This Bed Is Too…: Canadian Horror Takes a Nap With Bed of the Dead

Minor Spoilers Ahead…..

This morning, I was in the mood to write a fun and quirky post about a fun and quirky movie.  If you’re in Canada, you know what this means – Super Channel on demand!

Super Channel has some amazing Canadian content, and some amazing lesser known horror.  And so, with this goal, I went alphabetically and picked the first horror movie that I hadn’t seen.  That movie was Bed of the Dead.

Now, be honest – the first thing that popped into your brain right now was most likely some variation of, “This movie can’t possibly be about an evil bed, can it?”

Well, I am here to tell you that this answer is yes.  Yes, it can.

The real question now is, “Can a movie about an evil bed possibly be any good?”

Buckle up, my friends!  I am here to attempt at an answer to that one.

Bed of the Dead is made by the Canadian production company Black Fawn Films.  They are the masterminds behind the great goo-covered Bite, which I will be reviewing in February as an anti-Valentine’s Day treat for you all.

The first three minutes of the movie had promise.  It follows a group of shady looking priests as they drag a man kicking and screaming to a tree where they proceed to hang him up and stab him.  Many years later, the tree is cut down and carved into a beautiful wooden bed.

Cut to present day and Bed of the Dead follows four people into a hotel room in a building called “The Anarchists’ Sex Club.”  It is seedy.  It is gross.  And it is apparently the ultimate birthday wish of one of the guys to have a ménage-a-quatre with his girlfriend, his best friend, and his best friend’s girlfriend on the “Emperor-sized” bed in this disgusting pit.

Here was where my logical brain kicked in.  This giant wooden antique bed (which sells at an auction for $14,000) is in a skeevy sex club.  How did it get there?  It seems to me that the owner would sell the thing for the cash rather than keep it under a tarp in a room that is being renovated.  On top of that, the room is full of neglected antiques – a grandfather clock, a piano.  It just didn’t fit the aesthetic of the people wandering around in towels groping everything that moved and staring at each other like they were dying to lick everyone.

I will be perfectly honest with you.  When I read the title of this movie, my first instinct was that this could not possibly be any good.  My instincts proved correct for the first 30 minutes or so.  The acting is pretty terrible in the first act.  Like, afternoon special on Showcase on a weekday terrible.  The two guys in this doomed foursome were dispatched rather quickly.  The only thing I really knew about the birthday boy was that he was excited to have a four-way.  Then, the story switched tactics – it is now being told alternately by the POV of the people in the room and the cop investigating their deaths several hours later.  At this point we learn that the birthday boy had several DUIs by the time he was 18, and hit and killed a five-year old the next year while driving with a suspended license.

Yeah, not building the sympathy here.

At this point, the acting improved.  The fear seemed genuine (although neither of the girls seemed all that broken up about their boyfriends).  However, this was where my logical brain kicked in again.  The girls decide that if they get off the bed they’ll die.  Then, while attempting to text for help, they end up texting the cop, who is a few hours into the future.

Time travelling text messages, guys.  Yep.  That happened.  The cop is now attempting to help them FROM THE FUTURE.

And this is where it lost me.  Surprisingly, not so much the time travel element.  That, I could live with.  It was the weird propensity of every character in this movie to instantly believe what was happening.  It took the cop literally 4 text messages to be totally on board with talking to a person from the past.  Although, he had some skeletons himself and was drunk off his ass at the crime scene, so maybe that goes a little bit toward explaining it.

It really is a shame because I feel like this movie could have been AMAZING.  The premise is actually really creepy…..a piece of furniture judging everyone who touches it and killing those who have wronged an innocent.  And the cinematography was actually pretty great.  There are some great slow shots and shots that make this bed seem towering.  One sequence that I particularly enjoyed was a slow shot of one of the girls trying to decide if she should get off the bed, and it’s just her foot slowly, slowly, slowly moving to the floor.

Unfortunately, the execution just wasn’t there.  I didn’t really have an investment in the characters.  Also, there were a lot of unanswered questions.  I would have liked to know more about the creepy priests, for example.  How exactly did the bed allow messages to be sent from future to past and past to future?  How did the bed end up where it did?  The switch in POV from victim to cop was fantastic and provided great suspense-building knowing that there was a time crunch.  There were so many great elements that just didn’t come together the way that they should have.

So, I’m going to have to give this movie a very unpatriotic, solid C.  If you’re the type of horror watcher who can turn your head, squint, and just go with it, maybe a C+.  I am hopeful for more cohesive stuff from Black Fawn Films in the future.

You can check out the trailer for Bed of the Dead on Black Fawn Films YouTube page here.

-the Morg

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