It was a particular killer podcast (wink wink nod nod) that brought my attention to the George Barry 1977 lost horror film, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. I had never heard of the film previous and any mention in conversation over beds that cause death, I would immediately recall Johnny Deppís fate in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
My curiosity was peaked with the premise. It sounded as ridiculous as Rubber (2010) possibly as outlandish as El Topo (1970), so it was a quick and easy purchase as I turned to Amazon to add to my collection.
Death Bed is simply that. The plot surrounds a bed that eats. Our interest is mainly in the humans to which it consumes, but apples, bottles of wine and even a Pepto Bismol container are all part of the bedís diet throughout the 77-minute running time. It eats through an acidic sudsy substance that overtakes objects laid upon itís mattress.
The bed is fittingly located in a remote area of the countryside and we learn of its history and its thoughts (?) through the narration of a spirit that is imprisoned within a painting kept in the same room as the killer furniture piece.
Mostly, the bed feasts upon travelers, and more specifically during the mid-chapters, on three vacationing women searching for a bed for the night.
We could not ascertain whether writer/director/producer George Barry was looking to make a serious film or if he instead had designs on cinematic glory. But considering the filmís overall tones and serious approach to the ridiculous premise, we would suggest the intention was sincere. And with adult moments that included various scenes incorporating female nudity, our case is that much furthered.
Our appreciation for Death Bed: The Bed That Eats might be more of a surprise than the filmís plot points. We appreciated the movie for what it attempted and we enjoyed the crunching and munching Mr. King Size did on his adventures. Screened in 2013, we could hardly take it seriously. But it was with a satiric eye opened that we were kept entertained and we understood the cult epic that was unfolding in line with Eraserhead and Pink Flamingos.
Yes, even at under 80-minutes the idea runs its course and outstays its welcome. And yes, there were holes larger than pillowcases that brought out the WTF in us while screening.
Still, the title of the film doesnít hide what George Barry was trying to create. Our world might not be better having watched it, but we are glad we now have a new conversation piece at parties that is designed to garner attention.