As everyone who’s streamed Gen V with an Amazon Prime subscription learned very quickly, the younger-skewing spinoff of The Boys was every bit as hilariously twisted, sadistic and unpredictable as its predecessor. (Or maybe unpre-dick-table is the better word, given the giant penis prop on display in the premiere.) The series also obviously leaves quite the bloody mark, and I received a bit of insight into just how much blood was in the mix when I talked to Gen V’s makeup effects head Colin Penman, who was also a guiding force on the show for all things prosthetic and puppet-related.
Not only was Penman responsible for plenty of Gen V’s ickiest moments, but he also headed up the same department for Eli Roth’s long-awaited holiday horror Thanksgiving (which hits theaters November 17). When I asked if he could compare the highly deadly projects by way of the amount of fake blood used, he immediately started chuckling over just how lopsided a victory it was for the streaming superhero satire. In his words:
Oh, you can't really compare it. [Laughs.] We used literally thousands of gallons of blood on Gen V. I've never seen anything like it. J.R. Kenny was our special effects coordinator, and the ear rig alone was 1,000 gallons of blood that was pumping through that ear that Lizzie was inside. I've never seen anything like it. I've never seen that much blood in one shot. There were just like these massive — I guess what would normally be water reservoirs — filled with fake blood.
I’m not going to lie here: I largely expected Emma’s ear swim moment to have been a much more limited affair, with Lizze Broadway wading around some kind of one-person tank, and the rest of the dark red pool added in post-production CGI or something. But no, that just wouldn’t be Gen V for such a blood-filled moment to exist only through digital trickery, and the actress was indeed floating within many thousands of gallons of the manufactured lifeforce. I have to wonder how long it took to wash it all off to the point where she felt 100% clean and completely free from dyed stickiness.
Not that all of Gen V’s bloodiest moments featured lagoon-like set-ups. The series premiere ended with both a bang and a bunch of whimpers, with Pattrick Schwarzenegger’s Luke “Golden Boy” Riordan sacrificing himself in a way that left a slew of meaty red goop all over everyone and everything below. And that was another wildly messy affair, according to Penman, who continued:
And that was that, but then Golden Boy exploding in the air - these blood cannons that we released from the sky - it had to be thousands of gallons. I don't know, I'm trying to think of a show, or anything, but I can't think of another show that I've seen that may have used that much, that I'm aware of. But no, it was definitely Gen V for the win there.
It was an awesome sight to behold while watching the episode, and I wondered how much of the blood cannons were also filled with the gutsy viscera that went all over. Definitely not the best time to look up for weather forecasting.
This may have seemed like an easy comparison to figure out, since Thanksgiving’s first trailer isn’t all that bloody, with the scares more tied to just how fucked up the killer’s tactics are in general. But it’s not like the Tristar release would actually showcase hundreds or thousands of gallons of fake blood right there in the preview. Still, while it may not come anywhere close to topping Gen V’s sanguine swimming pools, Eli Roth doesn’t exactly skimp on the gore. So, as it goes with Thanksgiving dinners themselves, be prepared.
But before that movie comes around, Gen V can be streamed in full again and again on Prime Video, with Season 2 already ordered and hopefully set to somehow up the fake blood ante whenever it arrives.