Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (Blu-ray Review) - Cult Epics



USA/1977
Directed By: George Barry
Written By: George Barry
Starring: Demene Hall, William Russ, Julie Ritter
Color/80 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date:

The Film
In 1972 George Barry set out to make a horror film and over the next few years, when time and money allowed, he would film it until it finally was completed in 1977. Barry shopped the film around to various distributors, entering talks with a few of them but ultimately never striking a deal. Time passed and Barry went on with his life forgetting about it until he stumbled upon an internet message board topic asking if anyone had seen a particular film. The film in question was DEATH BED, his film. He quickly realized that a bootleg copy had been made back in the 70s and it had been circulated around Europe as a bootleg for years. The film's following was small, but he was shocked to see that people had seen his film and that it had a following at all. Skip ahead to 2003, over 30 years since production began and Cult Epics released the film officially for the first time on DVD.

A strange mix of horror, poetry and fairy tale, DEATH BED is the story of a demonic bed that will consume anything that happens to be on it, while it's owner is trapped inside of a painting of the bed and is powerless to stop it. Well, that's the basic gist of it anyways. DEATH BED is a fever dream, something a mind pushed to the brink of boiling madness could think of. That or a really dumb idea while smoking a bowl. It's a cheap film, independently produced around Michigan, the effects in the film aren't Rick Baker or Tom Savini quality effects. They're amateurish and somehow it all lends to the overall atmosphere and feel of the film. DEATH BED will suck you in, you won't be able to stop watching and before too long you'll realize that you're having a great time watching this incredibly odd piece of horror. 

The Audio & Video
How did Cult Epics pull together a nice looking and sounding Blu-ray? I suppose the same question was asked about the DVD a decade ago. Either way this is a film that certainly wasn't stored in a climate controlled room, or even with the basic intentions of keeping it around for future use. This film was abandoned and luckily materials stayed in good enough condition for Cult Epics to give us a solid release. The HD transfer is pretty sharp, with healthy skin tones and good detail levels, all things considered. Colors are lively and vibrant enough while the audio track, a 2.0 HD stereo track ( a 5.1 HD surround is also available) is well mixed and fairly crisp. There's a bit of background noise but it is far from intrusive.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary with George Barry and Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA
-Introduction by George Barry
-New introduction by Stephen Thrower
-George Barry and Stephen Thrower have a conversation on horror films of the 70s and 80s (you need to watch this for some awkward hilarity at the end!)
-Behind-The-Scenes of DEATH BED in Detroit
-Original music credit track

The Bottom Line
When I think of movies that have been given the Blu-ray treatment it amuses me that oddities like DEATH BED have made the cut. Nobody would have batted an eye if this movie was never rediscovered but it was, and it's here and I fucking love it. I love the odd nature of the film and the great presentation it has been given. 

DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS is available HERE

1 comment:

The Soresport said...

Wow! I can't believe this "film" got a Blu-Ray release. Just shaking my head.