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A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  21 October 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,760 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 55 critic

A frustrated and talentless artist finds acclaim for a plaster covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. Soon the desire for more praise leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.



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Complete credited cast:
Barboura Morris ...
Antony Carbone ...
Julian Burton ...
John Brinkley ...
John Herman Shaner ...
Oscar (as John Shaner)
Judy Bamber ...
Myrtle Vail ...
Mrs. Swickert (as Myrtle Damerel)
Lou Raby (as Burt Convy)
Jhean Burton ...
Bruno VeSota ...
Art Collector (as Bruno Ve Soto)
Lynn Storey ...
Sylvia (as Lynne Storey)


Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian café, is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars. But after accidentally killing his landlady's cat and covering the body in plaster to hide the evidence, he is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor - but his new-found friends want to see more of his work. Lacking any artistic talent whatsoever, Walter has to resort to similar methods to produce new work, and soon people start mysteriously disappearing... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cat | dead cat | busboy | artist | money | See All (118) »


You'll be sick, sick, sick - from laughing! See more »


Comedy | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Living Dead  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The films origin came about when American International Pictures approached Roger Corman to direct a horror film for them but only alloted a small budget and an extremely limited schedule. Corman took the challenge, but wasn't interested in directing a traditional horror film, so he and screenwriter Charles B. Griffith came up with the concept of creating a black comedy instead. See more »


Walter accidentally kills a cat in a wall with a knife, but when he takes it out of the wall, it is stiff, as if it has been dead at least an hour. See more »


Will: Have some breakfast, man.
Walter Paisley: What're ya' having?
Maxwell H. Brock: Some soy and wheat germ pancakes, organic guava nectar, calcium lactate and tomato juice, and garbanzo omelettes sprinkled with smoked yeast. Join us?
Walter Paisley: No thanks... Sounds great, though!
See more »


Remade as A Bucket of Blood (1995) See more »


Gari, Gari
Traditional Russian gypsy song
Performed by Alex Hassilev
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Corman's Best, But Still Worth-Watching
28 October 2004 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

For years, I've been trying to convince myself that renting A Bucket of Blood (1959) wouldn't be a waste of money. On the one hand, it's a Roger Corman picture; on the other hand, it's a Roger Corman picture. He did some great work - Rock n Roll High School, Little Shop of Horrors, some of his Poe adaptations, etc.

But he also directed the Terror which, well, I wasn't too fond of.

In any event, I discovered a fifty cent copy of the Bucket of Blood DVD at the local Target and, well, it was hard to pass up. You can't get a candy bar for fifty cents these days, let alone a DVD, so I didn't have much of a choice.

It was a wise investment. A Bucket of Blood, though not nearly as fun as those aforementioned Corman classics, has plenty of wonderful set-pieces, some hysterical dialogue, and a terrific performance by Dick Miller (B-movie actor best known as Mr.

Futterman (sp?) from Gremlins and the owner of a bookstore specializing in paranormal literature in The Howling).

Like most other Corman pictures, this one is more humorous than horrific. Of course, that's what makes them fun. Not to give too much away, the story follows Dick Miller as Walter Paisley, lowly busboy at a Beatnik Coffee Shop, who discovers through an interesting encounter with Frankie the Cat his inner artistic genius.

I'd really like to tell you more about Frankie the Cat because, well, it's the most absurdly funny thing I've seen in a long time. That would ruin the surprise though. Instead, I'll tell you about the naked lightbulb hanging from the ceiling in Dick Miller's apartment. For some reason, when knocked off-kilter this lightbulb, dangling from a cord as lightbulbs in dive apartments are wont to do, moves back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, creating a nice, eerie effect as the shadows jump around. Yet, and maybe this was because I had been drinking before I sat down to watch the movie, the lightbulb, in the scene involving Frankie the Cat never seems to stop its pendulum-like performance. The violent oscillation never seems to diminish. I feel as though that's defying several laws of physics, but I could be wrong. Anyway, it was a nice touch and I found it entertaining.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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