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Film

Grindhouse Wednesdays Presents Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

Posted by Christine / January 6, 2011

death_bed.jpg I recently acquired over two-hundred horror films, separated into two box sets: Tales of Horror and Masters of Horror. Among the selections are the choice titles: Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory, War of the Robots, Track of the Moon Beast, Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon, Horrors of Spider Island, She Gods of Shark Reef, The Wasp Woman, Manfish, and finally, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter. All in all, a regular Friday night at my place. Lights off. TV on.

However, there's something to be said about piling into a dark room, beer in hand, friend in arm, and firing up a projection screen to bear witness to the very worst of the worst in cinema.

Last night, I was afforded that opportunity, and shambled my way down to Mainline Theatre for Grindhouse Wednesdays' screening of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Truly, a most exquisite specimen of stilted acting, poorly cut scenes, and perhaps most notably, an absurd, laughable concept. Yes, my friends, in case you couldn't gather from the title, the film is about a bed. A bed that eats. People. A bed that eats people.

It's like something right out of the D&D Monster Manual, bearing a similarity to the Mimic, the Lurker Above and the Trapper. Admittedly, it could stand tall by a few of the more uninspired creatures: Wolf-Spider, Duckbunny and Squark, to name a few. However, I do have a soft spot for the Owlbear.

The movie begins with a black screen and the sound of masticating and crunching, which might have been ominous if it wasn't so derisory in its presentation. Akin to the sound a child, apparently untrained in table manners, makes when munching on their morning cereal. Appropriately enough, the word 'Breakfast' then flashes.

A couple walks on-screen and approaches a dilapidated mansion, where the sentient, anthropomorphized bed awaits hungrily. The male character lures his hesitant female companion onward with this cliched gem, "Afraid? What's the matter baby? There's nothing to be afraid of." Classic.

The two make their way inside as the bed giggles uncontrollably, prompting the audience to giggle uncontrollably in turn.

The man and woman lie down, distracted by their sloppy necking, while the bed greedily devours their apple, entire bucket of fried chicken, and bottle of wine. Of course, as they sit up to enjoy their picnic, the man, noting the bucket full of chicken bones and the apple core, casually remarks that he must have "forgotten" their food. Kissing ensues, and it's literally curtains for the lovers as the bed's drapes fall to barely conceal their bloody murder.

Death Bed!

Half the fun of events like Grindhouse Wednesdays, The Room Monthly Screenings and Fantasia Film Festival is surely the crowd's commentary. During a quiet moment someone yelled, "You have to eat the bed, it's the only way!" Another golden remark occurred when a male character's hands were being burnt off by what is presumably the possessed bed's stomach acids. As he pulled back to reveal what was left of his hands, an audience member shouted their hope for, "Two chainsaws!"

There are far too many notable things about this film that qualify it as B-class however, the following are a few highlights: the bed guzzling an entire bottle of Peptol Bismol, cliched theremin-style background music, the bed's psychokinetic and telepathic abilities, a foppish narrator trapped within an extradimensional space 'behind' a painting, the bed's periodic need for sleep (the irony of which is not lost upon me), and a scene in particular where a woman, after having her legs burnt, slowly drags herself to the door during what was likely the most painfully drawn-out five minutes of my life, only to be grabbed back by the bed's sheets.

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats was filmed in 1977 and was directed, produced and written by George Barry (the Death Bed Wikipedia entry did not include his name as a link, a telling sign perhaps as to what became of his subsequent career, or lack thereof). The movie was only officially released in 2003, which wouldn't have occurred had it not been for the film's achievement of cult status, having been circulated underground for years previous.

Fun facts: the idea for Death Bed allegedly came to Barry in a dream (during the movie, the bed is able to telepathically manipulate its victim's dreams. Meta!). Death Bed was filmed at a mansion in Keelson Island, Detroit. The building has since been demolished.

Grindhouse Wednesdays occurs the first Wednesday of every month. There is a $10 entrance fee and one must be 18 and over to attend. A band or a DJ performs a set before the screening. There is popcorn and beer available for purchase.

Grindhouse Wednesdays has not yet announced what movie will be featured next month however, more information can be found at their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grindhouse-Wednesdays/314270040583#!/pages/Grindhouse-Wednesdays/314270040583?v=info

Comedian Patton Oswalt conducted a relevant and hilarious assessment of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats in Werewolves and Lollipops , as was referred to me by a friend. His routine can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01l1WIC9mBo

Image source: http://flixville.com/Movies/getDetails/flixProxy/death-bed-the-bed-that-eats-dvd

Discussion

10 Comments

Grindhouse Wednesdays / February 1, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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Thanks for the review! Can you mention to people to check our website rather than the event page? www.thegrindhouse.ca
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