In Sam Raimi’s Raimi’s 1987 horror classic Evil Dead 2, Bruce Campbell’s idiot-hero Ash attempts to shoot his possessed (and severed) right hand after it scurries behind the walls of a cabin in the woods. Instead of slaying the extremity, Ash causes a torrent of blood to rush out of the wall and drench him in gore. We asked Campbell to explain exactly how they achieved the effect.
The blood flood? We had to try that a couple of ways. We tried pumping [blood] out of a wall. They had these 55-gallon drums, one on top of each other, so you’ve got 110 gallons. They tried the best they could to get the pumps going, but it took time to build up the pressure. You could editorially cut around it, but Sam’s like, “No, we’re going to cut to the chase. Bruce, lie flat like this. We’ll turn the camera sideways, so if you’re lying sideways, and we’re looking at you sideways, it looks like you’re standing up, and you’re looking straight forward.”
So I’m lying that way and the 55-gallon drum is now directly above my face. They’re gonna pull the plug and gravity is going to do the work. You don’t need a pump. It’s all coming out. Sam says to me, “Bruce, if you’re drowning, wave your arms.” I’m like, “That’s what I’m supposed to do anyway!” He goes, “Shut up! Just do it! You’ll be fine!” They tested one drop. It hit me right square in the forehead. They were like, “It’ll hit, it’ll get him.” In the movie, you see it come rocketing out and just hit me square in the face. It was a bull’s-eye.
I was blowing red snot for easily a week. People make fun of these movies sometimes. They think you’re not working hard, or they think these low-budget movies are easy, or whatever. They’re so full of sh—.