Public Domain Movies

Public Domain Movie: A Bucket of Blood (1959)

A Bucket of Blood is a horror movie from the 1950s. Dick Miller stars as Walter Paisley,  a waiter who finds short-lived fame for all the wrong reasons.


A Bucket of Blood — Review

A Bucket of Blood is a 50s horror movie produced and directed by Roger Corman. Dick Miller is excellent, in the starring role, as Walter Paisley. Walter waits tables in an hip cafe frequented by poets and artists. He comes across as being a little gormless and sad, and it is hard not to feel a little sorry for him when he is pushed around by his boss, Leonard, and ridiculed by the club’s clientelle.

Walter has his dreams like everyone else though. He is an aspiring sculptor who wants nothing more than to be accepted by his peers, but unfortunately Walter’s talents don’t quite come up to his expectations.

A Bucket of Blood (1959) Movie Poster
A Bucket of Blood: Movie Poster

Walter’s luck takes a change for the better when his landlady’s cat, Frankie, gets caught in the hollow wall cavity of his home. In an attempt to free the unfortunate feline Walter stabs a knife into the wall, but kills the poor cat in the process. Fearing reprisals from his landlady, Walter can think of only one way to hide Frankie’s body. He covers it in clay, leaving the knife sticking out from the finished sculpture, which just happens to look pretty darn good.

Walter is so impressed by his work that he he shows it to Carla the following morning. Carla is an artist who frequents the club where he works and Walter just happens to be in love with her; all be it an unrequited love. While Carla is examining Walter’s creation Leonard steps out of the club and sees them. “What’s it called,” he asks, staring at the sculpture.

“Dead Cat,” Walter replies.

“Dead Cat?” Leonard repeats. ” That’s its name? Well it certainly looks dead enough.”

Leonard displays Dead Cat in the club, it is a roaring success, and Walter’s dreams seem to be coming true. But will anyone notice that, as Walter’s exhibits grow in number, the club’s clientele is shrinking?

I like this movie and have seen it several times. It isn’t the scariest of movies and perhaps the plot is a little basic, but A Bucket of Blood has a charm all of its own and with a run-time of a little over an hour, it’s no good making the excuse that you don’t have the time to watch it. Make the time. You’ll be glad you did.

Additional Information

Director: Roger Corman


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. Surchart
Bert Convy … Lou Raby
Jhean Burton … Naolia
Lynn Storey … Sylvia