Rain of Blood
From a lacerated sky,
Bleeding its horror,
Creating my structure,
Now I shall reign in blood!"
—Slayer, Raining Blood
A version of a Gory Discretion Shot, because the body itself is usually not seen. Usually takes one of three forms:
The first is when a character (very likely a Badass) knocks someone into the air and tears them apart while they're up there using a sword, gun, psychic attack, etc. Often accompanied by maniacal laughter or some wry comment when carried out by the Anti-Hero or Noble Demon—extra points if they seem totally unfazed by what they've just done.
The second involves an unknowing character finding a drop of "water" on themselves or the floor, and upon looking up see a body in a high place dripping down on them. Sometimes takes the form of blood seeping through the ceiling, often onto a character's face or into their eye. Cue Girly-scream.
A third form is when it's actually is raining blood. Cue the arrival of the religious horror or Eldritch Abomination.
Compare Critical Existence Failure.
- 1 Type One
- 2 Type Two
- 3 Type Three
- Tomoe and Kenshin are introduced to each other in Rurouni Kenshin manga and corresponding OVA (Trust and Betrayal or Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal in America) right after he dispatches a foe by slicing him in half in the air and splattering the remnants on her as she's walking by. The effect of the blood and the already-present rain inspires her to comment that he's made it "rain blood" and then promptly faints. We later find out she was drunk when this exchange occurs, but it's a good Establishing Character Moment for her in retrospect.
- Ilena in Claymore introduces herself in a Rain Of Blood after slicing up Yoma in the air and walking through the resulting shower without letting a single drop touch her, establishing her Badass stature fairly quickly.
- Later on, in a chapter appropriately titled "Red Rain," Agatha invokes this trope when she rips apart several soldiers in midair and then bathes in the ensuing blood shower.
- Gaara's "Sand Burial" technique in Naruto. First he entombs them in a mass of sand, and then, with a clench of the fist, the sand instantaneously compresses with such insane pressure that the victim's body is liquefied instantly, resulting in a huge burst of blood in every direction. The first time we saw it, Gaara literally used an umbrella (stolen from his victim) to cover himself from the resulting crimson shower (which involved so much blood that the censors in the anime made it black, even in the uncut Japanese version). Naturally, being drenched in their team leader's blood utterly terrified the other two foes, who begged for their lives in vain before meeting the same fate.
- Likewise, the shapeshifter Zongi meets his end this way in Vision of Escaflowne after Dilandau crushes him like a soda can with one of his Mech's flexible metal claws as revenge for killing one of Dilandau's subordinates. The sight of this in a vision sends Hitomi so deep into a Heroic BSOD that her heart literally stops.
- Later on, Hitomi has a disturbing vision where she bears witness to a literal Rain Of Blood falling from the sky. This is an omen predicting the not-too-happy outcome of an upcoming battle.
- In the Tsukihime Manga, Shiki laughs manically after slaughtering a herd of Nero's beasts as their blood rains down upon him.
- Fuuma dispatches Kusanagi this way with a psychic attack after he outlives his usefulness in the movie version of X 1999.
- In Pandora Hearts The Will of Abyss dispatches Albus like this. Particularly disturbing: her 'Pretty... so pretty...' as it falls.
- Lacie sings and dances under a rain of blood after doing away with two men who attacked her and Jack.
- Occurs at least once in Akira in the psychic-attack form.
- Just to emphasize how Badass the characters were, during the Koga massacre in Ninja Scroll their blood appears to rain.
- Given that the EVAs in Neon Genesis Evangelion are about 100 meters tall, and many of the Angels are even bigger, they obviously have a lot of blood. In later episodes the more powerful Angels easily resist almost all weapons, and so battles become more violent and savage, leaving entire city blocks covered in blood. Eva-01 ripping out of Leliel's shadow is particularly messy. In one scene Gendo stands to close and one fountain of blood completely drenches him.
- In a Gory Discretion Shot, a hill hides an Angel from view, as Eva-01 beats it to death on the ground. However, the river running around the hill is red with blood.
- In the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, it seems that when an Angel's core is destroyed they explode into
bloodLCL, and the Angels being so immense causes an all-splattering Rain Of Blood. This accompanies the cross-shaped explosions, so a rainbow also results.
- Seen in the Inuyasha manga when Inuyasha in full-demon form beheads a dozen of bandits. They also have rain of demon corpses.
- Berserk. The main character lives to make this trope happen.
- In Bleach, the critically injured Kaname Tousen explodes in a shower of blood, right in front of his horrified lieutenant and former best friend.
