Thursday, October 29, 2020

#2,520. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)

In the long history of horror films, there have been a number of unusual monsters, but none quite so strange as the creature that looms heavy over this 1977 entry. Its monster is a bed. More specifically, a bed that eats people, and from what I can gather after watching this bizarre motion picture, the damn thing never seems to get its fill!

Situated in an abandoned house and with its lone companion being the spirit of an artist trapped behind its own painting (who also acts as the film’s narrator), the bed is possessed by a demon that, a century or so earlier, fell in love with a mortal woman. The bed was initially crafted for them to make love on, but his beloved died, and in his grief the demon remained inside the bed, doomed to devour every human it came into contact with, some of whom use the bed for the purpose for which it was originally intended (i.e. - they have sex on it). But when the bed lets its guard down, the artist sees a chance to possibly end the carnage once and for all.

A low-budget horror flick, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is one wacky movie, in both its story and its structure (the film is divided into segments titled “Breakfast”, “Lunch”, “Dinner” and “Snack”). Most of the audio appears to have been recorded in post-production, with very little live sound (the artist narrator, played on-screen by Dave Marsh , is actually voiced by Patrick Spence-Thomas), but as crazy as it all is, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is also kinda cool in a strange way; to devour its victims, the bed absorbs them, and we see the poor unfortunates floating in a liquid of some sort (presumably the bed’s “stomach acid”). There’s a smattering of blood (one woman’s throat is cut by the crucifix necklace) and some pretty good humor as well (a teddy bear is swallowed by the bed and begins to bleed; and at one point the bed has a case of indigestion and drinks a bottle of Pepto-Bismol for relief).

Shot in 1972 but not completed until 1977, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats has a history as unusual as the film itself; its writer / director, George Barry, tried selling the movie to distributors in the late ‘70s and then again in the early ‘80s, when home video started coming into its own. Both times he failed to secure a deal. Then, about 20 years later, Barry was searching the web and discovered his movie had been pirated: it was made available in the UK and Australia, where it had become something of an underground favorite, all without its director’s knowledge. And while it’s definitely rough around the edges, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is just odd enough to deserve its cult status.
Rating: 7 out of 10 - Yeah, it's weird, but watch it anyway

1 comment:

Dell said...

I became familiar with this avfew months ago through a documentary on exploitation flicks. I just haven't watched it yet. It's definitely on my watchlist, though. Glad it doesn't disappoint.