Death Bed : The Bed that Eats (1977)

Director: George Barry
Starring: Demene Hall, William Russ, Julie Ritter, Linda Bond, Patrick Spence-Thomas. USA. 1h 20m

This film seemed to have been lost for some time, but it’s more recent rediscovery has given it a new lease of life, much like the ben in question.

How scary can a bed be? I remember Singer/Songwriter Tanita Tikaram casually mentioning that she was afraid her bed was going to eat her, she possibly saw Freddy Krueger shred Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) at an impressionable age. But weren’t w all scared of the monster under the bed in our infant years? So obviously a demonically haunted bed can be scary, and this adventurous psychotropic horror for me is one of the best ways to explore this outlandish piece of furniture.

The film is sectioned into four acts, lovingly titled Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Just Desserts. Opening with Breakfast Barry introduces his temper filled bed when young couple trespass onto a property and start making out on this perfect four poster bed, slowly the bed bubbles up and consumes their snacks, an apple, a bucket of chicken and glugs their wine, the couple are so into each other that they don’t realise or care much when they realise that their food has been munched on. The Bed method of frothing up a yellow liquid then involved the item being sucked into an ethereal vat of powerful yellow (stomach) acid and making eating sounds like someone crunching on an apple. Suddenly the bed gets pissed off and devours the couple.

Slowly throughout the next chapters the narrator of the movie reveals that he was once a victim of the bed while suffering from consumption and he’s he artist Aubrey Beardsley, but unlike a lot of the beds other victims he was given the privilege of becoming part of his own painting of the bed and through the centuries he gets to witness all of the beds meals.

Eventually the main story begins, three beautiful women head out to the old mansion which once housed the bed to assess it for insurance purposes, but the bed had destroyed the house through it’s rage and is now confined to a small out house but while trying to solve the mystery as to where the mansion has gone they set up home in the room with the bed. One girl seems to get the bed off once she’s near it, and it’s yellow acid/stomach starts to bleed, then the artist explains the birth of the bed which is one of the trippiest aspects of the movie, and a prime example of the tongue in cheek humor is when the bed eats an old woman reading a raunchy lesbian magazine.

A demon falls in love with a girl, and creates the bed to seduce her on, but sadly during the coupling the girl dies and the demon cries blood which gives life to the bed and form.The film takes some time to really get going and some scenes are really drawn out but the atmosphere is brilliant Psychrotrophic fans will probably see a lot of familiarity with the extreme oddities in other films such as Blood Freak (1972), but it’s need to be wholly original really makes Death Bed stand out as a drug induced nightmare with whimsical frills. It’s not overly frightening but it conjures up a solid curious story and wonderful trippy adventure than breaks down into a satanic ritual ending that just throws the film into another dimension.

Rating: 7/10

R: Roujin Z (1991), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Blood Freak (1972) Bed of the Dead (2016)
L: Psychotropic A-Z Vol 1
5s: Haunted/Killer Beds



2 thoughts on “Death Bed : The Bed that Eats (1977)”

  1. I watched this originally because Comedian Patton Oswald does a routine about it being his favorite film…you nailed it with the review…I give them credit for making a film that is indeed a “trip adventure!”

  2. Thanks buddy , I found this via a tumblr post, there’s a cool account i think it’s still called Alfreds Nightmare, anyway the peep who runs it has millions of screen shots of “arty” films, he really emphasis great cinematography and this really stood out.

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