Men in Black
The use of slime was notable in the Men in Black films, but to date I haven't found much to point out what was actually used. I'd therefore surmise it it is most likely to be methylcellulose.
Ghostbusters I & IISee my seperate pages for lots of info on the Ghostbusters films; Ghostbusters
Slime appears a number of times in the trilogy. The bulk being Methtylcellulose (5,11), although other types were certainly used, including KY Jelly.
Run the Risk
If my memory serves me correctly this used Xanthan gum (Stated on SMART on Childrens BBC around the time).
Noel’s House Party and Saturday Roadshow
An early version of the infamous gunge Tank on the House Party
In the UK, for much of the 1990’s Noel Edmunds was a staple
of the Saturday early evening TV schedule. His shows, at their peak, reached
audiences of many millions, and consequently many of the games and features that
made up the show got heavily embedded in the nations psyche. In amongst the
games such as ‘Wait ‘til I get you home’ it was Mr Blobby with his infamous
Christmas number one and the Gunge Tank that particularly caught the nation’s
The gunge tank started life in a fairly simple form on the Saturday Roadshow in 1998, with a fairly basic welded aluminium construction, with acrylic or polycarbonate sides and doors. The gunge was released by pulling a chain, connected to a lever over the tank, which in turn lifted a hinged plate which allowed the gunge to run through a matrix of holes of about 6-8mm diameter. This tank has lived on, now being owned by Gunjee and regularly used in nightclubs around the country Gunjee
The way the tank was used through the shows run varied, often involving telephone votes pitching two members of the public, such as teachers and dinner ladies against each other. At other times the emphasis was on celebrities, including as part of the ‘Gotchas’, a prank section.
The first House Party tank was of a similar construction to the roadshow, but was much more heavily decorated, and released remotely, although the release method is unclear. The tank is built on a revolve to allow it to appear and disappear during the show.
The use of foam was introduced at this stage to fill up from the base of the tank, at the same time as the gunge. This effect lasts approximately 10 seconds. In some episodes a black box can be seen behind the tank as the revolve rotates, this purportedly held a vacuum cleaner set to blow, feeding air to a set of three perforated tubes submerged in foam fluid in covered areas at the base of the tank.
Later series of the show introduced a tank which included moving the ‘victim’ through the tank. They started off outside facing the audience, rotated and entered the tank, passed a pair of carwash type brushes, went under the gunge, and then emerged from the tank and rotated back to face the audience. The foam was wasn’t used for this variant.
The BBC visual effects department supplied the tank and made the gunge, based on Natrasol (hydroxyethylcellulose) and helizarin dyes, giving a very vivid range of colours (7,16)
Get Your Own Back
The slime in the gunk dunk used throughout the runs of the Get Your Own Back (1991-2003) was Xanthan Gum based and provided by the BBC visual effects department. In later years Keltrol RD grade was certainley used. This is an agglomerated readily dispersible grade (RD).(12,13).
Nickelodeon Green Slime
Nick use slime in a wide variety of their programmes, and have likely used a range of substances. Currently their supplier for such things as is Blair Adhesives, who pre-mix the slime. The recipe is kept a close secret, but I would postulate that it is based on methylcellulose as this is what has been definitely used in other slimes they have supplied (such as ghostbusters (2)). Nick have been careful about protecting the colouring of their ‘green slime’, but also claim that it is a natural colour (possibly E140, chlorophyll/ chlorophyllin) .
I suspect that for critical
uses, such as the recent idents Nickelodeon
Idents, some post processing is carried out to make the
colours more vibrant- this is suggested by the difference in colours
seen on the ident and the making of film Making
of Nickelodeon Idents
Directors Idents Making Of
Tank of Nickelodeon Green Slime Prior to Kids Choice Awards