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A Bucket of Blood

USA 1959
produced by
Roger Corman for Alta Vista, AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton, Ed Nelson, John Brinkley, John Herman Shaner, Judy Bamber, Myrtle Vail, Bert Convy, Jhean Burton, Bruno VeSota, Lynn Storey, alex Hassiley, Paul Horn
written by Charles B.Griffith, music by Fred Katz, saxophone solo by Paul Horn

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) is a busboy in a beatnik café, and he is naive enough to believe everything the self-absorbed wannabe-artist customers of the café are saying, especially concerning art. And one day, walter wants to be an artist too,a nd he tries his best to make a work of art out of clay, but to no avail, he simply hasn't got what it takes. Then though he accidently stabs the cat of his landlady (Myrtle Vail), and to cover up his accident, he covers up the cat in clay and claims it to be a piece of art ... and wouldn't you know it, the beatnik crowd actually likes it, especially his boss Leonard (Antony Carbone), Walter's love interest Carla (Barboura Morris), and beatnik poet Maxwell (Julian Burton) - and sudenly Walter is the talk of the town, only when he is asked to do another sculpture, he is somehow hard-pressed, simply because he hasn't got another dead cat ...

Then though, a cop (Bert Convy) finds heroin on Walter (which was handed to him by a customer at the café without him knowing what it is), and Walter, finding himself cornered, kills the cop in self-defense, so to speak - and makes him into his next sculpture, to the amazement of everyone - except for his boss Leonard who has since found out what Walter's sculptures are made of and has suggested to him to try his hands on abstract forms.

Soon enough, Walter has made a few more statues (and has become more self assured with every murder), when Leonard decides to end it all and promises Walter a big show (how this is going to end it all though is beyond me). Just before the show though, Walter proposes to Carla and she turns him down - which is when he proposes to make a sculpture out of her as well. Carla agrees to it, but when she finds out what making a sculpture out of her actually means, she runs away in shock - and he after her. Meanwhile though at the show, the whole audience has found out what Walter's sculptures are made of, and suddenly a lynchmob is after him, made up of exactly the same people who adored him only minutes ago. Walter though is suddenly plagued by his conscience that makes him hear the voices of his victims, and eventually, these voices drive him to suicide by hanging - but not before he has covered himself in clay to make himself his own masterpiece ...


Filmed back-to-back with (the more successful) Little Shop of Horrors, A Bucket of Blood is a macabre but likeable cheap little horror comedy that pokes wonderful fun at the beatnik art movement without ever becoming plain silly. True the film isn't perfect (which has nothing to do with the low budget which seems to work for the movie rather than against it), its screenplay doesn't seem to be entirely thought through and at times Walter seems to be a bit too idiotic, but that said, the film is still great fun and features some of Roger Corman's ensemble actors giving some of their greatest performances and fan favourite Dick Miller in a rare lead, and in its own way, the film is completely enjoyable.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD