Banged out in a few days in California as the 50s drew to a close, this low-budget AIP comedy horror film from Roger Corman has lasted superbly.
Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) is a dumb busboy in a West Coast hipster beatnik café who gets an unlikely opportunity to make his own waves in the art scene when he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat.
After he encases the corpse in clay, the feline sculpture – which he calls “Dead Cat” – is acclaimed as a masterpiece, prompting Walter to look for bigger subjects (victims) as he begins a career of murderous artistry.
In grisly succession, he completes a series of sculptures titled “Murdered Man”, “Dead Nude”, and “Dead Head”.
His secret is finally discovered by Carla (Barboura Morris), the girl he thought he loved. In a terrifying chase through surrealistic alleyways, she escapes but Walter is hounded to his own hanging by the echoing voices of all those he murdered in the name of art.
Originally released in the US on a double-bill with The Giant Leeches which was executive produced by Corman and produced by his brother Gene.
Leonard de Santis
Maxwell H. Brock
Myrtle Vail (as Myrtle Damerel)