When filming we use the old standby of ketchup for blood. Consider this a mere condiment on an otherwise exquisite entrée, I tell my corpse lying on the floor, who winks at me as I squeeze out a fatal wound. An old cap gun for gunshots. Plastic dime-store knives in stalker scenarios. Kid stuff. I use the same ketchup bottle on burgers, hot dogs, scrambled eggs. My father used it exclusively on fish but late in life confessed he’d grown fond of it on fries. On film it often looked too thick to be blood. Wipe off some, distort the focus, shoot from a distance—bargain basement guerilla indie aesthetic. When I was a kid we shot movies without cameras. Act and direct, but no historical document. The ultimate punk attitude. History is for suckers.
One night an expressway onramp was blocked by police. We moved closer to see. An overturned car on a curve. Sheet draped over body, a puddle of red on the ground. Real. The cop looked up, said, you want to see death? We ran away. The next day we scanned the papers and tv for mention of it. Nothing. No history. I pull back from my corpse, who blinks an irritated eye. Someday we’ll get it right.