December 11, 2009 Subject:
Multiply my five-star rating by a million.
When I was a kid, there were only three TV stations, no cable TV, and entertainment options were strictly limited.
Saturdays were special. At 11:30, monster movies were shown. At no other time during the week could such horrors be seen. There were no VCRs, no TIVOs, so everything had to be experienced in its broadcast moment.
One Saturday evening in the 1960s, BUCKET OF BLOOD was the late-night movie. I watched it with my siblings, then trundled off to sleep. We thought it was a masterpiece. It was the talk of elementary school for the next week. The clay, the corpses, the beatniks, the horror, all those things stayed embedded in my mind for years. The time I spent watching the movie with my family is among my fondest memories.
Upon viewing it now, it is evident BUCKET OF BLOOD was cynically-produced, low-rent horse shit of the worst kind. I sure liked it back in the old days before I knew better, though...
Two reviewers have noticed similarities between this film and Little Shop of Horrors, which is no surprise. They used the same sets and most of the same cast. Amateurish, yes, but it still holds the record for being the full-length feature that took the least amount of time to film: two days and a night!
December 8, 2009 Subject:
A surprising gem in the rough
I viewed this just after "Little Shop of Horrors" and expected the same type of shoddy story, characters, and acting. I don't understand the appeal of "Little Shop of Horrors". Although the premise is clever, the execution never rose above amateurish burlesque. With few laughs, and no apparent meaning, it's not obvious to me why Horrors was made (other than to expose Audrey Sr.'s "good kisser" and her figure in a pushup bra).
But the badly-titled "Bucket of Blood" surprised me. First, I actually laughed at the beatnik parodies, despite the cliches. Next, I actually felt sad for Walter in his desperation. Then, the creepy noir shadows worked to instill an eery dread. And that complemented the noir theme: a man trapped in a web of circumstance and choice. As the movie progressed, I marveled at how the film teetered between farce and tragedy. At any moment I was expecting a scene to conclude with the Hitchcock silhouette from the 1955 TV series.
This is a touching and disturbing film. Moreover, it "coulda been a contender": the only other film I have seen that staked out this turf was a masterpiece. Corman was not a Scorcese, Dick Miller was no DeNiro, but Walter Paisley was eerily close to Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver".
"A Bucket of Blood" and "Taxi Driver" - what a wonderfully depressing double feature!
October 8, 2009 Subject:
Terrific. Takes "cast of characters" to undreamed heights.
February 22, 2009 Subject:
Get with this hip flick daddio.
Smart funny cult classic. Dick Miller has never been better. As Walter Paisley ,the down at heel bus boy who wants more than anything to be accepted as an artist by the pretentious poseurs who frequent the coffee shop where he works,Miller captures the essence of the outsider. The scene where he enters the coffee shop triumphant resplendent with cane,beret and neckerchief is priceless. The production values as you would expect of a Corman B-movie are piss-poor(when Walter takes Frank the dead cat out of the wall its hilariously obvious that the cat is stuffed,made of plaster or has gone through the swiftest progression of death to rigor-mortis in film history)but its a lot better than a lot of the crap that Hollywood are spending millions on NOW.
December 10, 2008 Subject:
not as horror as i expectd but funny and interesting
December 4, 2008 Subject:
A humorus horror flick.
This thing has the same flavor as 'A little Shop of Horrors,' which is available on this site. Humor off-sets the horror in a beatnik setting with a lot of very colorful characters that are worth watching!
August 15, 2008 Subject:
Dig That Crazy Horn
Interesting to Note Paul Horn is Accompanying The Performing Poet Maxwell H Brock on Saxophone gives The Opening Shots
an added Frisson
June 5, 2008 Subject:
One of Roger Corman's best outings -- dark, wickedly funny, and tears the beatnik culture a new one.