BLOOD! Yup its come down to one of horrors lowest denominators.
Gore and viscera although not essential to good horror are jolly good fun if done right. It is indeed a trademark of most of the Italian horror maestros, and the so called video nasties of the 80s achieved cult status simply because they were so gorey.
This is contrary to some of horror’s absolute classics having a conspicuous absence of blood. I remember being shocked when I revisited Carpenter’s Halloween as to how little blood is actually in the film.
Halloween nostalgia moment number 3 is really a double bill. This is only because I couldn’t decide what one to show you, and then simply thought: Bollocks! Ill show em both. But they are, in my opinion, both examples of blood being used to terrifying effect.
The first clip takes me back to a time when doing PE in my underwear and singing hymns in assembly was commonplace. Take yourself back to 1980, plonk yourself on the sofa next to mum on a Saturday evening, and marvel at the 80s high fashion and kitch décor.
The second one is a great clip from a not so great film. But watch this scene and tell me you didn’t wince once… go on, I dare you…
I was quite a nosebleedy kid and had a lot of operations on my sinuses and adenoids at a young age. I remember an alarmingly protracted nose bleed at my nan's one sunday afternoon in front of the fire. I think this scene really brings back that awful sense of panic I felt when my nose bleed just wouldnt stop and all the grown ups were running around making a fuss.What adds to that unsettling panic is the woefully inadequate wisps of crumpled tissue his wife keeps giving him to stem the cascade of blood gushing out of his nose. The little fetish doll is also a nice little touch of extra horror into the bargain. The film, alas is Children of the Corn 2 and is a load of old pants of the highest order.
The first clip was of course The House that Bled to Death from Hammer Horror’s TV series. Even the revelation by the parents at the end, that the whole thing was a hoax did not make that scene any less terrifying in that half an hour of hindsight. The scene is simply unforgettable at any age, let alone when you are an 8 year old kid as I was.
Sorry the Carrie scene didn’t make it, but a bucket of pigs blood on a telekinetic psycho just doesn’t compare to a pipe that spews blood over infants at a birthday party or a nose bleed in a church that kills you as the concerned parishioners look on.
Tune in to my next blog when its all aboard for horror in my fourth moment of Halloween nostalgia.
Big D out.
Big D out.