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
What better way to undercut the worst of artistic pretensions than to do it with a slapdash movie produced in five days called 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
What is most amusing in this light, unpretentious comedy-horror movie is seeing how it makes fun of the beatniks and relies on the protagonist's hilarious maladroitness for ironic ends. Still, the low budget shows, especially in an unimpressive climax that lacks the thrills to make us care.
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.
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