- There's also Gin's Establishing Character Moment in the Soul Society arc, where he cuts off the arm of the giant guarding the Seiretei gate and the blood splatters all over. The name of the chapter is even named 'Rain Of Blood'.
- This happens in Emerging when victims of The Plague enter its final, fatal stage.
- In Psyren, one of the agents for the W.I.S.E. decides it's time for him to take action, and starts massacring guards with a crowbar. We only see blood everywhere, mostly splattered over him, mauled bodies, and maniacal laughter.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn should not be left either, since Genkishi is taken over by Kikyo's evil patch of maybe useless bluebells and then is blown up with blood splattering everywhere in front of Yamamoto. At least Tsuna only heard it on his headphones, otherwise he'd probably collapse.
- One of the many times Dokuro kills Sakura in Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan, she rips his body into shreds and than states how his blood shall become the rainwater.
- In Princess Tutu, once the Raven is unsealed, he releases a rain of his own blood onto the town, which turns all the townspeople exposed to it into crows.
- The Movie of Silent Hill pulls this off in the last scenes with the vicious cult leader being strung up by barbed wire. That fact that the Anthropomorphic Personification of the town's evil in the form of a Creepy Child was happy-skipping under said rain just adds to the effect.
- Parodied when Van Helsing (played by the producer, Mel Brooks) has the hero "stake" a vampire in Dracula: Dead and Loving It: upon the first blow of the mallet, a jet of gallons and gallons of blood soaks the entire room for about twenty seconds, he complains, Van Helsing (who already hid behind a corner beforehand) tells him to keep hammering the stake in, it happens again with even more blood (the actor was not informed of how much blood was going to spray out of the coffin). And after the second shot, Van Helsing tells him to keep hammering, declaring that she can't have much blood left, resulting in another ridiculous Rain of Blood. Van Helsing then says, "She's almost dead!" The main character replies, "She's dead enough."
- In Blade, human blood was piped through the sprinkler system, creating both a rain of blood and suppertime to a rave club full of vampires.
- Happens in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. "It's raining, Mommy. It's raining red."
- Insane Clown Posse has a song in which one day, people spontaneously launch off of the ground against their will, only to explode like firecrackers. This results in a blood rain that the singer is trying to avoid getting caught in.
- Combichrist's "Today I Woke To The Rain of Blood".
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Pictured above is Suija's Zetsumei Ougi from Samurai Shodown 5 Special. Before that happened, he levitated his victim above him and made them explode.
- The censored versions had the blood recoloured white. Suija's ZO remained the same...except the blood colour which was white. Draw your own conclusions as to what THIS entailed.
- Legend of Mana has a move of this name that throws the enemy into the air and cleaves him open with a broadsword, creating the Rain Of Blood in the process.
- Starting with Rondo of Blood, most Castlevania mains have died in roughly this manner...regardless of how they were killed. Absolutely anything, from being hit with a giant axe, to being lightly tapped by an angry bat when low on health, will cause them to fly into the air and dissolve in a mist of blood.
- Subverted in Order of Ecclesia, where Shanoa simply collapses if she gets killed while on the ground most times instead of this trope, which only happens under certain circumstances. Somewhat annoying from a gameplay perspective, as you may not immediately notice that she's dead.
- In I Wanna Be the Guy, The Kid explodes into this upon death. Given that he does so with one hit from anything, even if said hit is from the side of a spike or a stationary fruit, you will see this animation A LOT.
- In No More Heroes, everything Travis kills dies in a geyser of blood.
- In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, DOG kills a Combine Strider by ripping the armor off its 'head', jamming his hand inside, and tearing the brain out in a shower of yellow-brown blood.
- In Mortal Kombat 9, Both fatalities of DLC character Skarlet feature her slicing open a massive wound either on the neck or stomach and swishing her face around under like shes taking a shower.
- The Indian Rope Trick, an alleged stage illusion, features the magician "dismembering" his assistant in an unlit area above the stage and tossing his severed body parts to the floor. There's no evidence that this was ever actually performed, and real-life magicians doubt the supposed methods used to accomplish it, but story—accounts of it date back at least to the 19th century.
- Blood: The Last Vampire does this with the "body in tree" variety.
- In the Geobreeders manga, the protagonists are chasing a Ghost Cat through a passenger train. The Unlucky Everydude character notices something dripping on the windows, and realizes that the Ghost Cat had gone into the driver compartment and slaughtered the train staff, resulting in their blood streaming past the windows. This, incidentally, is an action-comedy manga.
- In a flashback dream in the Tsukihime anime, the blood of Shiki's mother drips down from a tree into his eye.
