For my sins, I have been a connoisseur of people getting shot in films. The squib effect, as I understand, was first used in an Hungarian film in the 1950s and first used in the West in a film called
Run of the Arrow, a US film from 1957. (although the Internet disagrees)
The ‘bullet hit’ effect was widely used in films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Wild Bunch in the
Sixties. The effect was refined a bit in the Seventies. It was used to simulate a women gettng shot in the opening credits of Dirty Harry. (or perhaps, they shot her for real, there is no flash), and, multiple times, on James Caan in The Godfather. Apparently they smarted like buggery.
These days, the miniature explosives have been replaced by compressed air and it looks a bit rubbish. As far as I can tell, no exit wounds are depicted. Nor is the image of bullets passing through victims and impacting onto walls.
Is there a ‘Health and Safety’ reason for this? Brick and tile fragments can be dangerous. Or have special effects people just got lazy?