June 12, 2019 Bed of the Dead (Movie Review)
Checking into a hotel, it is expected to sleep in a bed that many before have already slept in. What is not expected is for the bed to possess demonic powers of judgement that might lead to a gruesome death. These thoughts in mind, the 2016 Jeff Maher film Bed of the Dead, which can currently be streamed on VOD platforms across Canada, gets a physical Blu-ray/DVD release on Tuesday, June 18th thanks to Black Fawn Distribution.
Re-released as a collector’s edition with new artwork and documentary, the story follows two couples, Sandy (Alysa King: Tormented 2014, Slasher 2016) and Ren (Dennis Andres: The Strain series, A Wakefield Project 2019), along with Fred (George Krissa: Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War 2016) and Nancy (Gwenlyn Cumyn: Chasing Valentine 2015, Barbelle 2017) who decide to spend the night at a sex club to celebrate Ren’s birthday.
A club which is dark and populated with half-naked shady characters, the group of friends arrive to find that there are no vacancies. After bribing the desk clerk, Elsie (Samantha Cole: UnREAL series, How To Get Away With Recess mini-series), the foursome pile into a closed off to the public room. A room highlighted by a huge wooden antique bed with a tree of life emblem prominently in the headboard, almost immediately after getting on the bed each person begins to hallucinate.
Then there is Virgil (Colin Price: Chamber Drama 2014, Falling Water 2018), a troubled, drunken detective with a dark past that includes the death of his daughter. Arriving at the club to find the bed and its occupants incinerated, he and his partner, Ellis (Hamza Fouad: Arrow series, The 100 series), must try to solve the mystery. Realizing there is more going on than simply death by fire, can a piece of furniture really cause so much bloody carnage?
A unique story that uses a piece of furniture as the source of evil, it is a particularly uncomfortable premise since relaxing and ultimately sleeping in a bed is often what most people look forward to after a long day. Beds are made for peace, not fear, thus the idea that a bed can seal a guilty person’s fate is terrifying. Something that should make you think twice about seeking comfort beneath the sheets, the issue Bed of the Dead runs into is the gaping plot holes that is the size of the mattress itself.
None of the characters ever have that discovery moment where they know for certain why the bed is picking them off one by one. There is never a revelation concerning the bed’s history or even that it is the bed itself that is causing all of the bloodshed; it is just something they all automatically assume. A rational person seeing irrational deaths happening would go to great lengths to figure out what is happening, but here you are never given a satisfactory answer as to why the characters automatically know what the bed is doing and what it is thinking. That said, the bed barely has a back story and it becomes even more frustrating when the idea is just accepted without any doubt. Yes, evil does not always have to be explained, but in this case, the explanation is the only way to fully understand how to survive.
Additionally, the pace of Bed of the Dead is a bit too quick to fully flesh out an organic story. The hallucinations begin almost immediately after the couples enter the room and you do not get a chance to learn anything about the couples or find a reason to want any of them to survive. Facts about each one is randomly thrown in and seemingly forgotten just as quickly. In truth, it could be anyone stuck on the bed waiting to die and you would not notice a difference.
In the end, the takeaway is that even a bed can be deadly. Bed of the Dead is a weird film that should be appreciated as such and looking for something deeper or more compelling will just ruin it. A different take on evil furniture that can and will end lives, Cryptic Rock gives Bed of the Dead 3 out of 5 stars.