What to say about Death Bed: The Bed That Eats? Well, it delivers what it promises. So there’s that I guess.
Most of you have probably heard about this film from comedian Patton Oswalt’s comedy bit – if you haven’t, seek it out. It’s hilarious. He gets the title of the movie wrong though, calling it The Bed That Eats ‘People’. ‘People’ isn’t in the official title, but that’s not important. Because nothing in this movie is worth worrying about.
Shot in 1972, completed in 1977 and remaining unreleased until 2004, Death Bed is one of those movie that you actually want to like. After all, it has that weird dream-like feel that 1970’s horror films have, a cheesy premise and a catchy title. The problem is, nothing in it is consistent enough to be entertaining and you wind up with one bad film.
The plot isn’t as simple as it should be. A demon apparently falls in love with a woman and builds a bed so they can consummate their relationship. She dies during their tryst and he cries tears of blood, which soak the bed and turns it into…oh I dunno…let’s just say…Evil Bed. Somehow the bed gets stuck in some one-room building in the countryside and whenever people come and sit, sleep, have sex etc. on the bed it eats them.
We don’t learn the origins of the bed however, until halfway through the movie. Before that, we just see various people stumble into the building, get on the bed and then get devoured by the bed that digests them by pulling them down into a bubbly thick yellow viscous liquid, which leaves only their skeleton. And this bed must be hungry because it also manages to consume fried chicken, Pepto Bismol, luggage and whatever else seems to be around. All of the events are narrated by an artist who the bed has somehow trapped behind his own painting which overlooks the room.
This is a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be. There are funny moments but there’s very little fun to be had. It has “art house”moments but it’s too stupid to be intellectual. Therefore you’re left with a complete mess with nothing that makes sense and very little to entertain.
As for the acting, well, whether it was due to sound issues or just bad decision making, dialogue is kept to a minimum. Instead everybody in the movie ‘speaks’ through heavy-handed thought voice-overs. And while even the best cast couldn’t save this turkey, they don’t have the best cast to work with. Most of the actors appear either painfully bored or near comatose. Heck, even when a man gets his hands eaten off by the bed (leaving clean skeleton fingers), his face barely registers an emotion. The bed, however, remains far more animated than the human actors and seems to have a grand time as it makes munching noises, snores, sighs and even laughs occasionally.
The only enjoyment I got out of this film was recognizing the artist’s drawings as that of my favorite artist Aubrey Beardsley. And when a few seconds of an artist’s pictures are far more exciting to you, than say, a bed that eats people, you’ve got problems. While it might be worth a rental, simply out of morbid curiosity, this Bed should have been put to sleep.