Baker’s Log – A Quick Look: A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Barboura Morris

A BUCKET OF BLOOD was one of Roger Corman’s experimental pictures. Presumably assigned a title and told to run with it, Corman crafted a hysterical comedy all about murder. Dick Miller plays Walter Paisley, loser hanger-on to a group of beatniks. He desperately seeks their approval and takes up sculpting as a way to fit in. He’s terrible at it, however, until he accidentally kills a cat and then covers the kitty corpse with clay. This creation is heralded as a masterpiece and Walter finds himself coating further grisly leftovers as he becomes the toast of the art world! Roger Corman favorite Barboura Morris (pictured above) plays Carla, a hostess at the aforementioned beatnik cafe and an object of Walter’s desire.

In a sense, this is a comical take on HOUSE OF WAX/MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM, and the plot would later be tweaked to fit painting in the early gore flick COLOR ME BLOOD RED. The film is a sharp parody of the art world, as well, and probably does a better job of detailing the hypocritical motivations of the beat scene than any other film on the subject. Dick Miller didn’t headline too many movies, sadly, but this one stuck with him. His numerous bit parts since the 80’s have more often than not been named Walter Paisley! Corman would follow this triumph with two more black and white horror-comedies, CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA and the infamous THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

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Rock is a pencil jockey by trade. He's done work for AC Comics, Main Enterprises, and Moonstone, among others. Some of the strips he's created include Dinosaur Girl (AC Comics, creator, writer, pencils), Crissy Carrots (Main, creator, writer, pencils), and Betsy the Bookwriter (Main, co-creator, writer, pencils). His specialty is cheesecake cartooning (what they call "good girl art" these days).

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