In The Fifth Element when Gary Oldman is talking to "Mr. Shadow," there is some sort of substance that runs down his head. What exactly is it? It seems to happen to everyone who talks to "Mr. Shadow."
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
It's never explained.
There are a few theories though:
It's blood. It's simply darker than normal to indicate an even more sinister being. When Zorg (Gary Oldman) is called by Mr. Shadow, he starts to bleed it, suggesting that the mere force of evil in Mr. Shadow is enough to cause it.
It's some type of residue, caused by contact with pure evil. This is supported by the fact General Staedert has the same black ooze trickle down his face when the "planet" attacked his ship.
It's liquid fear. This is really just a different name for the two options above. It manifests itself in the same way and is caused by the Great Evil.
Obviously, all three of these notions are based on the exact same premise, giving it different names. TVTropes deem it a psychic nosebleed, again suggesting it lies along the same lines as one of the options above.
Unfortunately, these are all fan theories (commonly accessible across the web). There doesn't appear to be any definitive answer on the ooze from Luc Besson, the director, or any of the cast. Ultimately, I think these explanations are the most likely. Call it whatever you want, it's a way of signifying the presence of the Great Evil.
In the original script, the black fluid oozes out of a video monitor rather than Zorg's head
Shadow pauses an instant. A black slimy liquid starts to ooze from the top of the screen. Zorg is feeling worse all the time.
SHADOW: Money is of no importance... I want the Stones!
The novelisation is similarly unhelpful, merely remarking that
... A black, slimy liquid began to ooze from the top of Zorg’s head.
Notably, there's also a mention of similar fluid on the walls of the Fifth Element's chamber in both the script and the novel, implying that it's unlikely to be blood.
I believe it's intended to be blood sweat caused by extreme fear or anxiety, similar to what Jesus experienced in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest and execution. Luke 22:44 "But he was in such agony that he kept praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground."
It is called hematidrosis. It is a rare disorder where the human body sweats blood. Some doctors think extreme stress can cause it, which would fit well with the plot of the movie.
it's the black goo - also known as sentient oil or black oil, called "purity" in the x files: http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Purity It is the same stuff in the new-ish tv show Residue or the stuff at the start of Prometheus. It shows up everywhere.