After the Dark Knight, Skywalker, the Planet of the Apes, the Lycans, Hannibal, Taj, the Dark, the Guardians, the Silver Surfer, Cobra, the Machines, an Empire, Leslie Vernon, and Darkrai, it is time for “Evil Dead” to rise.
Lee Cronin’s “Evil Dead Rise,” which roars back to bloody life on April 21, 2023, is the fifth film in the series begun by Sam Raimi in 1981 with “The Evil Dead,” a picture that described itself as the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror. The first two “Evil Dead” movies pushed the envelope in their sheer volume of on-screen blood, as characters would often be doused copiously with bodily humors. The third film, “Army of Darkness,” featured a geyser of human blood, and the 2013 “Evil Dead” remake climaxed with a scene of someone getting chainsawed through the face while blood literally rains from the sky. All told, the “Evil Dead” movies contain as much blood as the state of Florida does right now.
“Rise” will, according to Cronin, be no different. In a recent interview with /Film’s own Ryan Scott, Cronin recalled the exact volume of stage blood that he used on the set of his movie. And this, he said, was the genuine article. It wasn’t homemade stage blood; it wasn’t mere water colored red. It was the actual viscous, soupy mixture that one so often saw dripping out of Christopher Lee’s mouth in the late 1950s. And that stuff isn’t cheap. A gallon jug of water-based fake blood can run you back $135.00 US.
How Many Liters?
Cronin, an Irish director, said that “Evil Dead Rise” used about 6,500 liters of blood during its production. For those in the United States, that translates to 1,717 gallons. For perspective, a round 1,700-gallon hot tub would need to be over six feet deep, and measure seven-and-a-quarter feet across. To put it in grimmer terms, the human body contains about 1.5 gallons of blood. This film would have required the complete exsanguination of 1,133 people, and a 1,134th to give a little extra for the cause, which might explain why the “Evil Dead Rise” stars say they were “pushed to the absolute edge” during production. Cronin recalled the process, saying:
“[It’s] all proper sticky, icky movie blood. Like the real deal. There’s no cheating of taking some water and putting red food coloring in. Because that will not do. This was all cooked. We had to hire an industrial kitchen to make the amount of blood that we needed, and it was everywhere. So yeah, it’s the real deal. And it’s splattered all over the screen.”
Cronin didn’t say what the ingredients of the blood were, but it was presumably more professionally produced than the blood from the earlier “Evil Dead” movies. Actor Bruce Campbell has gone on record several times with the ideal recipe for those who need to make fake blood on a budget, and who only have access to a local supermarket. By Campbell’s standard, one requires a half bottle of clear Karo syrup, a full bottle of red food coloring, and a few dashes of blue food coloring to make the color more vibrant. Then add some powdered nondairy creamer to add an element of opacity. It looks great, even if it doesn’t taste very good. The total cost is less than $25.
The blood budget of “Evil Dead Rise” is currently unknown.
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