Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Film About a Killer Bed

Where does one even start when reviewing a film about a killer bed called, innovatively enough, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats? Is this the utmost proof that if something exists, a horror film can be made of it? That anything you touch can indeed try to kill you? Could it have inspired M. Knight Shayamalon to villainize the wind in the recent bucket of festering feces The Happening or have made Stephen King say, “you know what nobody’s done? Wrote a story about a killer laundromat, that’s what!”

I. Don’t. Know.

A good deal of the not-so-high number of people that have seen Death Bed learned about it from comedian Patton Oswalt’s rant. Here, Oswalt discusses how the mere existence of such a film means that anything is possible when it comes to film. Why is he having trouble finishing a screenplay if someone not only dreamt, but wrote, directed, edited, and ultimately distributed a movie about a homicidal piece of furniture? His point is valid (and actually inspirational), even if he does in fact misremember the title as Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People...largely inaccurate since we will soon learn that the Death Bed has the non-picky palate comparable only to Homer Simpson.

Quick Plot: The ghost of a painter is trapped behind one of his paintings, but he seems okay enough with this as he tells us the story of the Death Bed, his own murderer that sleeps, snores, and, of course, eats a few feet away from him in an abandoned stone house in the middle of the woods. Occasionally, a horny couple armed with that aphrodisiac bottle of wine and bucket of fried chicken may stop by, allowing Beddy Bye-Bye to pull their bodies inside its yellow bile interior and dissolve their flesh. Sometimes this act of breakfast is followed with a hearty dose of Pepto Bismol.

Eventually, our main characters??? pull up to house sit and are pleased to find that the large king-sized bed will fit three. I won’t go into too much detail on character, since the three women have no discernible ones to be found. There’s the driver, Diane, who seems sassy by Lampchop standards. Her friend, Sharon, whose crimped butt-length hair makes Locks of Love salivate and Suzan, Diane’s insecure co-worker who frets about existing and thankfully dies first.

Yes, they die, with little variation in style (Beddy is a bit of a one trick pony). In case you haven’t guessed it yet, this is a pretty damn bad film. What’s more interesting, or not, is just how oddly bad a bad movie Death Bed is. For one thing, none of the characters--or maybe actors--seem capable of actually speaking to one another. Nearly 98% of the film is done in voiceover, with one woman musing about how annoying she finds the other, the artist narrating with puffy snobbery, or Sharon (who is apparently a runaway, which sadly is far less interesting than it sounds)’s brother trying to figure out what may be going on. The 80 minute runtime feels far longer than seems possible, and it all ends with the discovery that in order to kill a death bed, one must revive the non-rotting corpse of a fair maiden that resembles your sister and have sex with it. Or something.

High Points
The montage of Beddy’s past victims, though not particularly well done, is not without humor. Bonus points for the old woman’s magazine choice (“Oral Lesbians”) and the fugitives poker game, featuring what may be the first time a film character shoots bath suds after getting dealt the world’s best grammatically questionable hand: Haha. You. Are. Dead. No Joker!

Whether it was meant for scares or laughs, what happens to the male character’s hands when he reaches inside the bed’s biley insides is pretty much fantastic

Low Points
I wouldn’t expect great audio quality, but the lack of subtitles makes it sometimes impossible to understand anything being said

When I said the characters don’t talk to each other, I really wasn’t kidding

Lessons Learned
One should remove all necklaces before going to sleep if not planning on being strangled by a bed

Sheets can make great lassos, but pillows are rather lazy accomplices

We may not know if androids dream of electric sheep, but Death Bed has taught us that demonic beds dream of spinning newspaper headlines chronicling their takeover of major cities

A great mustache does not a great actor make

Winning Line
“This place looks clean for having been abandoned so long. I hope there’s not a maniac around.”
Because maniacs are highly regarded for their impeccable homemaking skills

My recommendation for Death Bed will be in the same vein as my advice on Mahakaal, the Bollywood version of Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s not good enough to be worthy of your time or money, but if the very idea that this film actually exists fascinates you, you kind of have no choice but to rent it. The lone special feature is an interview with filmmaker George Barry, who does give a pretty intriguing back story to the film’s release. Watch if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you (that this is indeed a film about a bed that eats people).


  1. "Her friend, Sharon, whose crimped butt-length hair makes Locks of Love salivate" HA!

    Sounds interesting to me in a sleazy, fun, awful, yet entertaining way...but it doesn't sound like you were to taken aback by its badness in a big way like other bad movies from the past.

    The idea that this movie exists does fascinate me, of course, but unless you respond otherwise, I won't rush out to see this one like I would a film such as The Room, or Pieces. I'll let it happen naturally!

  2. Oh I hope I didn't downplay this film (cough cough)'s badness, but yeah, it's kind of a boring form of bad that only really entertains because its very premise is so insane and its execution is even worse. You won't get that joyfully energetic badness-with-heart of something like our beloved Troll 2, but if you watch it with a beer or a friend (excuse the redundancy of that phrase) then you'll definitely have a good time. The skeleton hands scene will keep you smiling for weeks.

    Throw it on the queue or your library list, and wait for one of those days where you want nothing more than to laugh at, as opposed to with something.

    And of course, when you do, review it promptly for the world to see.

  3. Holy guacamole! A killer BED!? Really??! I really have seen it all now. I think. ;o)

  4. The death bed may be the most ridiculous villain of all time, although as I say that, I suddenly feel inspired to embark upon a quest to determine if that is indeed true. Surely there must be a killer chaise lounge movie somewhere out there!