Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
By: Devon B. on December 1, 2008  | 
DVD
Cult Epics (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.33:1 (Non-anamorphic). English 2.0. 77 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: George Barry
Starring: Demene Hall, William Russ, Julie Ritter, Linda Bond, Patrick Spence-Thomas, Rosa Luxemburg, Dave Marsh
Screenplay: George Barry
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Some people have mixed feeling about bootleggers, but I'll bet there aren't many people who have as hard a time knowing what to think as George Barry. George's film, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, was made in the late 70s, but never found proper distribution. Bootleg editions were released in the UK; New Zealand; and, most importantly, Australia. The bootlegs garnered the film a bit of a following, which lead to its official debut on DVD a few years back. So, George didn't make any money on the boots, but if it wasn't for them, the film never would've got released at all. The question for the rest of isn't what to think about bootleggers, but was Death Bed worth the wait?

No. No, it wasn't. I understand if you're a fan of 70s horror the idea of a newly released 70s flick might be cause for some excitement, but this movie is gibberish. A ghost is trapped behind a painting in a room that also houses the titular death bed. It's a good thing he's there acting as narrator, filling us in on what's going on via annoying voiceovers. Even with his clarifications, the movie is still hard to follow, so who knows what viewers would think was going on if he wasn't explaining the proceedings.

Anyway, the bed eats things that get on it. Things submerge in the bed into a frothy yellowy orange liquid and are dissolved while eating noises play. The bed is greedy, and eats everyone that it comes into its lair. I found it hard to believe that so many people would be content to just use an old bed that's been sitting there for so long, but whatever. After many disappearances no one wants to be in the area, so the bed goes hungry. Some women get use of the estate the bed's on, so it might seem it's going to get a meal, but the bed fears one of them.

This movie raises lots of questions. In fact, each time I thought it was as odd as it was going to get, the movie upped the weird ante. There're lots of "What the Hell?" moments. The film is a virtually incoherent, boring mess. I'm not sure if the plan was it would be arthouse or what, but a movie about a deadly bed can only be one thing: A comedy. And Death Bed isn't funny. There're a few funny moments, both intentional and not, but they're not worth wading through the film for. Even a movie about a bed shouldn't need this much padding.

"No. No. Not again," one character very unemphatically states. I wish I had said, "No. No. Not ever," and skipped this dud all together.
Video
Death Bed is presented full frame. The film was shot on 16mm, and there's grain. Colours are muted at times and clarity is lost in blacks. There is also some ghosting, but this is probably as good as the film's going to look.
Audio
The audio is also rough. The dialogue is mostly decipherable, but there are "s" hisses, as well as a general audio hiss. The sound also seemed a bit disconnected to the action at times, and there were a few weird, pulsing sounds.
Extra Features
The DVD has a roughly five minute intro, which is better than the film itself, on the history of how Death Bed finally got released. There's also a little booklet, but info repeats even just with these two brief extras.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
While I admit I loved hearing a character utter the line, "That place looks clean for having been abandoned so long. I hope there's not a maniac around," Death Bed doesn't have much else going for it. The idea of a killer bed is funny, but the execution here is poor. Maybe that other killer bed movie, also called Deathbed, is better.

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