The Unexpected Fruit That Is Used To Create Stabbing Sound Effects

How memorable a movie-watching experience is for the audience largely depends on the work that's done behind the scenes. The creativity accomplished by actors, writers, and editors has the ability to produce a genuinely breathtaking film. There's yet another aspect to movies that has an impact viewers in a different way: sound.

The auditory experience of cinema is fine-tuned behind the scenes by experts called Foley artists. These sound magicians are the masterminds behind sound effects in movies, performing their work in post-production after a movie has already been shot, according to Backstage. To recreate everyday sounds like high-heeled shoes on concrete, windows shattering, and even more brutal sound effects like a person being stabbed, Foley artists have to get creative.

The horror genre, in particular, has plenty of gruesome sounds for a Foley artist to recreate in the least horrific ways possible. With the number of slasher movies in existence, it's no wonder the sound of someone getting stabbed has long been perfected behind the scenes. While no one is actually getting stabbed in the process, plenty of produce is getting knifed in the name of cinema.

Melons have to audition for their part in a movie, just like everyone else

With slasher films being as iconic as they are, audiences are so used to hearing a horror movie victim being stabbed that the gruesome-sounding details often go unnoticed. Behind the bloodshed, it's quite a bit less grotesque — it's actually more juicy than anything. Foley artists and filmmakers often apply knives and various other weapons to different melons in order to create the sounds they need for a proper stabbing scene.

According to the YouTube video "Stabbing Melons for 'Psycho,'" the director of the famed 1960 movie "Psycho," Alfred Hitchcock, listened with his eyes closed as a number of different melons were stabbed repeatedly. At the end of the melon massacre, Hitchcock named the casaba melon as the perfect melon to star as the auditory stabbing victim in the infamous "Psycho" shower scene.

Each melon creates a different sound, depending on its density and ripeness, along with the weapon of choice utilized for the actual stabbing. So it's no wonder melon auditions were held to ensure the perfect sound could be achieved.

Melons aren't the only food used for sound effects

Melons might be one of the more surprising foods to star in movies, but they're far from the only tasty post-production auditory tool. For example, the groundbreaking 1997 drama "Titanic" ventured into the sounds of vegetables when Foley artists found that frozen lettuce perfectly recreated the sounds of frozen hair being pulled from a piece of wood in the scene with Rose (Kate Winslet) adrift in the ice-cold ocean water, according to Atlas Obscura.

To recreate a sound is an art, even more so when the sound itself is something not many people have ever actually heard in reality. Foley artists and the almighty melons step in when audiences need to believe that the actor on screen is being brutally stabbed. Some of the most popular movies may have used foods in scenes that most audiences would never realize as Foley artists work their magic in post-production. The next time you have a meal, you might even think of what sounds it could exemplify on the big screen.