Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is a true rarity in film. It’s one of a very short list of films that combines mind-blowing ineptitude with unbelievable levels of suck while still managing to pull off being absolutely mesmerizing. Even the history surrounding this film is bizarre. First, director George Barry is on record saying he forgot he even made the film (yeah, think about that one). After being lost for almost 30 years, before being bootlegged in Europe, the film finally scored a DVD release which led to a famous portly comedian making fun of it. In other words, the stuff that cult is made from.
A demon, who throws caution to wind when it comes to eating people, accidentally trapped itself inside a bed in the basement of an abandoned house. This is what happens when you eat everyone who lives in or comes near. Of course, it’s been a while and he’s hungrier than ever. Luckily, a bunch of idiots are never too far removed from these types of situations in horror movies. Before we talk about them we must first talk about the artist. But before that I must mention that the movie is broke into 4 chapters, titled Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and The Just Dessert. In case you forgot, this is a film about a bed that eats.
The artist, now a ghost, has become trapped behind a painting near the bed (a victim of the bed demon) is forced to watch the bed munch its victims. The artist also collects watches from the victims and spews random inner monologues throughout the film. It’s clear that the demon has trapped this poor artist behind the wall for the purpose of narrating the film, which he does to death. He’s like that lady at a movies who answers her dumb friend’s question about the plot, even though it’s super obvious to anyone with a brain what is happening.
The demon bed has some very peculiar qualities. For one, it is able to selectively choose what to eat and drink. For example, if near a bucket of chicken the bed will eat the chicken but still find the courtesy to place the bones back in the bucket. Sometimes the bed likes to groan, yawn or snore after a meal. Who doesn’t, right? But mostly it crunches. And crunches. No matter whether it is drinking a bottle of wine or eating a suitcase, it’s the same crunch noise. It even has the power to use sheets as a lasso when a crazy b*tch tries to escape. Also, the bones of the human victims are magically transported to a flower garden and act as a kind of morbid fertilizer. It’s a lot of weird sh*t.
The acting in this film, though, is what truly makes this a special piece of cinema. The actors have very minimal dialogue, instead using mostly inner monologues to communicate with no one in particular. But somehow, even their inner monologues are poorly delivered. Three women end up being the main dishes, with one them reminding the demon of a girl he used to date. This causes the demon to internally bleed, naturally.
My favorite scene in all of movie history is in this film. And I promise, it’s staggeringly amazing. This one guy decides to place his hands near the bed practically forcing the demon to eat the skin off his arms up to the elbows. The man then casually walks over to the wall and sits down next to his near catatonic friend. Instead of crying or screaming in pain, he runs down his options in what has to be the most under-acted scene in movie history. He comes to the decision that the best course of action would be to have his friend snap off his skeletal hands at the wrist. Makes sense, right? None of this, neither the acid destroying his arm flesh nor having his bones busted at the joint so much as even causes him to bat an eye. Of all the batsh*t crazy and sheer unbelievable things I have seen in my years of watching film, nothing even comes close to the absurdness of this scene. It’s worth the price of the DVD alone.
If that wasn’t enough, out of field so far left it’s from another planet, random humor is thrown in by Barry. Stock footage of headlines exploiting the bed’s eating habits fly across the screen along with footage of victims doing things like shooting the bed or wearing funny pajamas. If you haven’t guessed, watching this movie while intoxicated on your vice of choice is highly recommended.
This is truly the magnum opus of bad films.
Snore Factor: ZZ (seems like much longer than it’s scant 77 minute running time)
My Favorite scene in movie history: