Directed by Roger Corman
Reviewed by MaT, added on Jan 1 2005
Roger Corman became a legend mainly because of producing, but many people forget that he directed a large amount of low-budget B horror and sci-fi films, all of them varying in quality, but influential in their own right. A Bucket of Blood is one of his finer films. It centers around a young waiter named Walter who works at a beatnik arthouse cafe/gallery and wants desperately to be part of the "cool" crowd of artists. After ordering some clay, he accidentally kills his cat, and his psychosis leads him to cover said cat with the clay to make his statuelike "realistic art". You can see where this is going can't you? His "art" becomes the toast of the town, and soon, people become the objects of his artistic designs.
This was a really cool flick. It clocks in at just over an hour but the film feels longer...in a good way, because the film never grinds to a crawl, yet it has a ton of stuff in it to make if seem longer than it really is. Corman makes Walter an incredibly sympathetic character; a loveable loser who just happens to go a little crazy. The story itself is really interesting and works on a really cool "Twilight Zone" level. You almost expect Rod Serling to pop up at the end of the film (which is great by the way). All of the acting is top-notch for such a low budget.
Though the title is A Bucket of Blood, there is very little actual red gravy in the film. Nearly everything is shown off-camera but somehow that suits the film better than if it were shown in gory detail. That's pretty surprising coming from a gore fiend like myself, but in this particular case, I really enjoyed not seeing much blood. This is an excellent little chiller from the great Roger Corman that mixes an interesting plot, some great horror elements, outstanding acting, and a quick pace to make this a must see for all "true" horror fans.