DIRECTOR: Jeff Maher
When two young couples plan for a night of debauchery. They decide to head to the oldest sex club in town in hopes of having a foursome. When they finally purchase a room and begin to get into the spirit. They soon discover that something isn't quite right. The large antique bed that they find themselves on is haunted. As they start suffering from nightmarish hallucinations, they must try and band together to find a way to get off this bed before its too late.
Looking at that title and poster art for Bed Of The Dead. You could be forgiven and mistaken for thinking that you're about to witness a horror parody of some human-chomping antique bed. I went into this movie myself with the impression that I was about to sit through a cheesy, low-budget, horror comedy. I think that the reason I enjoyed Bed Of The Dead so much was that it wasn't that at all. This story is played entirely straight. This is gruesome, bloody, and violent. Not once was this played for comedic effect?
What Bed Of The Dead gets right first and foremost is that this movie gets straight to the horror and never stops. From about ten minutes into the movie, the shit hits the fan, and it never slows down for a breather. To call this boring would be an injustice. You may be able to find thirty things wrong with it but being slow-moving isn't one of them. I have to hand it to the writer and director for at least making an entertaining horror film even if the concept could have been a complete misfire.
Another element that won me over is the practical effects work. The movie dishes out some entertaining and nasty death scenes. You will witness people being eviscerated, creatures bursting through peoples skin, animal attacks, and geysers of blood being spewed forth from beneath a bed. I love this latest wave of independent horror using practical gore effects. It's just so much better than the cheesy CGI effects that litter most horror movies these days. Give me a bucket of red corn syrup being chucked over an actor any day of the week.
I found that I really enjoyed the dual timeline and how that all played out in Bed Of The Dead. I thought it was a smart way of throwing the audience off on where the movie was heading. I liked that half of the movie plays out as these four people are trapped on a bed and are being brutally killed off. While the other timeline shows our hard-nosed detective on the case and seeing the aftermath of what has happened to this group of people. I liked that it played out in the past and present tense. Not an original storytelling device but in Bed Of The Dead, it worked.
Where this film has issues is with the characters. While the characters are pretty well developed and we get hints about all their pasts. They also do enough to try and give the audience exposition on each person. It's just a shame that the two couples aren't very likeable. As we spend most of our time with them, it's hard to sit and watch four people bicker and argue. It's only enjoyable when they're being killed off horrifically. The most likeable character is our tortured detective. I thought his role was the best addition to the story.
While the movie opens with hints of the bed being made from a tree that was used for Ritualistic killings. I would have loved to see even more backstory on the bed. Maybe a couple of minutes of the bed causing chaos over the decades or centuries. How did it find it's way to a brothel? I had several questions that arose during the film. I think it would have only added to the story if we got a bit of backstory. I think a rundown like they did in Oculus about the mirror would have been a nice touch here.
When it comes to the suspense and tension in Bed Of The Dead. I think the movie has a few pretty intense set-pieces. While it's not jump-out-of-your-skin scary. I think the film was successful in delivering enough thrills and chills. What makes these moments amplified is that you never know what type of death is going to befall the group that are trapped on the bed. With the full range of death scenes, every gruesome moment adds a nasty, little shock and surprise. It only adds to the tension.
Lastly, we come to the performances. Colin Price as Virgil is the standout actor. He is our detective and seems to be the most seasoned of the actors. I actually cared about his character and loved his final moments. I felt for him in the end. As for the group, I thought each actor did a decent job of acting terrified. While I couldn't stand each of their characters or cared if they lived or died. I can't downplay all their performances. I will say that both actresses outshine their male co-stars as they get a lot more of the screentime.
DEATH TOLL: 9
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A corpse is seen hanging from a tree dead with no arm.
- A man is strung up to a tree and stabbed to death.
- A body is eviscerated.
- A guy is shot in the chest.
- Self-mutilating ones own eyes.
- A woman spews blood into a man's mouth.
- A woman is seen dead on the floor, every bone in her body broken.
- A body is seen burnt to death.
- A man is attacked by a dog.
- Blood is seen gushing out from under a bed.
- A man chokes to death, and his neck is broken.
- A man shoots himself in the head.
- A woman's Achilles heel is ripped open, and her wrists are snapped.
- A creature bursts its way out of a man's chest.
Going into a movie called Bed Of The Dead, it will go either one of two ways. It will be a hell of a lot of fun or a complete disaster. For me, Bed Of The Dead plays and takes everything entirely serious, and it works. They could have made a cheesy parody, but they go for the throat with impressive gore and some solid practical effects. The dual timelines add some depth to what could have been a simple story. While the film has issues, it's still violent fun.