Few things in movies make an audience think “fake!” as much as fake-looking blood. By this I mean the wrong shade (the blood in the original Dirty Harry looks sort of orange-red) or blood with the right shade but with too much intensity. Most makeup people go with a kind of subdued fire-engine red with a little burgundy or brown thrown in.

I’m mentioning this because real life has recently taught me that real blood (the kind that bleeds from wounds) is significantly more intense than the movie kind. Within the past week or so I’ve seen two older guys lying on Manhattan streets with fairly major head cuts, and both times their blood has looked almost digitally intense.

Both times people were kneeling alongside and offering comfort and whatnot so the good samaritan stuff was covered. All I did both times was lean over for a good look and say to myself, “Wow, that blood color is striking. I mean, it almost looks fake. Except it isn’t.”