A Bucket of Blood (1959) ** First Viewing
Underrated character actor and Roger Corman staple Dick Miller plays Walter, a schlubby talentless nobody busboy at a beatnik hang-out. He really wants to be one of the elitist beatniks spouting their crazy faux beatnik talk. They’re kinda the bad guys in their own exclusive click way. The best parts of this slim 65 minute movie are the goofy beatnik talk. Who knew those smelly beatniks were such status seekers? Anyway, murder ensues.
Overall, the plot plays out like a plant-less Little Shop of Horrors, an earlier Roger Corman movie. Dorky loser lead? Check. Unrequited love? Check. Escalating murders to feed the beast? Check. Appropriately just, predictable ending? Check.
I’ve seen every MST3K, twice. (Nerd) So, I’ve seen a lot of bad, heavily padded Roger Corman movies. Give me a weekend and two sets and I’ll give you a movie, that’s old RC. However, this may be the best of his early cheapies. There’s some nifty shots, almost zero padding (people walking places, etc.) and decent pacing.
Still, it’s a clay-covered Little Shop of Horrors. Dick Miller’s good. Has he ever made it to the end a movie alive? Usually he’s dead before the third act.
A side note. Kudos the advertising maven who came up with the ‘gallons of blood per movie’ matrix idea. 10,000 gallons of blood were used in the making of Piranha 3-D. Neat.
There was literally a bucket of blood in the film. I enjoy truth in film titling.
Things I learned From A Bucket of Blood:
—Heroin can come in pill form.
—Here’s a fun game you can play anytime you see Bert Convy in a film (I know, that’s a lot, right?):
Say, “Hey Bert,” like Ernie from Sesame Street and take a drink. Hey Bert!
—Cats like to hide in walls, about halfway up to the ceiling.
—Contrary to what the movie implies, seems like completely covering a dead body in clay to create a realistic statue would involve some talent.
—Repetition is death say the beatniks.
Bonus Movie Review: Iron Sky (2012) *** First Viewing about a week ago.
This movie’s a great example of the new Kickstarter generation of film. A Finnish production garnering support from the Internet and letting the audience in on the fun. There’s a board game for the movie coming out and it’s super nerdy, I’m in.
The movie’s set-up and plot even seems like a role playing session written down. The premise is pure pulp. The Nazi’s, after WW2, retreated to the dark side of the moon to build a new society and prepare to retake the Earth.
Nazi’s on the moon. Go!
The satire can be a bit broad, a Sarah Palin-type President is a bit on the nose, but the characters are still all pretty solid tropes in the serial adventure genre. I anticipated a small budget look, but the movie looks great. It’s a steampunk vibe reinterpreted through the Nazi aesthetic. Nazi future tech. Giant vacuum tubes and a doomsday machine. Blimps as spaceships. Oh yea, there’s a space battle run by busty women wearing skin-tight leather. And Udo Keir as Hitler’s successor. That is, if Hitler’s really dead. (Dum Dum Dummmm)!
Pure pulp. The movie never takes itself seriously, yet works on fully developing the premise.
C’mon, Nazi’s on the moon! It’s kinda hard to screw that up.
Do It: If you like Veep on HBO, check out In the Loop, the Veep‘s creator’s scathingly funny movie about the politics behind the Iraq war. Oh, also Veep. The season finale was easily the funniest half hour of television in the last three years. Every line was biting and hilarious while advancing the episode’s plot and the season’s plot lines.
Avoid It: War, man. I got nuthin.
The Tweeter: Hey everybody, check out my veritable tweetnado with the hashtag #madmenforchildren
The Facing Book: Today, I had two Orange Juliuses. That ten times my daily allowance of chalk.
Random Rock Lyric: You’ve been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life.
A shady lane — everybody wants one.
Next Up: 200 Motels (1971), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967), or #500. Aquemini by OUTKAST.