Monday, May 19, 2008

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)

Let me start by apologizing to my faithful readers (all 5 of you) for my lack of anything resembling consistent posting recently. Let the excuses begin; busy month, hard to write while hung over, it's hard to establish a balance between writing and sex with slutty women, busted knee playing paint ball, writer's retreat 2008, weddings, two jobs, etc. That's just the first half of May. Fyi, writer's retreat 2008 was a smashing success. Dan and I got together to watch a shitload of movies to "inspire" us to finally write this screenplay we've been kicking around for a while. When I say "smashing success" what I really mean to say is we got smashed and didn't write a god damned thing. Over the course of two consecutive days and nights, the only thing we got inspired to do was go out and purchase another bottle of Jim Beam before the liquor store closed at eleven. I'm putting it here in writing. We will have the screenplay finished by the end of June. The idea is simply too good to let wash away in a sea of whiskey and regret. In case you're wondering, we're calling it 'Head'.

Also, I didn't want to become like the guy I know who writes about comic books and is apparently on a sabbatical (i.e. he got a girlfriend). My advice to the guy over at The Latest Issue? Why settle for one girl when you can have a new one almost every night? Just kidding. You guys make a great couple.

Anyway, I'm back with a review of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. What in the name of all that is holy? This movie is amazing. It's about a bed. That eats. It eats fried chicken, apples, and even people. This bed doesn't stop at eating, god no. It also drinks. Wine. Peptol Bismol. Blood. This is a fucking strange movie. This bed lives out in the countryside somewhere on the grounds of a former estate. The only part of the manor left standing is a room that contains said bed...and also a painting, behind which lives a ghost. The foppish entity behind the painting tells us in voice-over the story of the bed, which is possessed by a demon of sorts. We see, in flashback, snippets of the bed's history. Newspaper articles with headlines such as "Thousands Missing!" and "Crunching Sounds Heard at Night" merely hint at the atrocities committed by death bed. At one point, a young couple out for an afternoon picnic stumble upon death bed. They lay their spread upon the sheets and begin to fornicate. Their spread includes KFC, apples, wine, and apparently themselves because death bed eats them all. The bed curtains close and the opening title appears, followed by some crunching sounds. Death Bed!

You would think this movie is some sort of joke, but it's all played completely straight. Every character is given an inner monologue. We even heard death bed chuckling to himself. It's as if Terrence Malick decided to make a movie about a possessed bed that eats people. The main story focuses on three young women who camp out in the bed. One of them revealed her breasts and I think that was her bush. The ghost trapped behind the painting tries to warn them, but since he's a ghost and the "ghost hunters" were nowhere in sight, his attempts at communicating were in vain. In Tarantino fashion, each segment of the film has a different title; "Lunch" ("the three girls") and "The Just Dessert".

The actual visualization of the bed eating is what announced, for me anyway, George Barry as a filmmaker to watch if this were 1978 and he actually went on to make a movie after this (he didn't). As a young naked broad lies on the bed it begins to foam and suddenly she is slowly sucked into what appears to be a giant fryolator underneath the sheets. In no time, her skin is completely gone, but her hair still remains somehow. I also liked when the death bed ate a teddy bear that proceeded to bleed all over the fucking place. Even shoes bleed when consumed by death bed. Dear god, I haven't even gotten to the death bed orgy! You'll just have to see that for yourself since words can't do it justice. There was a nice scene (in flashback) where a couple of hoods use the death bed as a hideout post-bank robbery.

Did I mention this is all played straight? The voice overs in this thing are amazing with one broad standing over the bed and saying to herself "I hope there's not a maniac around". The best scene involves some poor chum reaching into death bed to save his girl only to pull out his hands to reveal, yes, skeleton hands. Thankfully, his girl was ok and helped the poor guy by breaking off his hands and throwing them into a dying fire. Bones make great kindling. What a girl.

Dan and I were throwing around sequel ideas after our viewing. He came up with one called 'Rape Chair: The Chair that Rapes". I was a bit peturbed to learn that Patton Oswalt has a bit where he talks about this picture and comes up with a sequel called 'Rape Stove: The Stove that Rapes." I'll give Dan the benefit of the doubt here. The best I could come up with (just this minute) is 'Torture Table: The Table that Tortures" which could take the possessed furniture idea into Saw territory and therefore make a killing at the box office. We could even make another sequel where all of these items are in the same room together and given jealousy tinged voice overs. Who wouldn't see that? Hell, I'll even write a part for fornicating fridge and strangling staircase just to keep things interesting.

This is the most ambitious movie I've ever seen about a bed that eats people. Still, it's fucking terrible. It must be seen to be enjoyed. So see it. The director had an amazing idea, but just lacked the talent to pull it off. The only picture I could even begin to compare this to is The Mangler, about the possessed washing machine. This is better. I haven't been able to lay on my bed since I watched this. Sex on the floor is more fun anyway.

postscript: I found Patton Oswalt's bit on youtube. Fuck, I didn't need to write this review.

6 comments:

brian said...

by the way, this is truly a "lost" film. It was never shown when it was released. It was just made available, for the first time, recently on DVD. A treasure to behold!

Beepy said...

Kudos to Dan. I like Rape Chair way better than Rape Stove.

elmo said...

Just seeing the picture overloads my Ridicul-o-meter. I'd wear it on a shirt.

steve said...

If any of you had a gassy basset hound, you'd know the REAL meaning of 'death bed' ...

steve said...

great to have you back, Brian! The blogosphere was a classier place without you, and who wants THAT?

I'm so happy you're back that I'll refrain from hauling out my age-old tried-and-true DIATRIBE on the subject of the hard WORK that every single worthwhile creative endeavor is.

Or, as Julie Andrews sings in "The Sound of Music," "Only bullshit comes from bullshitting."

I trust you and Dan (where's HIS blog? you just know if he started one, Beepy would hang out there all day long, in fishnets and a change-purse) have some ACTUAL writing sessions planned?

Remember: "Good Will Hunting" started out as a beer-and-tobacco-fueled screenplay in which Will uses his extraordinary mathematical abilities to become an INTERNATIONAL SUPER-AGENT. That straight-to-video piece of drek was changed into an Oscar-winning screenplay by a middle-aged Hollywood hack who hadn't touched a drop of alcohol in 20 years ...

Oh wait .. I said I wouldn't diatribe ... sorry ...

Sam said...

If "Torture Table" is set in an IKEA, I'm in.