Tim Burton has stated that the highly stylized use of blood in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was crucial for the story. He says that he let the bosses at DreamWorks and Warner Bros. know that "blood was part of the production" as soon as he proposed his desire to make the movie version of the musical.
Talking about their initial meetings, he said: "It's an amazing thing that [we said]: 'We're gonna do an R rated musical with no professional singers, with lots of blood, about a serial killer and cannibalism', and they go 'Great!'. That was unheard of, I've never had that happen in my life before."
The filmmaker added that the fake blood used for the movie was orange, sticky, and curiously sweet. "It was our own special recipe, very sticky, very sweet and it burns your eyes."
The young Ed Sanders, who plays Toby in the film, also gave his opinion of the purposefully unrealistic gore in the film: "For a start, [it] was orange, and you could also see it actually pumping in through the pipes around the people they were killing's necks."
Good thing for star of the film Johnny Depp, who revealed that he is squeamish of seeing blood.
"There's a lot of blood-letting in the film but I like to keep mine inside me thank you very much.
"I'm not very good with the sight of my own blood. Nobody likes to be prodded or poked in any way, whether it's in the doctor's office or in jail."
Depp continued: "I always look away when I draw blood at the doctor's office. The blood we use is very theatrical. That's one of the reasons it still feels like a play to me. The realistic edge is off."
Burton admitted that he shared Depp's phobia, but didn't have a problem with their false blood concoction used during filming.