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Gore advice?

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Gore advice?

Post by MonsterKat on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:15 pm

I'm needing some help when it comes to gorey halloweeny stuff...particularly when it comes to products I should be buying! Is there certain kinds of latex that work better than others? Is the stuff in the local halloween shops different quality than the stuff I find on online face paint places? what other products whould I be looking into buying? Do I need some skin/flesh tone paint? fake blood?
I did buy a tiny bottle of latex last halloween season...never really ended up using it because I just didn't 'get' how to use it properly, but I LOVE SFX type stuff and want to learn...

My main issue is that I've booked a few 'zipper faces', I'm totally stoked to give it a go I'm just not sure where to start!

TIA!!
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by TheGildedCat on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:25 pm

Hey Kat,

yes, there are different kinds of liquid latex. Some is thinner and often called "slip" latex. I wouldn't buy this for faces, but I would use it for painting in latex molds. Ben Nye, Kryolan, Graftobian, etc all make decent latex for using on skin. It should smell strongly of ammonia - if it's lost it's ammonia smell, it's not good to use anymore. There is also a product called "zombie skin" which is simply thickened latex. It's kind of fun to work with but also really expensive when compared to regular liquid latex. You can achieve that effect really easily with the craft-store products listed below.

I also use pros-aide when applying prosthetics. I personally hate working with spirit gum, and I feel I get a better tack adhesion with pros-aide. Plus, it's easier to take off.

Thick blood
Stage blood

Other craft-store things I use when creating prosthetics from scratch:
natural cotton (chunky, it's great for making effects)
cotton balls
synthetic batting (just played around with this the other day - lots of fun!)
cotton batting sheets'
porous medical tape (for covering eyebrows, so you don't get latex in them)

You can paint on top of dried latex with our waterbased paints, stippling color works best. Alternately, you can also airbrush water-based paint on top of them. You can then apply creme makeup on top of the waterbased for added effects.

If you want to apply grease makeup on top of the latex, you should apply a thin layer of castor oil to the appliance before you paint with the grease paint.

I'd look for youtube videos as far as techniques go. I could type it all out, but honestly, there are some great videos that explain the whole process.

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Misha on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:22 pm

Glided Cat, Can I make up the wounds in advance and store them on wax paper? Also, if the wounds are premade can I still use liquid latex to apply them or do I have to use an adhesive? Liquid latex seems to be easier for the college kids I'm working with to remove!

That being said I am having a BLAST playing around with this stuff! I was the first to open the stage blood and let me tell you stage blood with a bit of the thick blood stippled over it looks nasty, in a very awesome way! Twisted Evil
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by TheGildedCat on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Yes, you can pre-make latex wounds - just be sure to powder them with a neutral powder (talc or baby powder are fine). Latex sticks to itself if it's not powdered.

I don't use liquid latex as an adhesive - it's not really meant for that and it doesn't maintain it's hold for long - your effects will come peeling off. If you're just applying them for a quick photo shoot - the latex is okay, but if you're sending people off to a haunted house or dancing or out on the town, you do need to use a true adhesive under your latex appliance. I apply a thin layer of pros-aide to where I am putting the appliance, and a thin layer to the appliance itself. I wait for both sides to get tacky, then press them together. Pros-aide can be removed with baby oil/olive oil or rubbing alcohol - probably either of which a college student would have access to. You can also give them a tiny bottle of baby oil to take home with them for removal.

Hope you're having fun!!
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Misha on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:44 pm

Thanks for the quick answer!

Just found out on Sat. the 2 girls that have been doing the wounds won't be there this weekend, hence me wanting to make them up in advance! They've been doing them right on the face wet and letting them dry then we do the make up over them. I did a few on the 2nd night and man was it fun! I want to play around and make slashes and blisters and all sorts of nasty things instead of them all looking the same! Plus to have them painted before would be fab since getting the cream make up into all those little crevices is a pia!

It's a haunted corn maze btw, I might even gather up the courage to go through it myself this weekend! I doubt it, but maybe! LOL
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Nelsy Haugk on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:10 am

Julie, you are awesome, thanks for the lecture I always wonder way people don't use the latex to glue, well I made wounds last year, and I even paint them but they stink, can I still use them?
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by TheGildedCat on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:24 am

The stinky ammonia is added to liquid latex as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria. I think there are a few ammonia-free brands out there, but they will say it on the label.

Once you have dried latex, it's not going to go bad. Sometimes old wounds can get kind of dried out and crack, so they might not apply as nicely, but they're still safe to use.
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:53 am

I have a step by step for easy latex effects here http://shannonfennell.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/easy-latex-special-effects/

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Re: Gore advice?

Post by anniel on Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Thanks, Shannon--you just saved me a ton of research!
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by MonsterKat on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:18 pm

Thanks for all the advice!! I have been looking at so many video tutorials already that I think I was getting over whelmed, lol so many products, so many different ways to do things, gaaaah!!! Smile
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Hey Julie I just send your name off as a referral for an FX gig.

Latex is an important old school product than if you want to do FX work is important to learn to work with. However I am using latex less often these days when working with persons unknown. It is important to patch test people before applying latex products due to allergy concerns.

And even ammonia free latex stinks like zombies breath. Just less toxic-like.

The Pro to Zombie Skin is it is cleaner and hence easier to work with. No need to add in tissue or cotton. A little goes a long way and the small size cost about the same and a small bottle of latex.

