I know you’re all hoping that I’ll do another black and white beatnik movie like The Bloody Brood. “Please, Scarina, pleeeeeeease tell us more about people pretending to be beatniks.” Who am I to let my public down? I bring you A Bucket of Blood from 1955 by Roger Corman.
I feel like I say this too often but I really wanted to like this movie. Of course, I couldn’t. It suffered from weak characterization and Danny Elfman-lite music. I guess it’s impressive that it was made on a five-day shooting schedule for $50,000. You have to give Corman credit, he was able to actualize his vision on so little. True, some of his visions had some glaucoma. For example, this movie featured very little blood and no actual buckets. Just this one pot.
I want to file a class-action lawsuit against every film that promises me more blood and gore in the title than actually exists.
Anyway, to the story. Walter Paisley is an awkward busboy at a cafe. He emulates the Galifianakis-alike pictured above, who happens to be a poet and a pompous ass. Instead the patrons and his boss heap scorn on him. Scorn, I say! How much can one man take?
This is his boss. His beret makes him look like a member of the cafe separatist movement. Or Gumbo, Gumby’s dad.
Walter really wants to be an artist but lacks the skills. In one scene he aggressively kneads clay and screams, “Be a nose! Be a nose!” There’s a kitteh meowing during this scene and he starts yelling at the cat. Apparently, kitteh got stuck in a wall so he does the logical thing and STABS the wall. Then he accidentally stabs the cat. I’d be deeply upset if the kitty wasn’t so stiff and obviously fake.
Then he does the even more logical thing and covers the cat with clay. Instant artist! He brings this kitty to the cafe and gains instant acclaim. He even gets hit on by Naolia. Or molested. Look at this picture and be the judge.
She even slips him some heroin to remember her by. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t give away my horse for free.
Walter’s boss accidentally discovers the secret of the dead kitty when he knocks it over and a patch of fur pokes out. At the same time an undercover cop visits Walter’s squalid apartment after seeing Naolia slip him the heroin.
Walter panics and kills him and I realize that Walter looks like a young Regis Philbin.
So now he has a body and a big box of clay. You get chocolate in my peanut butter! You got peanut butter in my chocolate! You got corpse in my clay! You got clay in my corpse!
And it progresses. And this could be very creepy, watching him degenerate into madness and pursuing more and more corpses. Plus, he gets more attention from the patrons of the cafe. But it’s only sixty-five minutes and that’s not very long to examine this. I read a bit about A Bucket of Blood online and a lot of people really seem to like it. I guess I can see its appeal but I mostly see missed opportunities. It’s cool that Corman was able to make something moderately ok on such a small budget and a quick amount of time but I wonder if it would be better to raise more money and up the filming time and come up with something actually scary.