The Twisting History of Blood on Film

Movies draw us in because they can show us what we don't see in real life, or make what we'd rather not see in real life okay to watch. Blood has been a big part of moviemaking since filmmaker found ways to chip around the Hays Code, beginning with the violence World War II.

Fittingly, it was Alfred Hitchcock—a British director who delighted in scandalizing prudish Americans—who would deal the Code its most crushing blow. In 1960, Hitchcock released Psycho, which smashed cinematic taboos by showing a man and woman in bed together, taking viewers into a bathroom, and depicting cross-dressing. There was also some serious blood. In the now-canonical shower scene, which required 78 setups, 52 cuts, and a week of filming to pull off, blood is shown swirling down the drain. Part of the reason Hitchcock chose to shoot Psycho not in color but black and white—which was, in 1960, still thought of as the more artistic and realistic medium—was because he didn’t think audiences could handle the bloodshed of the scene in color. Although Hitchcock used chocolate syrup, some audience members reportedly swore that the substance had been red—such was the power and novelty of the filmmaking, and the rarity of seeing blood actually flow on screen.

Since then, blood has been used to shock audiences in every way possible. Read about those methods, what they used for blood, and how it affected audiences at Topic. -via Digg

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