Death Bed: The Bed that Eats

Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “George Barry” with a minor in “Deadly Inanimate Objects”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!

This week Supercult settles down for the night at this quaint woodland one-bedroom medieval themed hotel with this awesome four poster bed to un-ironically watch Death Bed: The Bed that Eats!

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In a faraway land, in a long forgotten forest, in a tiny stone castle, there is a bed. For now, the bed is still, but every ten years it hungers and lures innocent travelers into its inviting embrace.  Only the ghost of a once well-to-do artist bears witness to this reign of terror that has claimed the lives of so many across the ages. Only he can tell the tale of the Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.

Death Bed is an indie horror film Directed, Produced, and Writen by George Barry, who you might remember from…absolutely nothing. Barry shot the film at the end of his college career with a motley crew of students and friends. Apparently Barry’s inspiration for the film came to him in a dream, which the film’s bizarre surreal nature is attributed to. Told in four parts: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Just Desserts, the film chronicles the Bed’s tragic and quirky victims while a condemned ghost is forced to watch from behind a painting in the bedroom, unable to warn the travelers of their peril. The film is filled with weird pre-death nightmares, visually schizophrenic rituals and flashbacks, hilarious shots of objects and people submerged in the bed’s digestive fluids, and unsettling nudity that is often accompanied by what can only be interpreted as the anticipatory heavy breathing of the bed itself. The result is a film that is less horrifying than it is mesmerizing in its awful, delightful weirdness.

Death Bed was filmed almost entirely at the Gar Wood mansion on Keelson Island in Detroit. The mansion has long been completely demolished, but if you go there on cold, lonely nights you can still hear the sound of the Death Bed box office money coming in…

Shh…do you hear that?

Yeah…it’s nothing. That’s because the film was never officially released in theaters. Though filming began in 1972 and a final cut was produced in 1977, Barry was unable to get a distribution deal, so film was not released in any theatre. For Barry, this was the end, and he moved on with his life. However, Ron Medico, the film’s editor, continued to shop the film to distributors, hoping to securer a straight to video release. One of the distribution houses declined to make an offer, but unbeknownst to him, copied the print and released the video in the UK where it became a classic of the 1970s horror genre.

While Barry’s copy of Death Bed languished in his attic, the film was secretly being circulated via pirated bootlegs. Barry has essentially forgotten he had even made the film until he discovered people discussing the film on the internet and realized that his supposed failure film had gained an underground fan base. Thankfully this prompted him to put an official DVD release of the film into the works so that the world could officially enjoy the insanity in 2003.

American comedian Patton Oswalt was one of the many who discovered the bizarre film after its release and on his stand up album “Werewolves and Lolipops” he bemoans how difficult it is for him to write, develop, edit, shop, and eventually sell any of his own screenplays while somehow something as ridiculous as Death Bed got made and is on DVD:

This guy wrote Death Bed: The Bed that Eats People, took it to a second guy and said, “Okay, it’s called Death Bed: The Bed that Eats People. Now the backstory is, there’s a demon…” and the second guy said, “Stop drilling, you hit oil! You had me at Death Bed! We are going to rent cameras, buy film stock, hire a crew! We are shooting this masterpiece!” […] So, look for my new movie next summer, it’s called Rape Stove: The Stove that Rapes People.

Death Bed: The Bed that Eats has a 4.5 on IMDB, and on Rotten Tomatoes it has no critic reviews and an audience score of 30%. The film spawned a YouTube parody of the movie called “Death Chair: The Chair that Eats” and in 2014 Big Dawg Productions in Wilmington, NC adapted the film to the theatre with the consulting help of George Barry himself! In 2002 Barry was even involved in a crazy horror (porn?) film called, uninspiringly, Death Bed. Just…Death Bed.

…*sigh*

Good thing we’re not watching regular boring 2002 Death Bed, right Supercult?!

The Supercult Show is proud to present, the much better, but still pretty bad, and really, really weird, Death Bed: The Bed that Eats!

 

 

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