Happy Halloween! My husband is watching ‘A Bucket of Blood’ on Turner Classic Movies right now. Released in 1959 and directed and produced by Roger Corman, the movie stars Dick Miller as a nerdy busboy at a Bohemian cafe who accidentally kills his landlady’s cat. He covers the body in plaster to hide the evidence, and suddenly discovers newfound fame as a brilliant sculptor.

roger-corman-cult-classics-1 All his new beatnik friends want to see more of his work, but lacking any talent, he’s forced to resort to similar methods to produce new work. Soon people start mysteriously disappearing…

‘A Bucket of Blood’ plays like a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, but is just the sort of quirky, low-budget movie for which Corman became famous. He made hundreds of these movies, dating back to the 1950s, including the original ‘Piranha,’ which was remade in 3D this year. Take a look at Corman’s IMDB page, and you’ll see what I mean.

He also helped launch the careers of many big-time directors and stars, including Ron Howard, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Robert De Niro and Sandra Bullock. No small stuff!

Now 84, Roger Corman is experiencing a resurgence of sorts, thanks in large part to Shout Factory! releasing many of his cult classics on DVD and blu-ray. Films like ‘The Slumber Party Massacre Collection,’ ‘Up From the Depths,’ ‘Demon of Paradise,’ ‘The Evil,’ ‘Twice Dead,’ ‘Humanoids From the Deep,’ ‘Rock ‘n Roll High School,’ and my personal favorite, ‘Death Race 2000.’ Some of these films have never been released on DVD or blu-ray, and all contain very cool bonus features.

If you’re a newbie to the B-movie genius of Roger Corman, now is a perfect time to get caught up. You can also catch some of his new movies like ‘Sharktopus’ and ‘Dinoshark’ on the SyFy network. He’s still going strong, and has ‘Space 3001’ and ‘Road Raiders’ coming out soon.

Check out the official Roger Corman Cult Classics site, as well as their Facebook page. Here’s a little trailer to get you started.



  1. You might be able to find a better print under the title Swamp Diamonds–that was the title used when MST riffed this back in the day. However, it sounds like there may have been some minor edits between the two versions: For instance, Lee isn’t supposed to arrest the three women singlehanded, but just basically hang on like a leech until they retrieve the diamonds and get out of the swamp, at which point the cops will surround them and arrest everybody. How Lee’s supposed to signal the cops as to exactly which square half acre they’ll be emerging from is left conveniently unexplained, but at least there was some kind of effort to cover that particular bare patch.


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