Saturday, October 25, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25 Movie

Dick Miller is one of my favorite actors, and one of the few people I'd actually love to meet in real life. "A Bucket of Blood" (1959) gives us one of his finest performances as Walter Paisley, a slightly dim busboy who idolizes the artists, poets and beatniks that populate the Yellow Door, the coffee house where he works. Wanting to become one of them and win the heart of Carla (Barboura Morris) Walter accidentally stumbles on a way to do so. An incident involving a mishap with his landlady's cat and some literal interpretation of a poem leads to Walter's first triumph. He soon moves onto bigger things before his world unravels.

Written by Charles B. Griffin and directed and produced by Roger Corman "A Bucket of Blood" is a very funny social commentary on the art scene of the time. There's also plenty of dark humor throughout. The cast is great, especially Miller and Julian Burton as Maxwell, the pompous leader of the coffee house crowd. Anthony Carbone as the owner of the Yellow Door does tend to ham it up a bit in his physical reactions to Walter's work.

I simply love this movie. Back when I was a student at NYU, my roommate Steven Peros had the condensed super 8mm version of this movie, and one of us used the "Life is an obscure hobo..." poem that opens the movie as our monologue scene for one of our classes.

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