Filmed in 1977 but not officially released until 2004, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is well, a film about a bed that eats people. Seems straightforward, right? Nope, get ready for some weirdness. And people getting eaten by a bed.
DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS
USA, 1977, George Barry
Death Bed is a strange movie. Not in an over the top b-grade horror way as you may expect from a film called Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, though. It is a surreal film, or at least it aims for surrealism. It has pretensions to be something more than a schlocky horror movie, despite, and I’ll say this again and again, it is a film about a bed that eats people. No creepy dream sequences can take away that fact.
How does this bed terrorise people? Well, people lay on the bed, bubbles come up and the victim sinks down into a bubbling, amber fluid which seems to represent the bed’s stomach. Here they are eaten, or dissolved, or both. There’s chomping sounds and blood oozing out, even from inanimate objects. Oh, yeah, it doesn’t just eat people, it eats everything: food, drink, a suitcase, and after that, Pepto-Bismol. Even the mighty Death Bed suffers from indigestion.
And how on Earth did the Death Bed come to be? It’s simple: a demon turned into a human and made a bed so he could sleep with a woman, but she died during sex because he’s a demon (use your imagination for the exact cause of death, I’m thinking death by giant scaly pecker). Then the demon had a demon nap and the bed turned evil. Or something like that.
A lot of this film’s plot does not really make sense, despite writer/director George Barry’s best efforts to shove as much narration as possible into the film. The narrator of the film is an artist who is the only survivor of a death bed attack. He drew a picture of the bed and then got trapped behind it because the bed has the power to do such things (did I not mention that before, well it does). He isn’t in the picture or anything, he is literally trapped in a small area behind the picture.
The nonsensical plot of the film got a bit tiresome after the halfway point. There’s a few friends who all enjoy a good bit of internal monologuing/exposition and when one gets lost (a.k.a. eaten by a bed) more people join the search party. I’m glossing over the plot because it would be rude to ignore it and only talk about the stationary killer that is the star of the show.
Basically, all the best bits involve the death bed. Starting from the first kill of a couple getting intimate on the bed to the spinning old-timey newspapers that alluding to the fact that it had killed thousands of people (yes thousands) to the coup de grace – the death bed lassoing a woman who managed to crawl away from its attack with a sheet. And did I mention that people attempt to shoot and stab the bed to no avail? Yeah, the death bed that special kind of horror villain indestructible. There is only one way to kill it, which the man behind the painting knows and only decides to say to someone at the end of the film. Of course.
I don’t want to spoil all of the death bed goodness for you, but it’s safe to say that the titular monster (?) doesn’t disappoint. There are flat spots in the film, and the surrealist touches may confuse some, but at the end of the day, this is a film about a killer bed that is played completely straight. If that appeals to you, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is highly recommended.
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is available on DVD and blu-ray from the ever reliable Cult Epics.