- Happens in the first "case" of Case Closed. Everyone's on a roller coaster going through a Tunnel and they notice that for some reason it's "raining". Then they exit the tunnel and see what's happened to the passenger in front of them...
- In O-Ren Ishii's flashback in Kill Bill Volume 1, she sees a rain of blood from under a bed where she's hidden after her mother is stabbed up above.
- Not to be outdone, Army Of Darkness has a blood geyser. The trilogy in general seems to have High-Pressure Blood in vast quantities that, frankly, it's surprising that people don't pop like blood-balloons when they get so much as poked.
- 28 Days Later has a major character become infected when a drop of blood from a corpse hanging above him lands in his eye.
- The famous Elevator Scene from The Silence of the Lambs starts with some blood falling from the elevator's ceiling and hitting a cop in the face.
- Happened in one of the Halloween movies. "Mommy, it's raining red!"
- Braveheart does this version of the trope after Laughlin betrays Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. Robert the Bruce notices some blood dripping onto his piece of bread, after which Laughlin's lifeless body is dropped from the rafters onto the table, his throat clearly cut wide open, scaring the hell out of the Bruce and his fellow nobles.
- An interesting version (Triple Subversion?) in the first Spider-Man movie: Peter is using his wall crawling to hide from Aunt May, Harry and Norman Osborn, and Mary Jane. A drop of blood from a cut in a previous battle with Norman's alter ego almost falls on Norman's head (subversion one: it doesn't hit the person it drips on) as he turns to leave. Norman hears it splash on the floor (subversion two: super senses render the last point moot as he is still aware of the blood drop) and looks up, but finds no body (subversion three: No body).
- Non-blood variant: In the first Men in Black movie, Kay realizes that a Bug has infiltrated the morgue when he attempts to smoke a cigarette and bug-spit drips on the tip. Cue the camera panning up to the other morgue employee's corpse glued to the ceiling.
- Subverted in Predator, in that none of The Squad led by Arnold Schwarzenegger see it. As they search the jungle below, we see blood dripping on a leaf above their heads, then the camera pans up to reveal the naked body of their colleague hanging from the treetops.
- Cthulhu. The protagonist and his lover resolve the find the missing boy he saw last night, only to find him raped, murdered and tied to a railing above their heads.
- In The Tripper, this is how a corpse hanging from a tree is discovered.
- In the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, when Nancy's father arrives at Glen's house after his death, the first thing he sees is blood dripping from the living room ceiling. Of course, the real thing was a lot worse.
- A 1960's-era horror movie about a Town with a Dark Secret had children sacrificed by evil cultists. The opening shot features a sleeping woman sitting under a tree. Red drops start falling on her face and she opens her eyes and looks up--only to see her daughter standing over her with a cherry sno-cone.
- In Ravenous, Martha discovers Private Cleaves' body while standing outside a window, and blood starts to drip down on her from the roof.
- From the same movie, Captain Boyd is buried alive at the bottom of a mass grave, with his commanding officers' blood dripping onto him from above.
- In the 1934 musical mystery film Murder at the Vanities, the body of a woman who was killed and left on a catwalk above a theater's stage is discovered after her blood drips onto a chorus girl, who screams.
Literature[edit | hide]
- In Thomas Hardy's classic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the unsuspecting landlady discovers Jerkass Alex D'Urberville's dead body in the upstairs bedroom once the blood starts dripping through the ceiling. Tess stabbed him with a dinner knife after he insulted her beloved Angel, making this trope, surprisingly, Older Than Radio.
- The Wheel of Time does this a couple of times in Dream Land. Usually because some Mook just had his skin ripped off. Counting this because dreams are real.
- Kerry Greenwood's Blood and Circuses. In the beginning, a bunch of people are having breakfast with their landlady, and the ceiling's leaking- it does that sometimes when someone lets their bath overflow. The landlady asks one of her people to go and ask the guy to do something about it, and she comes back and says the bath's dry as a tap. The landlady got a drop on her cheek, and her hand comes away stained with blood. They look up and there's a massive, spreading red stain on the ceiling. Then she realizes that some of the blood dripped into her tea and she drank it all.
- Intentionally invoked by some 5th-century British pagans in Sarum, when they undergo the taurobolium: a Truth in Television ancient purification rite in which a bull is sacrificed over a pit, while the worshipers seeking purity stand underneath to be showered in its blood.
- Used in CSI with the discovery of a body and the iconic line "It's raining manjuice."
- A body is discovered in the New York spinoff by a pair of college students when they feel something wet drip on them while attempting to have sex.
