B Movie Challenge: A Bucket of Blood

A Bucket of Blood (1959) DICK MILLER 1080p - YouTube

In the 15th Century,  the Duke of York, Mr. Ed, decided that if the devil was alive on this clay mound, it would probably be in the body of a little, bitey, teeny kitty cat (which makes sense, with those creepy cat’s eyes and all). So, he ordered the townspeople to gather all the pussy cats he could find, and… well, let’s just say it wasn’t gay purrrreeeee for a while. They say cats have nine lives, and maybe (just maybe) the Duke did as well, being reincarnated in little ol’ Walter Paisley, the wimpy, weak, whiney anti-hero from the Roger Corman classic A Bucket of Blood.

I am going to say one thing and you can come after me, post below how much you hate me, or run me out of town if you want (as long as you don’t tar and feather me). Are you ready? Here it is… I hate cats (that’s right, I said it)! With this being said, I understand why the mangy mouser bothered Walter. They claw, they scratch, and they treat your beautiful houseplants like a cheap bag of Meow Mix. These fury chappies seemed to also annoy Edgar Allan Poe as well, whose source material inspired a little bit of the story. Filmed a quick five days for $50,000, Corman is at the peak of his game, not only in cheapness but in having fun with the art of cinema. This film is one of the first examples of a true comedy/horror film, inspiring classic films like An American Werewolf in London, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Hobgoblins (hey, if you knew what the film was, then shut up, cause you watched it!).

A Bucket of Blood (1959) – Midnight Only

Landing on all fours in a slim 65 minutes, and written by common Corman collaborator Charles B. Griffith, this black and white moggy Drive-in classic was the first film of Corman’s to star the great (sadly late) Dick Miller, who went on to star in classics like Gremlins, The Terminator, and Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Night. Walter Paisley, perfectly played by Miller, works as a lonely waiter at a local art beatnik bar, where he sees great artists and dreams of being among the greats. One day while trying to sculpt, a nasty little black cat interrupts his stride and he (accidentally) kills it. How does he hide the evidence? By encasing the cat in a clay sculpture. When he forgets to rid of it, some of his artistic acquaintances want to see more and ol’ Walter needs to find more than the common household pet to feed his artistic cravings!

A Bucket of Blood (1959) directed by Roger Corman • Reviews, film + cast •  Letterboxd

Like a priceless painting, this beauty is truly the cat’s meow! I know being in the public domain means the artists get nothing in the long run, but thanks to this little copyright issue, you can find A Bucket of Blood pretty much anywhere streaming, but also is available on thousands of PD DVD formats, but I recommend the special edition Blu-Ray by Olive Films. Funny fact, a few years back Corman teamed up with Showtime Network and remade this starring Anthony Micheal Hall and a pre-SNL Will Ferrill, but maybe that one can stay in the little box. So before you watch the movie go to your local gas station for a $1.27 cup of coffee, warm up a heaping mound of clay for your idle hands, and remember, be like ol’ Walter and make your art with some heart!

You can watch the full movie here:

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues, his thesis film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands, the novel Lucky for Newfangle Press, and he has written short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights audio cast. Klink shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies in Pennsylvania.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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