Newest Review: ... deadly series of works. I am a fan of old horror films and I watch them from start to finish regardless of how awful they are, and I came... more
No Bucket and Some Blood
Bucket of Blood (DVD)
Member Name: Jarisleif
Bucket of Blood (DVD)
Advantages: 1950s horror
Disadvantages: A little dated
"A Bucket of Blood" is a 1959 film that was written by Charles B. Griffith and directed by Roger Corman, who had directed some classic horror films including "Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), "Swamp Women" (1956) and "Creature from the Haunted Sea" (1961).
Warning: Spoilers will likely be given during this review.
The film was 66 minutes in length and starred Dick Miller ("Gremlins" (1984), "The Howling" (1981) and "Piranha" (1978)) as Walter Paisley, Barboura Morris ("Sorority Girl" (1957), "The Wasp Woman" (1959) and "Atlas" (1961)) as Carla and Antony Carbone ("Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), "Creature From the Haunted Sea" (1961) and "Last Woman on Earth" (1960)) as Leonard de Santis.
The plot for the film reads as follows: 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.
I am a fan of old horror films and I watch them from start to finish regardless of how awful they are, and I came across this in one of my movie packs that I'd bought online and when I watched it I recognised Dick Miller from "Twilight Zone: The Movie" in which he has a small part in the segment entitled "It's a Good Life". I always have reservations when I watch old horror films because you never know what you're going to get, but as this was only 66 minutes long I thought I'd sit through it. Is it any good? Let's find out!
I'm not one for poetry as I don't really understand the concept of having a poem and not rhyming - I guess that's part of my youth with limericks and school classroom English Literature - if that's the case, then why is it acceptable to not rhyme in a poem? Or is it acceptable and what I allegedly learned at school is wrong? Anyway, the point I'm trying to make here is that when the film begins, we see Maxwell H. Brock (Julian Burton) reciting a poem he wrote in a coffee bar with a light saxophone playing in the background. Said poem is not in rhyme, but the delivery from the actor is simply wonderful and had it been in a film favoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it may well have won him an Oscar nomination.
The special effects aren't very good in places. There is a scene where Walter stabs a cat through a wall and it's pretty obvious that it's a very light model made out of card or something similar, and in complete contrast there is another scene where Walter kills a cop and makes a model out of him. Now I'm sure that if this had been in colour it wouldn't have looked right, but as it was in black and white, it was visually good and would put some of today's special effects to shame. Some scenes of note are where Walter first figures out there is money to be made in modern art as he puts clay around the cat he killed and sold it to the coffee bar, which is where he gets noticed as someone with a talent, rather than a strange loner. He does seem a little slow which probably fuels his need to be socially accepted by the inhabitants of the bar, none moreso than the beautiful Carla. You can't help but feel sorry for him and you will probably find yourself cheering him on as he becomes a sort of hero that never was. The two artists (I forget their names) in the shop seemed to be part of a new brigade of flower power even though this was 1959. They attempted to be hip and trendy, but were clearly out of their depth in doing so. Towards the end of the film, Walter begins to question his own sanity as he gets more and more popular and is eventually forced to take his own life as people started to find out what he was really doing. How he kills himself, however, is for you to find out when you watch for yourself!
In summary, I'm not sure where the title came from, to be honest. I didn't see any buckets throughout the entire film and there wasn't much blood, either. That should not stop you from watching the film, though, because as far as classic horror goes, this is one of the good ones of the 1950s and I especially enjoyed it. Yes, there are better ones out there, but if you want to see raw acting with a good storyline, this is the one for you. Dick Miller is a fine actor and this is his best work by far.
My rating: 8/10
Summary: One of the classics.