There Will Be Blood: 7 of The Bloodiest Movies Ever

Tuesday, May 8 by Joseph Gibson

Jean-Luc Godard once said about onscreen blood, "that's not blood, that's red." He said it in French, but you get the idea. The point is that blood looks great on film, so there's a lot of movies that coat the actors, sets, and costumes with buckets of gooey red syrup. So if you like watching blood in various forms, you'll probably like these films, which qualify as seven of the bloodiest ever.

  1. "Psycho" Alfred Hitchcock was the first filmmaker to realize that blood isn't something to shy away from, but something you should zoom in on and scrutinize as closely as possible. For the famous shower murder scene, instead of the customary few drops of fake blood audiences were used to seeing, Hitchcock showed them a much more realistic and horrifying stream of blood from Janet Leigh, down into the shower drain. It might not seem like a lot of blood now, but it paved the way for the much bloodier movies to follow – movies like:
  2. "The Wild Bunch" Onscreen violence reached a new plateau in "Bloody" Sam Peckinpah's western action classic. He took the violent, bloody style of the killing scenes in "Bonnie and Clyde" and essentially spread them out across the entire movie. Bullets are the source of most of the arterial sprays, but there's also a very memorable throat-cutting scene.
  3. "MASH" Robert Altman's war comedy inspired a very popular sitcom and is a pretty hilarious romp on its own, so it's easy to forget about the buckets of blood that are shown in the medical scenes. Easy to forget, that is, until you actually watch the movie. Altman shoots the carnage of a battlefield medical facility very matter-of-factly, in an almost documentary style.
  4. "Pierrot le Fou" The aforementioned Godard used a ton of fake blood in the scissor murder scene in this French New Wave crime classic. And since this is 1965, and Godard, you know the blood is that bright-red technicolor variety. It might not look real, but it certainly looks good.
  5. "Deep Red" Dario Argento is famous for his Italian thrillers that contain gallons of blood, and this is one of his bloodiest (just look at the title, after all). The murder scenes rip through the quiet and surreal atmosphere of the movie like bloody thunderbolts, and the violence goes beyond just blood. In one particularly gruesome scene, a woman is knocked out and plunged face-first into scalding hot water. But there's plenty of blood, too, including the famous shot of a bloody knife in the opening sequence.
  6. "Taxi Driver" The climax of Martin Scorsese's urban nightmare was so bloody that studio executives demanded he tone down the color in it, so the blood doesn't pop off the screen as it was originally intended. Instead, it has a ruddy, brown quality, that somehow makes the violent shootout a lot more disturbing.
  7. "Shogun Assassin" One of the primary influences on Quentin Tarantino's famously bloody "Kill Bill," "Shogun Assassin" (also known as "Lone Wolf and Cub") has tons of kung fu action and violent decapitations and bloody choppings. It's also a rare example of a movie that is improved by American dubbing, especially for fans of the Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, who samples the movie extensively on his masterpiece "Liquid Swords." And there's enough blood here to satisfy any bloodhound.