Chronicles of Ryebone

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

The title of the film explains itself fairly well, and should be taken with the most literal mind that you can muster up. Yes, there is a bed that eats people, but that doesn't really do the film justice. As it turns out, a demon and his lover were enjoying themselves on said bed, and when the woman died during the act, the demon shed tears of blood onto the bed, rendering it into a bed that is forever hungry, forever eating anyone that lies on it. It's really, really stupid weird. And as such, I can't help but love it, just a little.

I really couldn't tell you how this film made it into my collection, but it's been there for a while. I'm going to blame one of those "films nobody knows about" lists that I see on Reddit so often. Produced in 1977, Death Bed features an incredibly low budget with an incredibly loopy story - if you can even call it that. When I loaded it up for the first time, I thought I had hit put on one of these seventie's soft-core horror porn. We open up with a young couple on a trip into the country for a "good time," if you will. They end up on the bed and yes, they end up being eaten by the bed. Flash the title of the film on screen now.

You have to wonder, how many people are going to come to this bed, and how are they going to explain why these people end up there? Well, the movie slows down, tremendously. A group of girls are headed to the country for a picnic, stumble across the abandoned mansion and end up utilizing the bed. However, the one girl reminds the bed of his ancient lover, and forgoes eating her. He toys with them for a bit, but can't help himself.

Then, there is the narration. We're introduced to a character who is trapped behind a painting in the barren room with the bed. This guy painted the bed he was on - then was promptly eaten - and for some reason, is kept in this room by the bed. See, the bed has some powers, although they aren't clear.

The narration doesn't help at all, but gives us some context, including a montage of the various people it has consumed over the past hundred or so years. The acting is the worst. There are some truly grotesque events happening here, and the characters don't react at all. The effects are actually interesting. I was fully expecting the bed to open up and just mash these people to death with giant sharp teeth. No, you get a slow bubbling foam come up out of the bed, sucking them in and cutting to people writhing around in pain underwater. Cut to the next scene of a skull that looks like it was picked up from a Halloween costume store and we're set. There is some neat imagery here, and some concepts that are chomping at the bit to get out. Unfortunately they never really do, but it's extremely fascinating nonetheless.

Here's where it gets really interesting: the film was not officially released until 2003, a full 26 years after original production. Bootleg copies had made their way around, slowly building a cult following over the years. When the director found this out, he officially released the film on DVD, much to the delight of everyone.

I may be hesitant to call this surreal experience of a movie a gem, but it has its place. While everything about it is legit bad, there is a charm and fascinating method to the imagery and absurd that keeps you glued.

Tags: Movies, B-Movie, Horror, 1970's

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