Walter Paisley, a waiter at a cafe, is jealous of the artsy patrons and performers. He accidentally kills his landlord's cat and covers the body in plaster to hide it. It is seen at the cafe and everyone thinks it genius. They want to see more of his work.
I have never seen this before so this review is through fresh eyes. This is a short (a little over an hour) but fun movie. This is not to be viewed seriously in any respect. Once you view it as a comedy, you'll enjoy it. Don't let the 1959 date stop you from viewing this cult classic, comedy horror. I hardly noticed the older time period, set in the Beatnik era.
During and after the movie I noticed how similar A Bucket of Blood is to The Little Shop of Horrors. At first, I thought Little Shop was produced first even though I reviewed it a few months back. But after researching both, Bucket of Blood was released in 1959 and Little Shop in 1960. And then I stumbled across why they're so similar - both are directed by Roger Corman! Corman may be the B-movie king but he's also notorious for re-using ideas and this is a prime example. I'll give a brief comparison.
A Bucket of Blood - Walter Paisley is a slow-witted waiter at a Bohemian cafe who wants fame and to be with a pretty girl. He kills people and makes them into artwork, He gets his fame for a while.
The Little Shop of Horrors - Seymour Kreilboind is a slow-witted assistant to Gravis Mushnik at his exotic florist shop. He wants fame in a way. He kills people and feeds them to a plant to make it grow. He gets his fame for a while.
There are a few other similarities but they are spoilers. I just mentioned the basic ones everyone can read on the VHS/DVD packaging. Heck, even Dick Miller is in both! He plays a small role as Burson Fouch, the customer who eats flowers. But it's obvious to me that they're basically the same plot, just done with a different way of killing. I still like both. Dick Miller is just as good as Walter Paisley as Jonathan Haze plays Seymour Kreilboind. Both performed it like Jerry Lewis' style of comedy, the type of character you pity because they live outside of the normal society and will do anything to be noticed. Dick Miller rarely gets main character roles but runs with it here in A Bucket of Blood!
The plot can't get simpler which works well in this light-toned movie. Not much of a horror atmosphere. It's set in a poor area like Brooklyn of the 50s, think The Honeymoon era backdrop. Standard music for its day. The Beatnik philosophy provides the other aspect of the set. Beyond that, it's mostly character-driven.
The SFX? Well, what can you expect with the 50s and Roger Cormen? None of the SFX look realistic, mostly mannequins for bodies and very little blood. Why title it A Bucket of Blood, you ask? In one scene Walter drips the blood of one of his victims into a bucket. The blood runs like water. Very cheesy but fun.:)
I really only knew two of the actors. Dick Miller, of course. He's just great in this role. And Antony Carbone plays Leonard de Santis, Walter's boss at the club. Carbone is good here. I've seen him in a few horror movies such as Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961).
Overall, a very cheesy, low-budgeted yet fun flick. This is one of Roger Corman's better projects. I recommend it to horror fans who don't always take their horror seriously. I know I enjoyed it.
By the way, this was re-made as Bucket of Blood (1995) with Anthony Michael Hall as Walter and Justine Bateman as Carla.