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Film / Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

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"Who would have thought that a movie that admittedly is about a killer bed is actually some kind of exploitation art film?"

In 1972, some guy named George Barry got a camera and some film.

What happened was Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.

In the ruins of an old house, there is a bed. This is not unusual. What is unusual is that this bed is alive. And hungry. Over the years, various people find their way to the house, and when they lie too long on the bed, they are drawn into it and digested, as the soul of an artist (trapped in his last drawing) mocks and taunts it. But when a certain woman finds herself at the house, the artist suspects she might be the key to ending the bed's feasting ways...

An incredibly cheesy and bizarre mix of horror, sexploitation, and arthouse, Death Bed was shot in 1972 but a print wasn't struck until 1977. It then disappeared, before being rediscovered in 2003 and released on DVD. It gained a cult following when bootlegs made from a rare UK VHS/Betamax copy of the film began circulating. Director George Barry reportedly forgot about the film before he came across the bootleg found on a horror movie forum.

Comedian Patton Oswalt has a famous routine about how this film's eventual release made his writer's block even worse, although he mistakenly refers to the film as Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People.

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The artist, trapped inside one of his own paintings, forced to watch the bed continue to kill. Towards the end, he briefly recovers the ability to speak in a way that other characters will hear, and explains how the bed can finally be destroyed.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Probably one of the most insane examples ever. The title is no lie - it is literally a bed that devours those who lay on it.
  • B-Movie: Its creator made the film on a lark, then forgot it existed until literal decades later. You can't exactly call it a blockbuster, can you?
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: There are plenty of scenes of the bed's digestive system, just for starters.
  • Dull Surprise: Its probably the worst offender among the films on this wiki, since pretty much the whole cast acts like this all the time. For example, one of the guys loses the skin on his hands, and the remaining bones begin falling apart, and his reaction can best be described as "mild concern".
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Well, it is about a bed... too bad most of them get eaten by the time they're done.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Three guesses to what the antagonist does.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • Again, when the guy loses his hands.
    • A man declares that the bed is eating him alive in roughly the same tone most people remark that their shoe is untied.
  • Old People are Nonsexual: Averted with one of the bed's many victims, an old lady reclining with a "Candid Press" paper, whose front page promes "Oral lesbians! Big butts! B'zooms! Crax!"
  • Our Demons Are Different: They sleep only every ten years, their eyes are always full of blood, and their tears can bestow sentience on inanimate objects.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Doesn't quite cover it...
  • Spinning Paper: Part of the bed's backstory is revealed through four editions of The Daily Bugle with headlines reading "Thousands Disappear", "Strange Munching Sounds Heard in Night", "Mayor Demands Action", and "Mayor Disappears". All of these papers are the exact same image except for a different headline, with the same side stories and picture; this either evidence that the film is indeed a Stealth Parody or just a sign of its extremely low budget.
  • Spooky Painting: An artist (implied to be the famous Art Nouveau painter Aubrey Beardsley) died on the Death Bed, but for some reason it chose not to eat him. Instead, his soul was trapped inside of his last work, which hangs on the wall beside it. We get to hear his discussions with the bed. The bed doesn't talk back.
  • Surreal Horror: Sort of. To be fair, it is about a demon-possessed bed eating people.
  • Stealth Parody: Some have suggested this, due to the absurd plot of the movie.
  • Tears of Blood: How baby Death Beds are born. A demon fell in love with a woman and made love to her on the bed. However, when a demon has sex with a human, it kills the human. The demon wept tears of blood onto the bed, and the tears awakened it as a demon itself, becoming the titular Death Bed.