- In an episode of Dexter, the titular anti-hero is having memory issues, and can't remember where he hid his most recent corpse. He remembers when a drop of blood hits him on the cheek after falling from the punching bag he had stuffed it in, and hidden in the rafters.
- In Heroes, Peter discovers that Sylar has overpowered Mohinder when the professor's blood drips down from the ceiling onto him, which may be the only time this happens where the blood comes from someone who survives...
- This occurs twice in the pilot episode of Supernatural: once during the opening flashback, and again at the end of the episode.
- And in the third episode of season one - one of the party hunting the Wendigo has gone missing after chasing it. Next morning, the remaining group is standing in the woods when blood drips onto one of them. Then the missing man's body comes hurtling out of the trees and lands among them.
- An episode of Criminal Minds uses the blood dripping onto an agent down below to lead to the discovery of two bodies that have been strung up in the trees.
- Done in an episode of The X-Files: A drop of blood falls onto Mulder's head. He thinks it's raining again ... until he and Scully look up and find a length of human intestine wrapped around a tree branch.
- In one episode of M* A* S* H, lack of sleep was causing everyone to have nightmares every time they did doze off. Father Mulcahy dreamed he'd become the Pope and was about to preach a sermon ... when he discovered the cross beside him had a G.I. crucified on it and dripping onto his robes.
- An episode of Blood Ties has one of the villain's victims drip onto Victoria.
- Midsomer Murders featured this in one episode; a church bellringer starts pulling on a rope during bellringing practice, only to be splattered with blood dripping through the ceiling from the belfry.
- Done without the Gory Discretion Shot in The River.
- In the Cold Open to an episode of Castle, a group of painters are painting an apartment white. One painter dips his roller, and it starts to paint pink. Cue looking at his paint tray and seeing blood dripping into it from the ceiling.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- In the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake narrowly evades a group of Gecko bipedal robots and leans against a wall for a quick smoke break. A drop of blood falls on his shoulder, and he slowly looks up to see a body impaled on a Gecko that subsequently tries to kill him.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Parodied in The Simpsons, where Chief Wiggum discovers a corpse in the woods this way. "That was a face?"
- Happens in Neon Genesis Evangelion twice, when Unit 01 bursts out of Leliel and Unit 01 under the Dummy Plug system beats the living shit out of Bardiel, spraying blood everywhere and even giving a nearby river a red tint.
- Mentioned briefly in the opening of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
The raindrops turn into droplets of blood and travel down my cheeks...
- The final episode of Kurozuka. Apparently it was a Load-Bearing Boss, and he wasn't satisfied with just destroying the castle.
- Subverted in The Dreaming. Jeannie has a nightmare about being trapped in a clearing in the bush, and it's raining blood. Later, she winds up in a clearing exactly like the one in her dream. Then some 'blood' falls on her. It turns out to be tree sap.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has blood raining in the opening.
- Drops of blood fall from the ceiling in the original House on Haunted Hill (the Vincent Price version). Most of the supernatural elements in the movie are explained away as tricks but it's never resolved just who or what those drops came from (which is why this is here and not in form one).
- The scene between Lisa Bonet and Mickey Rourke in Rourke's leaky-roofed hotel room in Angel Heart. The drops of rain gradually turn to drops of blood as the sex scene gradually becomes violent. Eventually, blood is pouring down the walls.
Literature[edit | hide]
- In the Hawk And Fisher series, a magical attempt on a politician's life causes a rain of blood inside his house. The blood then forms into monsters and attacks everyone.
- Frequently occurs in Will Leicester's Hell's Bells series. Interestingly, since the books are set in Hell, it's seen as a perfectly normal weather condition and is actually considered somewhat beautiful by Zack. Archer disagrees.
- In Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, this is one of the things the Gamemakers do during the titular Deadly Game.
- In I Shall Wear Midnight, Keepsake Hall used to be afflicted with this trope at the instigation of a former Duke's ghost. In more recent times, he's given up on such gory methods of haunting, and settles for pulling the chain on the lavatory toilet instead.
- In Carnivale, Brother Justin gets a vision involving snow that turns into a rain of blood in the street. He thinks it's a sign from God. Oh, how wrong he is...
- Smallville had a bodiless version with a recurring dream. Lex Luthor is dressed in white out in the open. Suddenly it begins raining blood, soaking his outfit into a crimson color.
- In the first season of Dexter, the title character has a disturbing dream that begins with rain that turns to blood. Then it gets worse.
