A Bucket of Blood (1959)
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as Walter Paisley
as Leonard De Santis
as Art Lacroix
as Mrs. Surchart
as Mrs. Surchart
as Lou Raby
as Art Collector
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Critic Reviews for A Bucket of Blood
It's a low budget masterwork that skewers the fad of its era while lambasting the ever-fickle art world.
It was perhaps Corman's first film to establish a really rich atmosphere, filled with nighttime shadows and a general edginess, which only grew richer on the subsequent Poe films.
A monolith of lowbrow entertainment from the days when cheap movies could be made and marketed cheaply.
Audience Reviews for A Bucket of Blood
A blase busboy in an uber-pretentious L.A. coffee house longs for some kind of humanly positive reinforcement, which he gets tragically only after accidentally covering dead bodies in plaster, which stoner artist colony types confuse with deliberate art ("... it looks sooo lifelike ... !"). This is mostly a send-up of the hippie/poet/artist West Coast scene, but it does have decent cinematography, moody and noir-ish, while its sanctimoniously jerking the seen-it-all longhairs for a mild chuckle.
The thing that I find most charming about some of Roger Corman's directing efforts is that he shot several of his movies in just a week to save money. What he turns out isn't amazing, but has its charms. A Bucket of Blood is more akin to The Little Shop of Horrors plot-wise in that it has some lowly loser who turns to murder to get people's attention. The plot doesn't really get more complex than that. He kills a cat and covers it in clay... he kills a guy and also covers him in clay... then he kills a gal and covers her in clay. That's about the gist of the entire story. Very simple but fun. The dialogue and acting are both terrible, as is the really awful beatnik poetries. It's just fun to watch a young Dick Miller do his thing, which is about the best draw to the movie. Yeah sure it's got some subtance to it, but that's the main thing I took away from it.
This is my favourite Corman movie of the fifties, I think. The only film where Dick Miller gets to play the main character too. It's both funny and suspenseful. Plus, it's about beatniks. I love this movie.