Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bucket of Blood

(1959) **1/2

Walter is a busboy at a 1959 beatnik coffehouse/haunt.  He loves the beatnik culture, but his boss is always yelling at him, the poets and musicians are snobbish to him, and the one girl that's nice to him is out of his league.  Walter wants to be a sculptor.  So, after work one day, he goes home to try to work with his clay.  He can't make anything real well, and he keeps thinking about the slights he receives at work.  On top of that, his cat won't stop meowing.  So, in a rage, he accidentally stabs and kills his cat.  Then, Walt has an epiphany: clay + dead cat = artistic genius!

Walter begins to have success in the art world, but a la house of wax, all of his clay sculptures are just corpses covered in clay.

Dick Wilson (the old man from the Gremlins movie) is the lead playing Walter here, and his desperation and descent to madness are done very well.  The beatnik setting really adds something to this movie as well, because it's a contemporary riff on beatniks.  Rather than everybody just wearing black and smoking, this movie has some fun characters that look less like anachronistic stereotypes, and more subtle, realistic counter-culture types.  Also, Walter, even though he is a killer, is portrayed sympathetically, so that, in a way, we're rooting for the killer.

This is a Roger Corman film made for $50,000.  The low budget is obvious and the plot is extremely unoriginal.  During all the tense scenes the musical accompaniment is free-style jazz, which makes sense given the setting but is very out of place given the moood.  Still, at 65 minutes, this one's a good way to pad the horrorthon score.   


AC said...

i think i'd like the realistic beatnik part but not sure i can handle a cat killing.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I love this movie!

JPX said...

I love this movie too! I actually caught it on the big screen at b-movie night at our local theater. It's silly but great b-movie stuff!

Catfreeek said...

I third that sentiment.

Octopunk said...

I adore this movie and I think it actually has something to say about art, although I'm not sure what that is. Something about the way he sits in his crummy apartment trying to sculpt: "Be a nose! Be a nose!"

I was surprised you didn't rate it higher after I read your review, Trevor.

And fear not, Cat, the key word is "accidentally." I think he's trying to rescue it from its captivity inside the wall (although he is annoyed, too).

DCD said...

I think this sounds pretty fun. Other then the cat killing part, AC!