A Bucket of Blood (October 21, 1959)
Released on October 21, 1959: When a teenager accidentally kills a cat, he covers it with modelling clay to hide the evidence, and is acclaimed a great sculptor, who must now have new bodies to plaster.
Directed by Roger Corman
Written by Charles B. Griffith.
The Actors: Dick Miller (Walter Paisley), Barboura Morris (Carla), Antony Carbone (Leonard de Santis), Julian Burton (Maxwell H. Brock), Ed Nelson (Art Lacroix), John Brinkley (Will), John Herman Shaner (Oscar), Judy Bamber (Alice), Myrtle Vail (Mrs. Swickert), Bert Convy (Lou Raby), Jhean Burton (Naolia), Bruno VeSota (art collector), Lynn Storey (Sylvia), Alex Hassiley (singer-guitarist), Paul Horn (beatnik saxophonist), Kenner G. Kemp (art exhibit patron), Jeffrey Sayre (art exhibit patron), Henry Travis (art critic).
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Roger Corman has done it again. He took a simple horror plot and turned it into a 1950's masterpiece - do you remember Vincent Price in the wax museum movie? Bring the plot into 1959, with beatnikss, funky jazz music, cops that aren't called 'cops' but rather they are the 'fuzz.' Add a simple-minded teen that is a sandwich short of a picnic, and you have a box office smash.
There wasn't a person in the late 1950's that didn't own an outfit with a paisley pattern on it but this Paisley is Walter Paisley a teen working as a bus-boy in a local jazz beatnik hangout. The major entertainment of the night seems to be making fun of Walter, and picking on him. One night after work he goes to the room he rents from an old lady, and while trying to make something out of a pile of clay, he accidentally kills his landlady's cat. Horrified, he doesn't know what to do with it, so he covers it with his clay, and takes it to the beatnik club to show it off. He is acclaimed as a wonderful sculptor, and a clamor for more of his work begins. One hopped up gal gives him a small bottle of powder to show her appreciation, and it turns out to be 'horse' - 'heroin.' There is an undercover cop in the joint, and he follows Walter to his room, and tells him that he is arresting Walter because he is in possession of dope. Walter doesn't even know what it is, but the fuzz still wants to arrest him. When the cop pulls out his gun, Walter, holding a skillet in his hand, instinctively cracks the guy over the head and kills him. He covers him with clay, and has his second masterpiece.
Now the killing becomes easier, and he sets out to make more realistic sculptures, as people around town start disappearing. Early on, the owner of the jazz club accidentally drops his 'dead cat' sculpture, and notices a bit of fur, and realizes that the sculpture is really a cat covered in clay. But because people are offering so much money for the pieces, and he is taking half as Walter's sponsor, he keeps quiet about it. How long will Walter be able to continue killing people and creating sculptures? How long will the jazz club owner keep quiet about Walter's methods? How long will the voices in Walter's head keep talking to him? How many people will Walter kill before he is caught? How long will you enjoy that funky hip jazz music? How long will your popcorn last?