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.
Walter Paisley, a busboy at a cappuccino bar called the Jabberjaw, is praised as a genius after he kills his landlady's cat and covers it in plaster. Pressured to produce more work, he goes after bigger subjects.
Anthony Michael Hall,
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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 <email@example.com>
The working title of the film was 'The Living Dead'. See more »
Right before Walter punches the hole in the wall, the outline of where the hole is going to be can be seen before he breaks it open. See more »
Leonard de Santis:
I was just suggesting to Walter that he try his hand at free-form.
Maxwell H. Brock:
Why do you suggest anything to Walter? Are you the spokesman for society come to put your stifling finger in his eye?
See more »
In Roger Corman's autobiography, he credits himself to creating the sub-genre "black comedy". His version of "black comedy" featured gruesome elements, that were sometimes played for laughs. With BUCKET OF BLOOD and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, he furthered this along, and although I'm not sure if he did indeed invent the "black comedy", he sure had a good run with it.
BUCKET OF BLOOD is near-perfect. Which is saying a lot when you think of some of Corman's films. BUCKET OF BLOOD stars Dick Miller in his only starring performance. He plays a struggling busboy/artist, whose only real desire in life is to impress the local beatnik girl (the talented Barboura Morris). Miller works at the same coffee house that Morris frequents. The place, run by Anthony Carbone, features poetry and art. There are also pretentious beatniks, drug dealers, and undercover detectives.
I don't want to give much else away, aside from that the film itself has a life of its own. The energy is high, the camera and editing work are effectively polished, and the dialogue is uniformly crisp. Corman's direction is fluid. Next to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and maybe a few of his Poe films, BUCKET OF BLOOD is his best film.
Dick Miller, has never received such a juicy part to play as this. He handles the jokes well, and his interplay with Carbone, and especially Ed Nelson, is great.
The sets are cheap, the conclusion is rushed, but BUCKET OF BLOOD made me giggle, and unlike some horror films, it is supposed to.
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