How to make a blood shooter

Backyard FX

"Blood Shooter Build"

By: Erik Beck

Hey everyone, below are the detailed plans on how to make a bloodshooter for your indie film. Remember that none of these plans are set in stone. Be creative and improvise if necessary. If you figure out a better way to build this rig, send us an email or submit a video.

Remember to subscribe to our weekly show, Backyard FX on iTunes and stop by our website, Indy Mogul for other great ideas.

Here's the complete video:

If you'd like a step by step instructable, read on:


For the Blood Shooter Rig
1. Small tube of quick set epoxy.
2. A length of 1/2" diameter PVC pipe. (3’ should do the trick.)
3. Plastic 1/4-turn release valve, with 1/2" female thread on both sides.
4. PVC adapter from 1/2" slip to 1/2" male thread.
5. Nylon bushing from 1/2" thread to 3/8” thread.
6. Brass bicycle valve adapter from 3/8” thread to...uh..bicycle.
7. 5' length of 3/8" inner diameter (ID) flexible hose.
8. Nylon adapter from 3/8" barbed to 1/2" male thread.
9. Nylon 3/8" barbed elbow joint.
10. Tiny rubber bands (found in the hair accessories isle)
11. Plastic wrap.
12. Empty 2-liter soda bottle.

How to make a blood shooter

For the Blood
1. Corn Syrup
2. Water.
3. Red Food coloring

The Air Tank

Using some epoxy bond the 1/2 PVC adapter to your PVC pipe then your release valve to the PVC adapter.

Next using a bunch of epoxy bond the other end of your PVC pipe to the end of your empty 2-liter soda bottle. Make sure and use enough epoxy to make this strong and air tight! Also I noticed that different brands of soda have minor differences in the diameter at the top of the bottle. Out of the handful I tried, Pepsi bottles seemed to fit the PVC pipe the most snug.

Congratulations you've just made the heart and soul of your blood shooter! Easy huh?

The Blood Hose

Now you need to trim one end your elbow joint. I used a rotary tool, but you could use a steak knife or a hack saw in a pinch. It would just take a bit longer. Either way you'll want to cut off all the barbed edges except for the last one. When it's done it should look like the picture below. This is the part of the rig where the blood will shoot out. Therefore we do not want too much of it to stick out.


Next take your 5 feet of clear hose (being clear makes it easier to see how much blood you have in there) and attached your modified elbow to one end and the 1/2" threaded adapter in the other.



The Filling Adapter

Take your Nylon bushing and screw in the brass bike valve adapter.


Making Blood

Mix the blood, water and food coloring until you get the right consistency and color. For the blood shooter you want it to be a bit on the watery side.

The Set Up

The best part about this rig is that it is easy to reuse and adjust the effect. Keep in mind that you can decide how much blood and air pressure goes into each “shot”.
First open the valve on your air tank and screw on the filling adapter.
Any bike pump will fit our adapter. I haven’t done a PSI test, but with my bike pump I could get a good 16 pumps in. Once you’ve filled the air tank, close the valve and unscrew the filling adapter. My rigs leak a little while pumping, but stops as soon I close the valve.  Now your tank is ready to go.

Next we need to seal up the end of our elbow joint. Remember, this is where the blood will shoot out. Take two small pieces of plastic wrap and put them over the hole. 
Secure the plastic wrap with one of the tiny rubber bands and trim the excess wrap with a pair of scissors. This seal needs to be tight enough for the blood not to leak but weak enough to pop off when we open up the air tank.

Using a funnel fill your blood hose with, well blood! My philosophy on blood…more is better.  Position the elbow joint on your actor wherever you want blood to be spilt!


Then using some tape put the tube over your actors shoulder then down behind them. Over the shoulder is best because you want most of the blood to be resting at the end of the tube nearest the blow off point.

Get a loose fitting shirt at Good Will. I’ve found a plaid, light colored button up number is best. You’ll need to carefully pre-cut the shirt where the blood is shooting out. A little “X” along the pattern of the shirt will be hard to see on video.



All you have to do now is connect your blood hose to your air tank. They are designed to screw right together!


Have a friend hide out of frame ready to turn that release valve as fast as they can.  Then 1, 2, 3 BAM! You just killed your buddy on film.


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