HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bucket of Blood, A Feat Of ClayBuy this film here.
Year: 1959
Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton, Ed Nelson, John Brinkley, John Herman Shaner, Judy Bamber, Myrtle Vail, Bert Convy, Jhean Burton, Bruno VeSota, Lynn Storey
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Yellow Door club is the haunt for the most fashionable beatniks around, or a few of them anyway, but for Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) it's just somewhere to work, as he has a job as a busboy there. He may carry out menial tasks, but he does have ambitions of his own as his heart's desire is to become a sculptor, though everyone around him denigrates his dreams and does not believe he will amount to anything more than cleaning up after the patrons of his boss, Leonard (Antony Carbone). Only Carla (Barboura Morris) encourages him, and he is grateful for that, but when he finally gets some clay home to his one-room apartment, events take an unexpected turn...

A Bucket of Blood is probably the Roger Corman-directed movie that is most associated with Dick Miller, that familiar face in American cinema for a number of decades, almost always in a supporting role or even bit part. He became one of Corman's ensemble and as a result, one of his most admired thanks to the habit of those who had worked with the notoriously penny-pinching filmmaker adopting him as a kind of mascot on their own productions once they had the chance to turn director themselves; as a result, Miller was one of the most enduring cult stars of the twentieth century, since he had that kind of quirky face that proved memorable: ideal for a character actor.

It wasn't merely his face that was his fortune, as his whole demeanour was indelible too, whether he was a shifty villain or comic relief he had a knack for bringing a little something extra special to every role, and none more than his tragic bad guy Walter here, his signature part though he was usually a shade sharper about the wits. Walter was not exactly a simpleton, but he was easily led, and comes to believe the patter peddled by the exponents of the beatnik scene the film was keen to expose as posturing and a pretentious sham. It was odd that whenever the counterculture was depicted in exploitation flicks of the day, it was nearly always with deep suspicion, at least until the hippies arrived.

You might have thought Corman and his ilk would be sympathetic to the beat movement, yet on this evidence he and his screenwriter Charles B. Griffith were certain this lot with their poetry, drugs and art affectations were pulling a fast one, whereas presumably a more honest seeker after patrons' cash, like, ooh, like a certain Mr Corman, was more likely to have their finger on the pulse of human nature and what the public wanted to be entertained by. All that said, the beats were skewered in A Bucket of Blood better than many observers - from the outside - ever managed, identifying a vicious snobbery in the In Crowd that was not regularly brought into the spotlight for a caustic exposure. It wasn't a case of the squares defending themselves against the attacks of the self-appointed cool, it was keener than that.

Walter, you see, has a solution to his lack of talent that he accidentally realises when he tries to free his pet cat from the wall of his apartment and stabs it to death by mistake, one bread knife through the heart. Suddenly inspired, he covers the corpse with clay, allows it to set, and brings it to the club as an artwork, to be greeted with admiration at the piece's perceived truth and skill (it has the knife still sticking out of it!), and soon the trendies are wanting a follow-up. They get one with "Murdered Man", a life study of a figure afflicted by a deep crack in its skull, which should give you an idea of what it actually is, an undercover cop Walter panicked and killed when he was accused of holding narcotics. Sweet Carla remains oblivious, as does everyone else except Leonard who twigs but hypocritically sees the high prices the art is amassing and keeps his mouth shut, though suffers with angst for his duplicity. Sort of a House of Wax with satirical flavour, Miller was correct when he said the low budget hurt, but it contained a cynical verve that sees it a favourite of buffs to this day. Music by Fred Katz.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 140 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roger Corman  (1926 - )

Legendary American B-Movie producer and director who, from the fifties onwards, offered low budget thrills with economy and flair. Early films include It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors and X. The Intruder was a rare attempt at straightforward social comment.

Come the sixties, Corman found unexpected respectability when he adapted Edgar Allan Poe stories for the screen: House of Usher, Pit and The Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tomb of Ligeia among them, usually starring Vincent Price. He even tried his hand at counterculture films such as The Wild Angels, The Trip and Gas!, before turning to producing full time in the seventies.

Many notable talents have been given their break by Corman, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Monte Hellman, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, James Cameron and Peter Bogdanovich. Corman returned to directing in 1990 with the disappointing Frankenstein Unbound.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
The Elix
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: