Movie: "A Bucket Of Blood"
Year: 1959
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Cult / B-Movie
Directed by: Roger Corman
Writing credits: Charles B. Griffith

Reviewer: Max Burbank
Posted: 9/7/2008

Plot: Social anxiety sufferer and busboy at the grooviest Beatnik club ever, Walter Paisley knows he could impress curvey frequent customer, Carla if only he could become an artist. Paisley tries sculpting, but his work lacks any artistic spark, until one night he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat. In a fit of inspiration, he covers the dead animal, protruding knife and all in clay, and sneaks it into the café’s art show. Poets and Cool Jazz Daddies agree it’s a masterpiece. The crowd cries more, more, more, so whose fault is it when Walter works his way up to a killing spree? I say society is to blame.

Review: Shot in five days on a budget of fifty grand, it’s not surprising this movie is, well, bad. Frankly it’s a miracle it’s as good as it is. If anybody but Roger Corman tried to make a whole damn B movie in five days with that little money, they’d be hard pressed to come up with something you could even follow, let alone like. Sure, the plot’s a rip off of the 1939 horror classic, ‘Mystery of the Wax Museum’, but the difference between rip off and homage is money and time.

An intentional black comedy, this film paved the way for Corman’s next collaboration with screenwriter Charles B. Griffith, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

The Beatniks are all pretty hilarious, as is the upward spiral of Paisley’s murders. The first one is serendipity. Listen, if you were under a great deal of pressure to create a masterpiece follow up to ‘Cat With Knife In It’ and an undercover cop cornered you in your apartment and tried to arrest you some heroin you didn’t even know you had, wouldn’t you beat the cop to death with a frying pan and cover him in clay? I know I would. Soon Walter discovers that fame is addictive, and murder is like potato chips, it’s really hard to stop after the first one.

I saw this public domain puppy on TCM about a month ago and was so slack-jawed in wonder by the end, it was days before I realized there’s no Bucket of Blood in the whole damn movie. Or who knows, maybe there was at some point and I missed it when one or another of my synapses blew apart, a hazard that goes without saying when delving into the Corman oeuvre.

Overall rating: WholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

That damn kid
Sep 8th, 2008, 06:28 AM
This sounds like a good movie with the description you gave me... YOU LIAR!!
Sep 8th, 2008, 02:58 PM
Also a classic MST3k episode.
The Power of Grayskull
Sep 8th, 2008, 06:04 PM
Actually, I don't think MST3k did this movie.

Reading Max's description of it though, I really wish they had.
Forum Virgin
Sep 8th, 2008, 11:48 PM
If you think that's amazing, the film noir Detour (1945) was shot in 3 days on a budget of $30,000. Unlike Bucket of Blood, though, it's apparently pretty good.
Pickleman's Uncle
Sep 9th, 2008, 05:14 AM
Wow an old movie that sucks ass. Well we don't see that often.
I wonder if the internet will turn out to be like movie and in 30 years we'll look back at 2008 internet and wonder how the hell anyone could tolerate such mediocrity.
Sep 9th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Man, old B-movies are awesome.
Forum Virgin
Sep 9th, 2008, 10:15 PM
Well, I downloaded it and was planning on watching it, but after reading your review, I guess I'll just free my hard drive for something better.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Sep 10th, 2008, 08:53 AM
Oh, don't do that! It's well worth seeing. It's just not, you know, good. It's a very good bad film though.
Former Virgin
Sep 10th, 2008, 10:57 PM
I vaguely remember the MST3K episode. What a horrible movie.
Space Cowboy
Sep 12th, 2008, 04:30 AM
MST3K did enough Roger Corman movies for it to be okay that they skipped over this one.
Kat Kat is offline
Breathes Comics
Jun 19th, 2009, 02:56 PM
I know this review was posted quite a while ago, but I'd like to point out that there WAS a 'bucket' of blood.

It's in the part when his landlady comes in his apartment and he manages (with freakish strength) to hide the dead policeman above the door way before she gets in the room.

After she leaves, he puts down a pan to catch the blood dripping off his arm.

It doesn't last very long, but I believe that's the symbolism to the movie.
Member OfThe Pigmask Army
Sep 29th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Fun fact; this was made by the same dude as Little Shop of Horrors. That is were he got the film, notice the plot of this was like the chassis (If you will) of Little Shop of Horrors' plot.
On an unrelated note, MY FIRST POST!