Paint the Town Red
"C'mon, team. Let's go paint the undefended town a nice shade of 'BLAM'."In the course of a Cruel and Unusual Death or even when it's just that Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting, things get messy. And the things that suffer most are the buildings (inside and out) in town that get covered in everyone's blood. It's usually also the sign of a particularly violent person walking around just doing what they do best. Someone may help the job along by leaving a Bloody Handprint. High-Pressure Blood could also do the trick, as well as a victim dealing with a gaping head wound. Particularly shown when a director takes creative liberties on death scenes. If a hero comes running back home only to find his family and friends used this way, it may lead to a Heroic BSOD. Usually goes well with Gorn with a side of Ludicrous Gibs for in-your-face action. Contrast Bloodless Carnage.
— Elf, Schlock Mercenary
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Anime & Manga
- Anywhere Ladd and Claire go in Baccano!!, this is pretty much standard.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is Scar's calling card. And it later becomes commonplace for Wrath/King Bradley.
- Zoro from One Piece revels in this trope. His enemies don't spill much blood but he himself loses a hell of a lot of the stuff in almost every major fight.
- In Hellsing, this is Alucard's favorite activity. Seras invokes this trope once, literally smearing her opponent all over a wall. Likewise, when Anderson goes berserk on a group of Nazi vampires, his Axe Crazy hacking leaves a giant swastika of blood on the walls... and then he splatters it with even more blood and ruins the effect.
- Which then leads us to the villainous example of Rip Van Winkle, who also paints a Nazi swastika on a captured aircraft carrier of the British Navy. Sadly, she ran out of paint and had to improvise...
- Commonplace in Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, often played for laughs.
- In the Blood: The Last Vampire movie, Saya wasn't afraid of doing this, even in front of a nurse who didn't have the foggiest idea of what was going on.
- Often used to imply or enhance the amount of incredible violence that the Angels and EVAs are capable of in Neon Genesis Evangelion, most memorably when Gendo orders the autopilot to take over and destroy the EVA being piloted by Touji after an Angel hijacks it.
- In the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie, Sahaquiel's death is changed so that the Angel explodes into a gigantic wave of blood, which then washes over Tokyo-3. One must wonder how long it took to clean all that up.
- This is the signature of the titular Ichi the Killer. The comic and film open with a crew cleaning up his mess.
- Happens quite frequently in Highschool of the Dead, thanks to the zombies.
- In Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan is shown once using his powers to turn a bunch of thugs into chunky, red paint. Restaurant patrons weren't happy.
- Literal example in Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter. When the protagonist takes over the duties of sheriff, he has the town painted red and renamed Hell before the shooting starts.
- The Gamers had a rather spectacular example from the Ludicrous Gibs side of this trope, after Nimble decides to backstab Hunk. With a ballista.
Gamemaster: Well, that's 264 points of damage. You splatter Hunk all over the common room. The patrons shriek in horror and run out of the inn, occasionally slipping on blood and entrails. You're now alone in a room that looks like a vat of beef stroganoff exploded in it.
- The elevator scene in The Shining.
- The bridge of the Event Horizon combines this with Meat Moss.
- Averted in many fights in The Dresden Files series thanks to the fact that creatures from the Nevernever have auto-cleanup on destruction.
- On a few occasions in The General series by David Drake, this occurs. A Discussed Trope - Raj notes that it's the first (or one of the few) times he's literally seen streets run red, and this is basically because an entire army got massacred on each occasion. (One of them was about forty thousand or so troops disembarking off their ships to discover that Raj's men are waiting in ambush - with rifles and field guns. They take casualties of something like 50% before they manage to surrender.)
Live Action TV
- The Viking song from Horrible Histories:
We're gonna paint the whole town red... LITERALLY!
With the blood of the dead... LITERALLY!
- Used to great effect in Madworld. All the game environments are entirely black and white when you first enter them. You proceed to kill your enemies and the game's intense Gorn will ensure that this trope occurs.
- Ninja Gaiden II (2008) makes you able to cover the places you go through with blood from your enemies.
- Dwarf Fortress. Especially in the latest version, where bathing is a bit broken so attempts by dwarves to wash all that blood and vomit from battles off results in a giant puddle of blood all over the floor...
- Alien Shooter. At any given time, you will be deluged with dozens upon dozens of monsters, each of which leaves a big puddle of blood, limbs, and guts when it dies.
- Blood: Caleb actually says "I'm gonna paint the town red" at the beginning of one level. He stays true to his statement.
- In Skullgirls, the character Peacock mentions the trope by name in her battle introduction. However, this doesn't actually happen in-game.
- In The Saboteur, while you can't actually do this in the game, there is a perk named "Paint the Town Red".
- Popular Game Mod Brutal Doom runs mostly on this trope and Ludicrous Gibs. Notable examples include painting several walls and ceilings with a minigun and a double-barreled shotgun spreading people across a field. As blood confetti.
- Team Fortress 2 allows you to turn the walls and floor red with the blood of any enemies you've attacked near them. Most of the time you'll mostly end up seeing blood trails from body parts rolling around, but some mods bring this to the point of Bloody Hilarious Black Comedy.
- Presentable Liberty never shows the the state of the city on screen (as the player is imprisoned indoors for the duration of the game), but Charlotte and Salvadore send the player letters detailing the spread of The Virus and the bloody mess its victims leave behind. It's implied that the entire city is covered in blood and guts by the time Salvadore arrives.
- Chakona Space: In a recent story set in Neal Foster's more distant past, he doesn't paint the town so much as the ceilings of a starship's bridge and sickbay.
- A suicide bomber rushed a tank. This happened. The tank suffered no damage.
- A number of dead baby jokes go along these lines: How many dead babies does it take to paint a wall? Depends how hard you throw them.
- At the end of the First Crusade, the Crusaders, driven by hunger and thirst into a truly epic frenzy, slaughtered everything in sight when they entered Jerusalem in 1099, such that the streets were running with blood up to the horses' fetlocks, and bloodstains could be found everywhere in the city. To be somewhat fair to the Crusaders, several days of rape, massacre, and pillage was widely understood back then to be the just fate of a city that resisted a siege—and considering that the city had resisted for six whole weeks and the Muslim armies had conducted a scorched-earth campaign that even included plugging all-important wells, the reaction, while horrific, wasn't exactly unexpected.
- Note that this wasn't the first time that staining carnage had struck Jerusalem; during the interminable wars between the Eastern Roman and Persian Empires in the 5th-7th centuries CE, Jerusalem changed hands several times. The Eastern Romans were Christian and the Persians, while Zoroastrians, counted the Jews as their allies. Each time the city switched, the Persians would purge the city of Christians and repopulate it with Jews, and vice-versa...one imagines that quite a few stains came out of that.
- Non-Lethal example: Ever sneeze towards a wall with a bad nosebleed?
- This was said to have happened during The French Revolution, during the executions at the Place de la Concorde.