The interestingly named Bed of the Dead made its premiere recently at the ongoing Montreal Fantasia Festival and it’s a flick that is both good and bad. The film from Director Jeff Maher (cinematographer on the recently released Bite) has a goofy premise and plenty of plot holes, but it also has a supple supply of gore to please gorehounds. However, does gore make up for a shoddy story? Read on to find out…
Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.
There once stood an ancient tree drenched in the blood of sacrificial victims. However, the tree wasn’t meant to stand forever. Eventually, a man came and chopped the massive tree down and turned it into an extravagant bed. Said bed eventually ended up in a sex hotel for some odd reason and sat waiting for sinful victims to lay their horny heads down on its soft and fluffy pillows. The victims turned out to be a group of four people, two guys and two girls looking for a fun night of sexy sex times. It doesn’t take long, though, to find out that as soon as you step off this bed you end up dead.
Bed of the Dead does things a bit differently with its storytelling. It started the flick off with all the craziness already having taken place. In walks the worst cop this side of most cops in the US right now. His name is Virgil and he loves to drink, do cocaine and be very, very terrible at investigating the current crime. The current crime is the scene of the satanic bed which stands burnt to a crisp, with plenty of bodies lying around it. The film proceeds to flash back and forth between the past, which involves the four people, and the present with the awful cop.
The problem with Bed of the Dead is the numerous plot holes it decides to leave unfilled. Why is this bed evil? How did the bed get at the hotel? Why was the sleazy owner spared a grisly death by the bed? Why does the ending not make a lick of sense? All unanswered questions.
As for the good stuff in the flick, it’s nice to see a group of filmmakers going back to the good ol’ days of practical effects. There is a good amount of blood and guts thrown around, which is a plus in my book. There is also a couple nice moments which may enlist a few goosebumps. Once scene involving something coming out of the bed was pretty effectively freaky.
In the end, though, Bed of the Dead borrows too many tropes and stylistic choices from other films. The creepy contortionist ghost lady walking on all fours we’ve all seen before, but yet here it is in a scene that instead of being scary was feeling played out. A film with a title like Bed of the Dead had the chance to do something really crazy and original but opted to borrow cliches instead.
Bed of the Dead won’t win awards for originality or story, but it probably will win over people who enjoy a bit of blood and guts in the bedroom. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped given the fun title, but I think it’s worth checking out at least once.