I advise against Halloween discount or chain stores as they stock product right up to and after it's shelf life. Places like Spirit store product year to year, what you buy in early October could be from the year before. Buy from a costume shop you know or online. Note that some FX products are considered hazmat and can not ship through customs.

I think you may want to play with silicones and 3-d gelatins for appliances and skin effects. These are considered safer, can be cleaner to work with and effects can be reusable. And of course it is good to to lean the old school technique of making wounds with wax.

I also suggest simple FX products as a must for any kit -

A bruise wheel and a burn and injury wheel - I prefer Kryolan for the colors
These are Supracolor cream makeups which require translucent powder to set the makeup for long wear. If you use these then get a Concealor Wheel in flesh tones. All the colors and be bought individually too.
Or go with a Wolfe Monster and Skins Palette.

Kryolan Fresh Scratch or Fix Blood, and/or Coagulated Blood.

Be careful there are many types of fake bloods made for many purposes - get a good basic Kryolan FX or Mehron Stage Blood.

There are lots of homemade recipes and effects - fun to learn but not really a means to profit from - FX pros use FX products.
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by fantasiefacies on Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:59 pm

I would skip the latex and go with a facial wax, it doesn't take dry time, and no body has allergies to it.
I have to disagree with Loretta though(no offense). Many special effect makeup artist for movie's and special effects do not buy bloods, they make it, I have made it and profited easily . a simple recipe that taste great and is edible is:
corn syrup
red food coloring
and chocolate syrup
tiny bit of denture powder (for thickness)
mix all together until the color is blood color. the corn syrup is the base and you add the food coloring and chocolate syrup as needed with a tiny bit of denture powder to add a bit of thickness. put it in a pourable bottle with a spout and pour it in to the vampires mouths! YUM!

Also for Zombie mouth recipe:
a runny sugar syrup(water sugar)
couple drops of mint flavoring
lots of black food coloring
Mix together ingredients, put in a small spray bottle, and when you do a zombie face, spray in mouth to make zombie black teeth..Looks Great!
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:30 pm

No offense taken. And none given, but I know about what I write.
Most the top film crews, the real top movie makeup companies buy blood. I've been at this a while now and know a good many top professionals in the FX community, and I have a pretty darn good and communicative relationship with the makeup companies and have had them tell me who buys what from them.

One reason they buy blood is film blood is very different than stage/theater blood, and then there is simulated blood, transparent blood, to flow fast or slow, blood for use on and getting out of costumes, blood just for props,..... and not just fake blood but varied blood products.

Chocolate syrup was great in the black and white days of Hitchcock, but it can't cut it now in High Def films.

As for some big venues films, haunted attractions or theme parks they do make blood product. However they are not using syrups and such. While some have a syrup in them they also contain cabosil and other chemicals. In other words they are making a professional grade blood product.

If you desire a great recipe I suggest using the one Universal Studios uses.

Many haunts and B movies make fake blood. Some better than others. Some use the studio formulations some go cheap and do not add preservatives or chemicals. They use the stuff up so quickly it can be made this way.

And of course there a alot of home haunters do as you note they use the grocery store, and that is fine, it works. However, if you are a professional going out to charge people then you should be using professional products.

There are many reasons for this. Professional ethics, liability, safety, the ability to charge a professional rate, ease of use, consistency or product quality and others. So have fun with your friends with homemade but not with your clients. Yes I am sure one can make profit with homemade but the very top paying gigs are where your not going to get away with using homemade.

As for wax it is hypoallergenic but not as easy to use if you have a need to work quickly, nor easy to make pre-made wounds from. There are far superior products. I agree and I'l skip the latex, It is cheap and easy to use in pre-made format. So easy to pour in a mold and stick on, but with the unknowns now days of allergies. I go with silicone, 3-D Gel or Bondo Transfers.

We all work differently and have different client bases. I prefer to spend more for product and get more in returned profits. If you are a hobby fx painter with friends to paint and makeup it's ok to go homemade, but if you are asking people to pay you, in my opinion, you must be able to provide them a safe product.

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Re: Gore advice?

Post by ladysinaz on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:22 am

Here are a few examples of stuff i was playing with

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.482315278465470.113034.454963034534028&type=3

I got some clay, used the back of some of my bigger brushes and made indents in the clay, then filled them with latex.. once they were fully dried, i peeled them out and now i have a full little container of boils Smile

I did the same thing with scars

For scabs, i used the latex and toilet paper, then painted them.. the one bloody scab in the picture i used the scar wax to blend the edges.


I don't agree with "having" to buy pro/mass marketed blood in order to be a professional. If you have a good recipe, it looks good, is consistent and not harmful, and you apply it like a pro. Then what is the issue.

If you are keeping buckets of the stuff around, then maybe there is an issue with it going bad quick. but if it's made to order for an event or something.. i see no issues
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Mrsthe97 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:29 pm

Sweet Loretta wrote:

If you desire a great recipe I suggest using the one Universal Studios uses.



Do you have this recipe? I tried googling it and couldn't find it. I would really like to have this recipe!

Thanks. Smile
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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:27 pm

Email me. And I can reply after the weekend.

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Re: Gore advice?

Post by Mrsthe97 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:13 am

Ok, thanks!
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Re: Gore advice?

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