While I was originally planning on reviewing Gingerdeadman Vs. Evil Bong, but I can’t I just can’t. I’m over that particular horror comedy blend and feel the need for a film with a much more prominent horror atmosphere. I’m not sure what drew me to Death Bed out of all Full Moon Entertainment’s online catalog… OK, that’s a lie. I know the reason I chose this film and that reason is Joe Estevez. His films are always so delightfully bad. My personal favorite of his is undoubtedly Axe Giant, but that’s a review for another time. Other than Joe Estevez, I chose this film because it’s a ghost story and it feels like it’s been a while since I had reviewed one of those. Also it’s just a horror film. No blending here.
Death Bed opens with a flapper (Meagan Mangum) in the 1920’s being tied to a bed and murdered by the serial killer The Choker (Adam Russell Stuart). We then jump ahead to couple Karen (Tanua Dempsey) and Jerry (Brave Matthews) buying their own apartment. The apartment is part of a building that once used the be a warehouse back in the 1920’s. The building owner Art (Joe Estevez), maybe maintenance… his role isn’t defined the best, shows them the apartment along with a door up a set of stairs to a locked door with no key. Shortly after moving in Karen hears seeking followed by screaming and fetches Art. Using a pry-bar he opens the room, finding a small bedroom. The room is the same as the opening sequence and contains the same iron bed. Fascinated with the bed, Karen moves it down stairs and makes it the centerpiece of the apartment. With the bed come a new adventurous attitude and a job offer that the bed makes the perfect inspiration for. But things quickly turn dark with ghostly sightings of the dead flapper begging for help…
I really liked the concept. But the awkward chemistry between Karen and Jerry is what kills this movie for me. While Joe Estevez is the best part of this film, Tanua Dempsey being a close second. Brave Matthews is definitely the odd man out and found his character kinda bland honestly.
But the actors are all strong enough to carry the film. Not well mind you, and barley to the end credits. That said when the film goes for horror it hits the mark. The atmosphere can get charged and a few of the shots are incredibly well done. Most certainly a step above the bar in regards to Full Moon’s other films.
My main critique of this film is that the history of the bed/murders and by extension, The Choker. Who should have been explored in more depth. Though there is always something to be said about the unknown and leaving questions unanswered. But without any mythos to back up the murders I was left asking the wrong questions. Why is The Choker there? Did he also die there? Where are the other victims?
Final thoughts, overall I liked it. It might not be a masterpiece, but there are far worse examples of the genre. Sure Joe Estevez might be the best actor in the film, but all of them are at least trying and for me that makes for quality entertainment. 6/10