99 user 85 critic

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 21 October 1959 (USA)
A dim-witted busboy finds acclaim as an artist for a plaster-covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. The desire for more praise soon leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.


Roger Corman


Charles B. Griffith (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Dick Miller ... Walter Paisley
Barboura Morris Barboura Morris ... Carla
Antony Carbone ... Leonard de Santis
Julian Burton ... Maxwell H. Brock
Ed Nelson ... Art Lacroix
John Brinkley John Brinkley ... Will
John Herman Shaner 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 Jhean Burton ... Naolia
Bruno VeSota ... Art Collector (as Bruno Ve Soto)
Lynn Storey 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 <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Inside every artist... Lurks a mad man! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Horror


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


After this film Dick Miller (I) would go on to be credited as "Walter Paisley" or some variation of that name no less than ten times in his long career: Hollywood Boulevard (1979), The Howling (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Chopping Mall (1986), Night of the Creeps (1986) (as "Walt"), Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994) (as "Officer Paislely"), Rebel Highway (1994) )as "Officer Paisley"), The Adventures of Biffle and Shoosterror (2015) (asl "Walter"), Schmo Boat (2015) (as "Walter"). 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 »


Walter Paisley: Be a nose! Be a nose!
See more »


References House of Wax (1953) See more »


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

User Reviews

Corman's first black comedy
7 May 2000 | by silentgpaleoSee all my reviews

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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Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]





Release Date:

21 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Living Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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