The folks over at Horrorscapes just posted an update on their blog about the new scenes we shot this past week. Mentioned was the Cleaver Incident, and that they'd let me explain what happened.
Okay, it's a cautionary tale of bad blood. Really bad blood.
When doing work that involves blood, I have about six different types of the red stuff that I use for FX. Some are edible, others are not. As a general rule I only use corn syrup blood when it is actually going into an actor's mouth. While it may be the best-known and most popular formula for fake blood, it's also a sticky mess that is difficult to clean up and attracts all kinds of insects.
The blood formulas I use the most are gelatin-based bloods which solidify quickly. They clean up very easily and are great when continuity is important. Unfortunately, gel bloods aren't the best choice for doing FX that require running liquid blood through tubing.
Because tubes were used to bleed out the Cleaver victim, I used a glycerin-based blood. I like using glycerin because it is shiny, skin-safe, and takes the dyes I use very well. It's also very slippery, which is why it is often used in personal lubricants.
Bleeding FX are fairly easy to do. Basically you just run a tube to deliver the blood to where it needs to be and propel it using a device such as a syringe. For this particular effect, I had a 60cc syringe filled with glycerin blood and about three feet of plastic tubing. During the shoot I was sitting on the floor between Mike and Garith (and out of camera view) operating the blood flow.
Now, when you pump 60cc of liquid blood into a 3-foot tube, inevitably there will still be a lot of the liquid left in it after the syringe has been emptied of air. But the camera was still rolling and a call was made for "more blood!"
So in an incredible overestimation of my lung power and failure to remember the laws of physics (gravity in particular), I detached the tube from the syringe and blew into it like a straw.
I ended up with what was basically a mouth full of K-Y Jelly. Yuck!
You can imagine the blowing and spitting comments that followed.