Our first review for Fantasia International Film Festival is Jeff Maher’s, Bed Of The Dead.
The first thing that attracted us to Maher’s Bed Of The Dead was seeing that he was part of the team who brought us, Bite ( reviewed in 2015’s Fantasia coverage).
Bite was one of the highlights of last year’s Fantasia Festival. I truly believe that Bite was the best body-transformation movies I have seen since Cronenberg’s, The Fly.
Maher was a big part in why Bite looked so well, made us squirm, and got under our skin. He served as cinematographer in Bite, and now Bed Of The Dead marks his transition from cinematographer to director.
OK, so now about the film!
Firstly, I’d like to say that this is a film about a killer bed, yes folks, a killer bed.
Although Bed of The Dead is not a comedy, the title alone would be enough to put-off your normal viewer. But just incase you might be that type of person looking for a film that features a bed possessed by an ancient demon, then look no further
Bed Of The Dead is an inventive and imaginative bloodbath full of gruesome deaths, and nice practical FX. This is a film solely for the gore-hound – the type of horror fan that likes their plots a bit ridiculous.
The film starts back in olden days. We see some sort of cult-like figures carrying out a sacrifice on some poor unfortunate soul. We then see an evil carpenter carving some sort of weird design out the tree that is used by the cult for their hangings.
Fast forward to present-day and the weird design is now part of a headboard, on a bed, in a whorehouse. A bunch of young horny twenty something , lookingfor a four-some end up renting out the room that has the possessed bed.
After a mild bit of partying the gang come to the horrific realisation that if they try to get off the bed they will die a gruesome and violent death.
Maher is brilliant here, even if you don’t enjoy the movie I am sure you can appreciate the viciousness and realism of his brutal death scenes. One thing is for certain, Maher isn’t going for any censorship which is a joy for any horror fan to watch.
This bed is no normal evil bed, it has the ability to get inside their minds. They suffer severe hallucinations that are fueled by their inner most fears.
These hallucinations sequences are tense, brilliantly done, in proper horror style. This is part of what makes Bed Of The Dead a welcoming entry into the horror genre.
The cast all do a great job although it did seem quite formulaic, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. They need people to get slaughtered, and this is the quickest way to cut out all bullshit and get to the fun stuff.
One thing that did catch me off-guard though is that the cast didn’t die in the order that you think they would. I thought that was a nice touch. When they do meet their deaths, it’s pretty gruesome and shocking.
Just like, Bite, I was unsure with the first 15 minutes of the movie. Bite just seemed to follow a predictable path that we’ve walked a million times before. Not long after, you then realise that this approach was intentional, it wasn’t long before he showed us what he really had in-store for us.
Bed Of The Dead is exactly the same. Although it does feel familiar , it’s clear to see that Maher knows what he is doing. He gives us a fantastic, enjoyable horror – proving that the most ridiculous of stories can work if they’re told by the right person
Bed Of The Dead is a lot of fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s what is hugely enjoyable about it. I look forward to upcoming projects from Maher & Calahan, these guys are one’s to watch out for.