Written and Directed by George Barry, 1977
On his new CD Werewolves and Lollipops Patton Oswalt confesses the pain Death Bed: The Bed That Eats causes him. Not pain from watching it, but from knowing it exists. Knowing someone not only finished a script about a bed that eats people, but that other people thought it was a good idea.
I, however, don’t think Patton Oswalt has ever actually seen Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. If he had, I guarantee you his entire set would be dedicated to it. This is an almost indescribable behemoth of terrible nonsense. I don’t know how you review this. How does one review a tumor on the brain of a madman? I feel like I’ve just exposed myself and 4 others to the videotape from the Ring and we’re all about to die mysteriously in a week.
The story, a word barely applicable in this context, of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is relayed to the viewer through the rambling whimsy of a man eternally imprisoned behind a painting in the bed’s room. I think it goes something like this; Hundreds of years ago a demon was in the form of a tree, who then took the form of a breeze, who then traveled to a woman, seducing her with gentle gusts of wind towards a summoned bed. The demon takes the form of a man with red eyes, the woman dies somehow and the demon cries blood onto the bed, making it evil. A nearby, newly constructed house takes in the bed, which soon takes over the rest of the house, eating anyone who lays on it.
It takes roughly an hour to explain all this, however. The man behind the painting only goes into this depth when convenient. In the mean time, a couple find the bed, make love on it and are eaten. Though, I point out, not before the bed eats their apples, fried chicken and wine.
Then three women show up. And the bed eats one of them. Then another one of them. Then it eats some Pepto Bismol. And one of their brothers shows up and has only the flesh of his hands eaten off. And no, I’m not kidding about the Pepto Bismol.
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats is amazing. Truly amazing. Like some kind of medical anomaly. A freak show to be dug up and studied under glass by a futuristic society. It either makes no sense or perfect sense and I’m not sure anyone alive is qualified to make the distinction. All I know is that I’ve never been more baffled by the existence of a film in my life. I don’t know whether to mock it or fear it.
There is an uninterrupted shot, at least two minutes long, of a woman pulling her ‘blood’ soaked legs out of the bed and making an arm-only crawl towards safety at a pace that would embarrass a sloth. It is the least intense scene I have ever witnessed in my life, yet I’d wager my mind had never before experienced such an intense flurry of conflicting synaptic firings.
I don’t know what to say about Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Thinking about it is making me high. I feel suddenly incoherrent, like nothing I can do will ever make sense again. My breathing, though likely normally, feels erratic. My blood has probably stopped flowing and this review is really all a figment of my imagination. If I don’t stop thinking about Death Bed: The Bed That Eats right this second, I’m not sure I’ll ever come back.