One of the first bloody low budget color outings to make a killing was The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 - kicking off the Hammer Horror Cycle. Hammer a British studio was not under the jurisdiction of Hollywood’s Production Code, specialized in gory reboots of classic horror icons that featured a lot of blood.
This formulation of blood became known as Kensington Gore a pun on the name of a pair of London streets adjoining each side of the Royal Albert Hall. Kensington Gore was originally formulated by retired pharmacist John Tynegate.
Unlike the sugar alcohol used at the Grand Gignol, Kensington Gore uses golden syrup or light treacle - a syrup made from sugar cane or sugar beats. Water is added to thin the mixture. To color we'll use our combination of Red, Yellow and Blue.
Again, go really light with the blue - adding a few drops of it at a time.
Then to make it a little more opaque we add corn flour which is called corn starch here in the states. Just a little helps make it a little less runny and gives the blood an opaque look - but use it sparingly - we're making blood not rue and when it's too thick it will stick to itself unnaturally..
Traditional Kensington Gore added Mint extract was give it an acceptable flavor . But if you’re intending to use it outdoors, you may want to try peppermint oil instead as it is a natural deterrent to flies, bees and wasps. Plus it makes it taste like candy cane.
Kensington Gore Recipe (Modified)
- Kensington Gore
- 2 Parts Golden Syrup (Light Treacle)
- 1 Part water
- Red/Yellow/Blue Food Coloring
- A bit of Corn Starch (Corn Flour in the UK)
- Peppermint Extract to taste.
The cane syrup based Kensington Gore is pretty sticky stuff but, chocolate syrup notwithstanding, probably the best tasting. If you can’t find cane syrup, it’s easy enough to make by boiling some water and sugar until the mixture becomes supersaturated. Be careful with the peppermint oil as it can sting the eyes but it’s won’t do long term damage.
The real trick with the Kensington Gore is balancing just how much corn starch to add. Too much and we can get some weird looking bubbles. That’s why you want to be very sparing with it but if you’re careful you can get that classic Hammer Horror blood look.