Monday, July 27, 2009

"Death Bed:The Bed That Eats"(1977)d/George Barry

Gotta hand it to George Barry.See, I'll get a ridiculous idea in my head, maybe share it with some friends so they can laugh about it, and maybe it's funny the next day too, if we're lucky.This guy spends five years and thirty grand producing a low budget movie in Michigan, based on an outrageous nightmare he had, it never sees the light of day, until someone bootlegs it from the video master in the eighties,and now over thirty years later, I can sit down in the luxury of Castle Wop and ridicule it for myself.I've had some pretty fucking stupid independent film ideas over the years; mystical viking statuettes that make people fight to the death over them, killer aborted foetuses screaming for vengeance with fleshy meathooks for hands...the list is long and embarrassing.One thing I can say,is that I've never set out to make a film about a bed that eats people.
You know,it's almost a good idea,as a five or ten minute vignette in an anthology.As it stands though,a 77 minute poorly-executed exercise in surreal absurdity, it rates right up there with The Chooper, Blood Feast,Truth or Dare,and Hydra as one of those z-grade trash heaps that you laugh your way through,more stupid for it, but glad you did,so you can relate the ordeal to everyone you know,wearing it like a medal of dishonor.As rotten as this is,you're gonna wanna see it for yourself.
"There it is!" "Where? Behind the bed?" "No,you fool! It is the bed!"
A groovy couple are out on the standard date;breaking into an abandoned mansion,with a packed lunch consisting of a few apples,a bucket of fried chicken,and a bottle of wine.Must be their anniversary or something.Problem is, the ornate antique bed they're making out on is possessed by a demon who enjoys eating people.See, somewhere in the mattress is its stomach,which looks like a tank of yellow bicarbonate of soda,and when the bed gets hungry,the mattress spouts soap suds that envelop its meal-to-be,before the hapless victim falls into the yellow liquid and is digested.Behind a painting(translation:ink drawing) on the wall,a dead ringer for Cure frontman Robert Smith,complete with makeup,poofy shirt,and painted nails,is trapped for all time,sounding like a grown up Stewie Griffin providing color commentary into a microphone that's heavy on reverb.The demon himself does a lot of snoring and chewing into the same microphone,too.Only nobody can hear them but the viewer,apparently.There's a lot of painfully unfunny backstory of the bed's historical meals,only everyone it eats pretty much wears the indelible fashion stamp of the 1970s,no matter what era the meal is supposed to be from.So this ravenous bed has been swallowing sorry sons o' bitches for years,until when no one was braindead enough to lie on it,the mansion was finally abandoned.Enter these three wallflower chicks driving to the mansion's remains,two frumpy white girls,one dumpy soul sister,for whatever reason.They've packed a lunch of pickles and a bottle of wine.A film full of gourmets,this is.
Where y'alls be goin at,baybuh! The bed scores itself some soul food.
The bed eats one of the girls when she lies down for a nap,scoring itself some Pepto Bismol(!)out of her hand bag afterwards when it gets indigestion(!!).Next it begins eating the soul sister,who wakes up mid-meal and tries to escape,only to get lassoed by phantom bedsheets(!!!)and pulled back to the bed.The third girl,who we find out the bed is "afraid of" thanks to the chatty poltergeist behind the painting,is pushed to the brink of insanity after seeing the bed chow down on her nubian girlfriend.Her brother shows up on the scene,and tries to stab his way into the bed's stomach with a knife to go in and rescue the black girl,but the bed digests his hands(!),leaving him with two skeletal mitts at the end of his bloody wrists.Other than that,though,he's okay(!!).He tells his sibling to break the hands off(!!!),which she does.When the bed falls asleep,the spirit announces he can tell the girl how to destroy the bed once and for all(the bed only sleeps and eats,you couldn't have ever pulled this off before?),through some hokey figure eights carved on the floor and in the nearby field,and a pointless magic ritual,after which the girl dies,and the first owner of the bed arises from the dead(funny,she's pretty seventies-tastic,too),and teleports the infernal thing to the field,where the bed catches fire(translation: someone can pour gasoline all over it,and not burn down the historic estate in the process),the spirit behind the drawing dies with the demon,and is released from his worldly prison,leaving the viewer scratching his head.What just happened in the last seventy-seven minutes exactly?We may never know for sure.
Even a demonic, people-eating bed turns to Pepto Bismol when faced with uncomfortable indigestion.
If this sounds like an insane viewing experience,that's because it is.There are some mind-blowingly bizarre scenarios played out in front of the camera, somewhat straight-facedly at that.There are moments you'll be convinved that your glassies have just lied to you about, and some where you're laughing so hard you may need to stock up on adult disposable diapers beforehand to safeguard against leakage over.And it's thankfully got a relatively short running time.On the other hand,this is not a good movie,and it's arguably not even a bad movie.The actors are wooden and clunky when they're allowed to deliver lines directly(most of the time they speak into that aforementioned microphone introspectively,harder to flub lines that way,ya know),no one is attractive enough to focus upon long enough to care about,the entire mess is horribly dated,though the eating effects left me chuckling on more than one occasion.Watch it once,as I'll turn the bedspread just once on the rating scale for this lost oddity this time around...
You fucked with the Death Bed, and ended up with skeleton hands, bitch.


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beedubelhue said...


sildenafil said...

Enter these three wallflower chicks driving to the mansion's remains,two frumpy white girls,one dumpy soul sister,for whatever reason.They've packed a lunch of pickles and a bottle of wine.A film full of gourmets,this is.

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