Halloween is finally upon us, which means our 4th annual horror movie marathon is coming to a close. Over the past weekend we checked in with Roger Corman in A Bucket of Blood, caught up with Bride of Frankenstein, tried out some J-horror with Tomie, and closed things out with everyone's favorite fake vampire Martin.
Day 28: A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Roger Corman’s 1959 quickie A Bucket of Blood is a pitch perfect send up of artists and their highfalutin perceptions of themselves in the guise of a z-rate horror film. Set in a beatnik cafe, the lead character in A Bucket of Blood places subjectively bad artwork in front of an audience of fauxhemian hipsters who herald it as a work of utter genius. Some of them even write poems about their magnificence. The joke is on them, however, when those sculptures turn out to be nothing more than clay-covered murder victims.
Though not much more than a cheap re-hash of House of Wax, A Bucket of Blood is an awesome example of Corman at the height of his fast and cheap phase. Both funny and scary in all the right places, the film is a wonder when you consider that it was shot in 5 days with a budget of 50 grand. Of course, the low rent production values are plain throughout the film—the statues never look like anything but mannequins and the sets look like they’re constantly on the verge of falling over. Still, it boasts vibrant, funny performances from Dick Miller, Barbara Morris and Julian Burton and throws devilish barbs to the art world that sting even today.