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John’s Old School Horror Corner: Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977)

June 28, 2013

MY CALL:  Simply put, this is the story of a waterbed filled with digestive fluid and powered by a demon.  It’s a must-see for those who claim to have seen a little of everything for its novelty and hilarious awfulness.  There is nothing else like this, for better or for worse.

This movie gets off to a tasteless start as a couple of young lovers happen upon an old house.  The narration of a Limbo-bound spirit reveals that the bed in this house is alive and that he’s been listening to it snore for a century.  But, once awakened, it strategically locks all of the doors to the house except for the one that leads the amorous couple to its bedroom lair.  Most likely taking offense to the boyfriend’s clumsily amateur breast-fondling technique, the bed spitefully eats the young couple’s lunch…and then eats them.

It seems that these first two victims serve no more purpose than to let viewers know what they’re in for…a movie about a bed that eats people.   Our narrating spirit gives us a little history about the bed, its loud munching sounds, and its generally dim wit.  Now that we’ve set the stage, it’s time to meet our next victims which include William Russ (the dad from Boy Meets World) in his FIRST ROLE EVER!

This was directed, written and produced by George Barry, who has never done anything else–no disappointment there.  The same goes for almost every other actor in this except for William Russ.  Probably for the best.  The effects were poor, the acting was destitute, the scoring was terrible, and the film editing was somehow yet worse.  Following suit was the overly informative, dry, ill-timed narration.  Oh, and we get some narrative from one of the victims as well…although I have no clue why.  It serves little purpose other than stacking more poor qualities which disrupt the film’s pacing.  All in all, this movie feels like a series of fragmented thoughts, punctuated by nudity, that never go anywhere and which frankly are no more comprehensible than the mutterings of a mad man.

The one thing this film has going for it is that it is deliberately funny, for example depicting the bed eating Pepto-Bismol after a meal of a homely naked girl–she would have left a bad taste in my mouth, too.  The effects are largely limited to the bed drooling yellow foam and digesting things in a prop department fish tank of yellow liquid.  My favorite scene had to be when the bed ate William Russ’ hands to the bone.  Basically every scene in this movie labors on much longer than is necessary, and only to its hysterical detriment.

Before he was giving advice to Ben Savage on Boy Meets World, he was doing this.  Thanks for this William Russ!

Simply put, this is the story of a waterbed filled with digestive fluid and powered by a demon that uses telekinesis on its more feisty victims.

A must see for those who claim to have seen a little of everything.

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