The insanely prolific director/producer/king of the b movie Roger Corman is a true original. If you have any taste for pulp or cheese, then Corman is your man, having dabbled in pretty much every genre, from horror to western to gangster, as well as sort of inventing a few new ones along the way (women in prison, naughty nurses). With re-releases of many of his films, a great documentary about him ("Corman's World"), and a lavish coffee table book, he's started to get some more respect as a filmmaker and as a discoverer of talent. Among those who worked fro him include Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Fonda, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and Ron Howard. This bare bones set includes two films, "Bloody Mama," a period gangster film from 1970, and "Bucket of Blood," a horror comedy from 1959. "Bloody Mama" is the story of Ma Parker and her sons. Shelley Winters, as blowsy and bombastic as ever, is Ma Barker and the supporting cast includes a pre-fame Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Pat Hingle, and Scatman Crothers. It has a weirdly unpleasant psycho-sexual vibe (incest is implied), but some decent gun battles. The swift and sardonic "Bucket of Blood," shot in less than a week, is actually the more entertaining of the two. Corman regular Dick Miller stars as a meek bus boy who works in a hip, boho cafe and dreams of being an artists. After accidentally killing his landlady's cat (in a nod to Poe), he covers in clay and turns it into a sculpture, which brings him unexpected fame. What will he do for his next work? Both a "House of Wax" style horror movie and a send up of the emerging bohemian, beatnik culture, "Bucket of Blood" is a lot of fun.
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