- In the remake of V, this happens at season 1 finale. Turns out it isn't really blood (though it sure looks like it) but a precursor to something much, much worse.
- Raining Blood by Slayer. After a particularly chaotic outro, there's 40 seconds or so of the sound of rain. Presumably, given the lyrics and title, it's raining blood.
- A favorite trick of Khorne in Warhammer 40,000.
- The Bloodspeakers pulled this off in L 5 R, tainting a large number of samurai/shugenja in the process.
- In Exalted, the aptly-named Blood Monsoon, a powerful necromantic spell, causes a geyser of blood followed by a torrential downpour of blood over a few miles' radius.
- A low-level wizard spell from the Ravenloft setting has this effect, which is mostly of use as a scare tactic.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Pictured above is Suija from Samurai Shodown performing his fatality, in which he psychically lifts his opponent into the air and makes them explode. Whatever is left of the opponent begins to rain down upon him and he starts starts spasming in ecstasy.
- From Warcraft 3: "My blood cries out for the vengeance of my people's blood, which can only be repaid with at least twice as much blood! Or maybe three times as much blood! Like if you went to hell, and it was full of blood, and that blood was on fire, and it was raining blood, then maybe that would be enough blood! Ehâ€¦ but probably not."
- In a more serious example, the starting area for the Death Knight class in World of Warcraft ends with blood raining from the sky as you and a small army of the Scourge assault Light's Hope Chapel. The rain and the battle end with the appearance of Tirion Fordring.
- And it's referred to specifically in the Scourge's call to battle by Darion Mograine:
Highlord Darion Mograine: Soldiers of the Scourge, death knights of Acherus, minions of the darkness: hear the call of the Highlord! RISE! The skies turn red with the blood of the fallen! The Lich King watches over us, minions! Leave only ashes and misery in your destructive wake!
- The Sorrow, from Metal Gear Solid 3. It rains blood when he shows up at least twice!
- In Killer7, KAEDE Smith's gimmick involves causing a blood shower by slitting her wrists in order to break certain barriers.
- A red shower is also the result of a Smile experiment on Andrei Ulmeyda, which happens to be filled with the diseases Ulmeyda infected himself with as a form of thrillseeking. It's so infectious it kills anyone hit with it except the Killer7 (they're dead to begin with) and Gabriel Clemence, Ulmeyda's follower, who is immune to said diseases due to the cult's rituals.
- In one of the chapters in Ninja Gaiden II, Elizebet utilizes the Demon Statue that she stole from the Dragon Clan to begin the rebirth of the Archfiend. Cue blood raining from the sky for no other reason than to have the next part of the level look cool.
- In Eternal Darkness when your sanity gets really low the ceilings appear to drip blood. This causes damage to you, indicating that your body is starting to suffer from the stress on your mind.
- In the Siren canon, it is strongly implied that within the village proper all sources of water in nature turns to blood (well, technically it's some kind of plague water, but...). In the manual of Siren 1 it's even used to justify your regenerating health, since you keep regenerating because the water is already in your veins, slowly transforming you into a shibito and, unless the person has a certain family's blood in them, there's no avoiding this fate. Even then, once the water is in the character's veins they are stuck in the underworld for good.
- In Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles one of Dracula's third form's attacks literally makes the blood rain from above.
- The final stage of Mega Man 2 is a cave with no hazards...except blood dripping down from the ceiling.
- Dwarf Fortress has this as a regular weather phenomenon in evil biomes.
- One amusing bug that was run into during development resulted in skin flake snow.
- Sword of Mana has a blood rain that is actually benevolent. Slaying a certain monster responsible for a curse will cause her blood to rain down on the kingdom, breaking the curse by melting the ice she had encased everyone in.
- Vampires Dawn: A rain of blood signaled the beginning of the Holy Crusades against vampires.
- In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, Grolla gets a bloody rainstorm near the end of her stage.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Done in 8-Bit Theater after a city is obliterated.
- In Erfworld, this apparently happens in Transylvito:
One benefit of traveling with Transylvitians was sleeping in the field without getting bitten by mosquitoes. One drawback was that it occasionally rained something that wasn't weather.
- Pestilence causes this, along with a plague of locusts to herald the rapture in Squidbillies. The Cuylers happily eat the locusts and drink the blood, or as they call them "fried chicken and fruit punch."
Pestilence: It's blood! A sea of Blood! Beat Okay, they're drinkin' the blood. What the hell? What the hell?
- since line before that is talking about Transylvitan bats, the first part of that quote more than likely refers to their predation on insects (the absence of mosquitoes), and the second implying that the moist stuff falling from the sky is bat guano.