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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
A Bucket of Blood [Blu-ray]
(Roger Corman, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Alta Vista Productions
Video:Film Detective / Olive Signature
Region: FREE / 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:05:24.003 / 1:05:31.878
Disc Size: 19,201,442,411 bytes /24,295,903,522 bytes
Feature Size: 18,899,048,448 bytes / 12,714,096,366
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps / 21.53 Mbps
Chapters: 8 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard w/ cardboard slipcase
Release date: November, 2015 / September 24th, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) /
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English (yellow), none
• Audio commentary by Elijah Drenner, director of That Guy Dick Miller
• “Creation Is. All Else
is Not” – Roger Corman on A Bucket of Blood (7:51)
Description: A Bucket of Blood tells the story of Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) who, after accidentally killing his landlady's cat and covering the body in plaster to hide the evidence, is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor. Walter finds himself resorting to the same methods to produce new work, and soon people start mysteriously disappearing. Not wanting to direct another conventional horror flick, Roger Corman and screenwriter Charles B. Griffith came up with the concept for this entertaining black comedy about bad artists and the hypocrisy of the art world at large.
Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian cafe is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars. But after accidentally killing his landlady's cat and covering the body in plaster to hide the evidence, he is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor - but his new-found friends want to see more of his work. Lacking any artistic talent whatsoever, Walter has to resort to similar methods to produce new work, and soon people start mysteriously disappearing...Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Corman's first full-blooded horror comedy was put in a class of its own by Charles Griffith's unusually witty script. Walter, hapless waiter in a Greenwich Village hangout, yearns to be as famous as the poets and musicians he serves endless coffee to. After a lucky break (straight out of Poe), he begins to make it as a prolific sculptor of gruesome corpses... Not surprisingly, the parody of the 'beat scene' (including a hilarious caricature of Allen Ginsberg) is closer to the truth than those attempted in many mainstream movies.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Film Detective sent me a another of their new Blu-ray releases; Roger Corman's 1959's A Bucket of Blood with Dick Miller, Ed Nelson and a few cameos by Bert Convy (as Burt Convy) It is cited as 'hi-def restoration from 35MM archival film elements'. Technically, it is as adept as The Bat - 1080P, 23.976 fps, max'ed out bitrate, 1.85:1 AR, 24-bit audio - and we've compared three captures to the version in MGM's, 1.33:1, DVD set of The Roger Corman Collection! This is another, bare-bones, BD-R. The widescreen trims some empty headspace up top and is, more, accurate if a shade less sharp - and the HD transfer has some minor texture but has a soft-waxy appearance and whites seem boosted. Contrast improves over the greenish SD and the visuals are brighter. This Blu-ray is surely not the apex of this film's presentation on digital but should suffice for some who just want to see it in 1080P.
Olive release Roger Corman's A Bucket of Blood in one of their Signature series Blu-rays. It is stated to be from a "Mastered from new 4K scan". While it certainly looks superior to the Film Detective release - darker, much more grain, deeper black levels and a bump in detail - I question the single-layering and modest bitrate. This may have something to do with the visuals retaining the greenish tinge of the SD. It's hard to complain with the presentation in-motion as it looks quite pleasing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Film Detective use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1560 kbps in 24-bit! The effects are minimal and the score is by Fred Katz.There are optional English subtitles (in a bright yellow font - see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Olivelikewise use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel. The effects are minimal and the score is by Fred Katz (1960's The Little Shop of Horrors, the classic The Wasp Woman ) plus Alex Hassilev performing The Ballad of Tim Evans adding marginally to the beatnik aura. You can hear minor depth exported in the uncompressed track. There are optional English subtitles (also in a bright yellow font - see samples above) but the Olive Signature release is Region 'A'-locked.
Nutt'in and only one menu screen - which is reflected in the, more, reasonable price.
Nice to have an audio commentary by Elijah Drenner, included. He is director of That Guy Dick Miller, the, 2014, 1.5 hour documentary about the actor and hence he has some very interesting details to include about his life, how he got into film and much more. He also covers many of the performer's careers and less on the running film. I enjoyed it - he has a relaxing voice and has prepared well for the commentary. Great addition. “Creation Is. All Else is Not” is an 8-minute interview with Roger Corman commenting on A Bucket of Blood. “Call Me Paisley” spends a delightful 12-minute with Dick and Lainie Miller discussing and remembering A Bucket of Blood. There is a 20-minute archival audio interview with screenwriter Charles B. Griffith. I enjoyed “Bits of Bucket” a 7-minute visual essay comparing the original script to the finished film using recently found stills. It sounds like Elijah Drenner narrating. There is a text essay by Caelum Vatnsdal via chaptering-thru 9 pages. Some will be interested in the rare, 10-minute, prologue from the German release and a weak-looking Super 8 “digest” version. There are trailers and a gallery of newly-discovered on-set photography . The package has the 8-page liner notes essay by Vatnsdal with photos.
Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Olive Signature - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
The upgrade is appreciated - most in the extras and commentary but also the video, despite it being imperfect with the low-ish bitrate. I got a lot more about A Bucket of Blood with this Olive Signature Blu-ray release. Corman-aholics, or those who enjoy Dick Miller, should definitely nab this release. It's an usual, but well-realized production with subversive, satirical dialogue and a unique mix of comedy and effective horror reflecting on the social atmosphere at the time.
November 3rd, 2015
September 19th, 2019
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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