IMDb > A Bucket of Blood (1959)
A Bucket of Blood
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A Bucket of Blood (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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A Bucket of Blood -- After accidentally killing a cat and covering it with clay, a wimpy busboy/would-be sculptor exhibits it at a coffeehouse as one of his sculptures and becomes a success.
A Bucket of Blood -- Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian café, is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars...


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Charles B. Griffith (screenplay)
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Release Date:
21 October 1959 (USA) See more »
A Comedy of Errors! A Comedy of Terrors! See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
What do you call this piece of art? See more (66 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dick Miller ... Walter Paisley
Barboura Morris ... Carla
Antony Carbone ... Leonard de Santis
Julian Burton ... Maxwell H. Brock

Ed Nelson ... Art Lacroix
John Brinkley ... Will
John Herman Shaner ... Oscar (as John Shaner)
Judy Bamber ... Alice
Myrtle Vail ... Mrs. Swickert (as Myrtle Damerel)

Bert Convy ... Lou Raby (as Burt Convy)
Jhean Burton ... Naolia
Bruno VeSota ... Art Collector (as Bruno Ve Soto)
Lynn Storey ... Sylvia (as Lynne Storey)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alex Hassilev ... Singer-Guitarist (uncredited)
Paul Horn ... Beatnik Saxophonist (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Art Exhibit Patron (uncredited)
Sheila Noonan ... Yellow Door Patron (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Art Exhibit Patron (uncredited)
Henry Travis ... Art Critic (uncredited)

Directed by
Roger Corman 
Writing credits
Charles B. Griffith (screenplay)

Produced by
Roger Corman .... producer
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer (uncredited)
James H. Nicholson .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Fred Katz (music by)
Cinematography by
Jacques R. Marquette (director of photography) (as Jack Marquette)
Film Editing by
Anthony Carras 
Art Direction by
Daniel Haller  (as Dan Haller)
Makeup Department
Bob Mark .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jack Bohrer .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Rapp .... assistant director
Art Department
Richard M. Rubin .... properties (as Dick Rubin)
Sound Department
Leonard Corso .... sound editor
Wallace Nogle .... sound (as Wally Nogle)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marjorie Corso .... wardrobe (as Marge Corso)
Music Department
Paul Horn .... musician: saxophone solo
Jerry Irvin .... music editor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
66 min | Argentina:75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:M | Finland:K-18 (2002) (self applied) | France:12 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2012) | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:15 (video rating) (1996) (uncut) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Julian Burton is reported to have actually written the entire 'Life is a bum' poem himself, taking care to make the poem imitate- and yet parody- 'beatnik' art at the same time.See more »
Continuity: When the club owner knocks over the cat statue he notices the fur sticking out on the side. When he picks up the cat again the fur is gone.See more »
Maxwell H. Brock:I'm proud to say my poetry is only understood by that minority which is aware.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Color Me Blood Red (1965)See more »
Gari, GariSee more »


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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
What do you call this piece of art?, 31 March 2006
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Walter Paisley is a dim-witted busboy who works at a coffee shop that's populated by beatniks reciting their poetry, playing their jazzy music, throwing around their words of wisdom and praising each others' work. Walter really wants to be part of this crowd, but they don't take him seriously. So he goes home to make something out of clay, but his stopped because of the constant meowing from the landlady's cat that's stuck in the wall. Trying to get it out, he accidentally kills it, so he decides to cover with clay and take it to the coffee shop to show off his work. Everyone is impressed, but they want more. Which, Walter does deliver.

Now this is what you call an entertaining horror/comedy B-movie that delivers on what it promises. Thank you Roger Corman for such an humorlessly offbeat offering that has personality. 'A Bucket of Blood' is a drive-in quickie that mocks that of the art society in the late 50s to 60s with such blackly laced humour in a tongue-in-cheek approach. The spoof elements seem to fuse impeccably well with the amusing satirical attacks on the beatnik culture. It's hard not to grin at how pompous this lifestyle is with them finding masterpieces in the strangest things, then labelling the artist some sort of master who's got to continue his budding work. Also there's their intellectual lingo that supposedly has a deeper meaning to it all… far out! You could say that this beatnik generation lives in their own little world, but their artistic shallowness definitely moulds itself into the picture.

Now you're probably wondering when does the horror come in. Well, the wry humour might be heavy, but the violence has a rather bitter and twisted feel as it becomes an obsession for Walter to knock off people to advance his social status in the art world and to please those artists who see big things in him. The deaths are executed rather well, actually. They do hold such a chilling and grisly sting, because the victims are obliviously to what's going to happen and we see the cold, obsessed transformation of Walter taking hold. Dick Millar nails down the part beautifully in depicting a character that might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but it's his unstable patterns that come to the forefront. Millar's performance was very memorable, but the rest of the cast were very good too with a nice mixture of animated characters ranging from the variety of zesty beatniks to Walter's interfering landlady. The cheap budget seems to do wonders on the dreary atmosphere. That of Walter's gloomy, but cosy apartment where he does the finishing touches (the nitty gritty stuff) to his work, which shows the true loneliness and why he wants to be accepted.

Surrounding the film is a hip and jazzy score that manages to spice up proceedings by gelling together with its artistic context. Director Corman manages to keep things moving at a reasonable pace with it flying by quick enough. He succeeds in making a fun satire that has whole range of surprising developments and he knows when to tighten the screws with some razor edge thrills, which makes way for a satisfyingly, ingenious outcome. No way is life imitating art here.

A delightfully dark and quirky premise with many memorable performances, but no more than Dick Millar. A very well done production all round by Corman and co.

Side-note: 'The Little Shop of Horrors' was made on the back of 'A bucket of blood' with basically most of the same cast and sets.

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