and Blood

Considered one of the most disturbing films of all time, this movie features complete body dismemberment after a girl is rendered unconscious by the use of chloroform. Her captor then takes her dismembered body parts, and adds them to his collection. That's the film. Brutal.

Charlie Sheen, after watching the film, called the FBI insisting that they open an investigation because he was convinced he'd witnessed an actual homicide. Director Hideshi Hino had to demonstrate his special effects to the FBI in order for them to drop the investigation.

4. Cabin in the Woods

This film features some fun, campy creatures that are almost kind of cute, but are really not afraid to rip your head off. Or just tear you apart. Or eat you.

200,000 gallons of fake blood were supposedly used to create the insanity that is one of the last scenes of the film. Also, most of those creatures were not CGI! They were filmed on a green screen, but most of those characters were in full makeup (including the Merman, who was hooked up to a pipe to spray blood)!

3. The Shining

You all know exactly which scene I'm talking about. You know, the one where the elevators just explode blood everywhere? Well, it was shot three times. So it's even more blood than we ever thought possible.

Kubrick used between 200 and 300 gallons of the fake blood. I don't know if that means total or if that means per take, but regardless, that's a lot of blood to just be gushing everywhere. Yes.

2. Dead Alive

Known as one of the bloodiest films of all time, this movie has a scene in which full bodies are ripped apart by a lawn mower. It sprays blood like an actual shower. At apparently 5 gallons per second. WHAT.

300 liters of blood alone were used in the last scene of the film. #1 on this list knocked this film out of its record-holding spot as bloodiest horror film of all time.

1. Evil Dead (2013)

This film holds a special place in my heart. It also holds the world record of bloodiest horror film. There is so much more to this film than tongue-splitting and burnt flesh and crazy trees that sexually assault people...

There is BLOOD RAIN. 50,000 GALLONS OF BLOOD IN ONE SCENE. None of that blood is CGI; it is all pure real-fake blood. So there you have it, the bloodiest film in horror history. It's pretty beautiful.

I hope I didn't gross you all out too badly! Until next time, my gruesome, gory goblins,

Stay spooky!

Taylor Terrible


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