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4 Feb 2013

A BUCKET OF BLOOD

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  07:00   MOVIES

A Bucket of Blood Cover
Did you know that the bearded-botanist, William Tyrone Shakespeare, wrote in his play, 'Macbeth: McDonald's Revenge', the following piece of pithy prose -- "And no one knows that Duncan is murdered and no one knows that Walter Paisley is born". Now doesn't that sound's pretty neat? Plus is one of the main reasons why it was used in this film Directed by Roger Corman; and Starring: Dick Miller with Barboura Morris. It was made in 1959, and lasted for a whole 66-minutes.


A Bucket of Blood


THE STORY:
Boy-oh-boy! Life sure was strange in the late nineteen-fifties, daddy-o! Take the life of Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) for instance. What set of circumstances do you think has turned this lowly coffee-shop bus-boy into an up and coming aspiring new-artist? Does it have anything to do with him accidentally killing his own cat, wrapping it in clay, and then exhibiting this 'feline sculpture' at his bohemian place of work? Then again, is it because he does exactly the same thing to an under-cover police officer, when this Narc attempts to bust Walter for accepting some drugs from a fan?

Alright. Alright. Alright. I have to confess, both of these murderous turns of events have transformed Walter into the over-night sensation that he is. Sound's pretty 'far out', I'm sure that you'll agree.  But what do you think happens next when Walter's boss, Leonard de Santis (Antony Carbone), twigs on to how Walter has created these 'pieces of art' to begin with? Does Leo try to sell them? Does he and his college, Carla (Barboura Morris), try to persuade Walter to create some more in the future? Or does he keep his trap shut and hope for the best? 

No. I'm not telling you this time. However, what I will say; is what next transpires all comes into play when Walter's subsequent two creations involve an obnoxious young model, and a man who looses his head. Because parties are thrown - art is shown - statues suddenly crack - and a lowly bus-boy can not help but finally... SNAP!




THE REVIEW:
OK, to be completely honest with you, I never thought 'A Bucket Of Blood' would amount to a tiny hill of beans when I first sat down and saw it. I just presumed it would turn out like many of Roger Corman's other comedy / horror movies. You know the type of thing, I'm sure. Acting so mannered it would make Marlon Brando red with contempt. A story so strange it would make a crazy man yelp 'Now that's crazy!'. And a style so tenth rate, homeless people would give their money out of pity.

Granted, to a certain degree, I was correct about my initial presumptions. The acting is mannered. The story is strange. Plus if truth be told, the overall production value is little to be desired as well. Nonetheless, even with all of these foil-balls under this films belt, it still is one really enjoyable comedy adventure which I will defiantly watch again in the future -- without a shadow of a doubt.


Dick in A Bucket of Blood


The Artist Dick Miller in A Bucket of Blood
Here, check out some of these filmic facts before I tell you why. (1) This movie was released by 'America International Pictures' on the 21st of October, 1959, and cost $50,000 to make, within a five day period. (2) As a part of its advertisement campaign, it was stated in the press that 'If You Bring In A Bucket Of Blood To Your Local Theater's Management (Or Ticket Booth), You Will Be Given One Free Admission'. (3) It is believed that actor, Julian Burton, wrote the entire 'Life is a bum' poem all by himself; done in the style of a 'beatnik parody'. (4) Director, Roger Corman, used the film-sets from his last film, 'Diary of a High School Bride', in this film, and his next one too -- 'The Little Shop Of Horrors' [click here for the re-make review]. (5) The assumed 'working title' for this movie was called 'The Living Dead'. (6) Whilst sitting in a coffeehouse on Sunset Strip, it took Roger Corman and his screenwriter, Charles B Griffith, one single day to research the beatnik culture and come up the basic outline of this film. Allegedly, the producers wanted him to devise a low-budget horror movie instead. (7) In 1995 the 'Showtime Television Network' remade this film for its chosen medium. (8) Alex Hassilev, who was the guitarist / singer at the nightclub, would go on and form the popular folk group, 'The Limeliters'. (9) Although actor, Dick Miller, has starred in over one hundred different films, this one remains his only starring role. He didn't like it though -- stating that it could have been much better if the producers invested more time and money in the overall production.


A Bucket of Blood Cover


Hey! Did you check out point nine of my trivia splurge, dear reader? About Dick's stance on 'A Bucket of Blood'? Well, I do agree with him somewhat. But I would never say that I didn't like it. No way. I like to think of this flick as a pastiche of a genre of a bohemian way of life. The comedy is of the dark variety. The background music is jazz inspired. The horror is jovial in nature. And the story is like a fifties version of Forest Gump meeting Hannibal Lecter and Ned Flanders' Dad from the Simpson's.

Honest to God. It's one of those films which just scream's farce, without it feeling too farcical in execution. Now if you ever want to have a bit of a chuckle and a bit of a spook at the same time, please check it out, because this pieces defiantly deserves' the grand remake treatment any time soon. Right Dick?




That's a 'Yes', huh? Fingers crossed. Cats preserved. Great movie. And a silly review. Ha!

THE RATING: A

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