Movie: "A Bucket Of Blood"
Genre: Cult / B-Movie
Directed by: Roger Corman
Writing credits: Charles B. Griffith
Reviewer: Max Burbank
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.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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