MEALS FOR MONSTERS: DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS (1977)
Review and Recipes by Jenny Orosel
Some ideas are so brilliant you wonder why no one ever thought of them before, like Tivo and deep fried bacon. Other ideas are so completely bizarre that you can’t imagine how somebody ever thought of it. DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS (1977) is in the latter category.
There is nothing subtle or ironic about the title of DEATH BED. It’s about a possessed bed that eats people. Over a century ago, this above said bed was created by a demon to seduce the woman he loved. It worked, but his being a demon was too much for her to handle, and she died during the deed. Now this bed can and will dissolve anyone (or anything) laying on it. And the story is narrated by the ghost of an artist trapped in the walls of the house.
As long as you can keep yourself from thinking too hard about the subject matter, DEATH BED is a pretty decent movie. It was beautifully shot, the performances are workable, and the pacing doesn’t leave a boring moment. But, just as you get sucked into the movie, you realize you’re watching a movie about a bed that eats people. It’s hard to take it seriously if you are constantly aware of the absurdity of the premise.
And, for that reason, I don’t have a specific drink recipe for this column. Instead, I recommend shots of Everclear. Perhaps some Bacardi 151. Hell, any high-proof alcohol will do the trick. Drink until you are intoxicated enough that a people-eating bed makes perfect sense.
Instead, for the first round you have a salad. In the film, one of the women is fed a bug-laden salad. Don’t worry—the “bugs” for your salad will be much more delicious.
SPINACH SALAD WITH BACON ‘WORMS’ AND BALSAMIC VINEGRETTE
1 bag baby spinach leaves
6 slices bacon
1 shot balsamic vinegar
2 shots olive oil
1 stem fresh rosemary
Pinch of salt and pepper
Cut the bacon in half crosswise, then lengthwise so each piece is cut into four strips. Cook until crispy, put on paper towels, and set aside. Meanwhile, pull the leaves off the rosemary stem. Chop them finely, then whisk together with vinegar and oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve the spinach with bacon on top, and drizzle with the amount of dressing you so desire.
One of the first sequences involves a young couple on a date, and the bed eats their picnic lunch. The lunch consists of fried chicken, apples and a bottle of red wine. To be honest, I’ve done a lot of fried foods in this column. Instead, I’ve taken those ingredients and make a different main dish altogether.
CHICKEN WITH APPLES IN A RED WINE-RASPBERRY SAUCE
2 small chicken breasts, pounded flat OR one large chicken breast, halved long-ways.
½ apple, Granny Smith preferably, sliced
¼ onion, sliced in strips
2 stems rosemary
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup red wine
1 pint raspberries, minus twelve (set aside for the dessert)
Place 2-3 slices of apple, 2-3 onion slices, and a stem of rosemary in the center of the chicken breast. Roll up, and secure with toothpicks. Salt and pepper the outside. Sear in a frying pan with olive oil until browned on all sides. Add the garlic and cook about a minute. Smash the raspberries until completely decimated. Add them and the wine to the pan, and reduce to medium. Cook for about a half hour, turning the chicken occasionally. Serve over potatoes or hot cooked rice, topped with the pan sauce. NOTE—either remove the rosemary before serving, or instruct who you’re feeding to do so. They are not very tasty eaten whole, but flavor the dish nicely.
Dessert had its own problems. There weren’t any sweets eaten during the flick, so I had to think: if I were a demon trying to seduce someone, what would I use? Chocolate, of course! And raspberries. Raspberries are sexy. And it’s an easy thing to prepare, so you can get to another shot in no time.
BED DEMON’S BERRY DISCS
½ bag chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet, depending on your preference)
Get twelve mini-muffin liners ready. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and, in 30 second increments, heat the chips at full power, then stir. It will take a few times to get the chocolate completely melted (2 minutes worth in my case). Drop a spoonful in each of the paper liners. While the chocolate is still liquid, press a berry into the center. Set somewhere cool to harden.
DEATH BED was director George Barry’s first film. It was also his only. I completely understand it. There is really no way to top the story of a bed that eats people. If he went on to do a mundane, straightforward movie, then people would want to know why he abandoned his surrealistic sense of style. And if he were to continue making evil inanimate object movies, it would become a kitschy gimmick instead of the fascinating oddity that is DEATH BED. All I know is that I’m glad he made this one, because it certainly is fun to watch. And, hopefully, something fun to eat during, too.
© Copyright 2012 by Jenny Orosel