For My Moviegoing Public

I’m a woman of my word. And, truthfully, by now even I’m getting sick of thinking about my boobs.

How about some movies?

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

Well, how can you go wrong with a title like that?!

I first heard of this on a Mystery Science Theater Facebook page, in the context of “why haven’t they done this movie?”  Additional research revealed Patton Oswalt has a very funny bit about it, and Amazon reviews explain the very bizarre circumstances surrounding its eventual release (made in 1977, circulated by bootleg unbeknownst to the director, and released straight to DVD in 2003).

And some thoughtful soul has posted the entire film on YouTube.

Like any mediocre horror (and good porn) movie, the plot is so threadbare as be nonexistent, with acting equally as stilted and unnatural. A bed in a remote (yet surprisingly well-trafficked) mansion has been possessed by a demon and eats whatever sleeps in it. Except “eats” isn’t quite right–more like “digests in a stomach acid-like substance in an unexplained way,” but that title isn’t nearly as snappy.

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The bed actually eats anything on it, not just people, despite what Patton says

Hapless couples making out (and their picnic lunch), single folks napping or even just reading, all become a meal for the peckish posturpedic (couldn’t resist; this being the 70’s, it’s almost certainly a waterbed).  The worst part is the unbearably disgusting loud chewing noises that I put up with enough from my doctors while they dictate.

That and the gruelingly slow pace all films had back then. What used to be “building of tension” now feels more like “my god, please let SOMETHING happen soon.”  Case in point: the black woman who turned out to be the only character I cared remotely enough to root for, starts to get out of the bed and sort of trips into the digestive bath (there’s no other way to describe it).  She fights mightily to escape, crawling across the floor with wounded legs, with enough gasping, moaning and whimpering to dub a porno.  And the director shows us every last laborious second…only to have the bed lasso her with a sheet and drag her back just as she reaches the door. Filed under “five tedious minutes of my life I want back.”

The funniest moment comes later, when a guy gets his hands eaten, then sits in the corner examining the bony remnants with the vaguely bemused expression of “someone who just realized the milk had gone sour.” (Not my words, read them in another review.)

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There’s an attempt at a backstory (or, dare I say, mythology) but honestly, like a porno, that’s not what people came to see (and if I’m belaboring the porn comparisons, it’s because it strikes me that most movies from this era feel like one, even without any actual sex).

It’s just not good. Or scary. But since it’s free to watch, I suppose there are those whose curiosity will get the better of them. 1 out of 5 Lovelorn Demons

Wetlands

On my last bike outing with Gerry, I was forced to use a conveniently placed, if not exactly well maintained, Portapotty.  It was more vile than most Portapotties (and with all my biking adventures, I feel I’ve seen more than my share).  I announced this fact upon exiting, making a sly Trainspotting reference.  Gerry said I better not watch Wetlands then.

I didn’t take this as a challenge at the time, but the next time I happened to be browsing Netflix it popped up under new releases and I thought I’d see what he was talking about.

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Heed the poster’s warnings, they aren’t lightly made (despite the use of Jackass font)–and I consider myself to not be especially prudish or easily shocked.  As comical, non-graphic and tame Death Bed is, this movie is the exact opposite.

Well, it’s comical at first. I’m a big sucker for films that are narrated or break the fourth wall somehow. And there’s no denying Carla Juri is irresistibly, pixie-adorable (can’t tell in the poster, but she could totally play Meg Ryan in a film about Meg Ryan), with just a soupcon of Lolita sexy (okay, a LOT of Lolita sexy).

Then she starts talking about her hemorrhoids in extensive detail, and trust me when I say this is the least gross thing in the movie. So is the “move over, Trainspotting, there’s a new restroom in town” scene.

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This is just before she rubs herself all over it trying to get an infection

She does explain herself and her weird fascination with the repulsive, but that hardly helps when each scene manages to handily top the one before. From a semen-covered pizza to ritualistically swapping (and reinserting) used tampons with her girlfriend (and I’ve seen guys get squeamish over new, packaged tampons. I can’t imagine how Gerry made it through that), the movie shies away from absolutely nothing that has any potential at all to shock (and also shows as much as it can, including erect male genitalia, which you will NEVER see in an American film (this is German subtitled, I should mention).  (To be clear, the penises didn’t upset me)).

And even all that I could forgive, and was even considering buying it (it felt like Amelie’s very naughty younger sister), until a scene involving an anal fissure (her self-inflicted medical condition that practically deserves second billing in the credits) that she re-opens to let her stay in hospital to continue wooing a handsome male nurse–and that’s all I can say about that. THAT was my breaking point.

Don’t get me wrong.  The movie is funny, quirky, well written with a beautiful star that’s no doubt going places.  I would add it to my collection in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so hellbent on being so aggressively offensive, seemingly just for the sake of doing so.  Some reviews call it a “profound coming of age story for women.” I don’t need someone assuring me that deep down underneath this is art when my stomach is telling me, “OMFG, EWWW, NO.”

But who knows. I detested Fight Club (another narrated movie) in the theater and now it’s in my top three. Maybe one day I’ll give this a second chance too and feel differently.

2 out of 5 Used Tampons

Mortdecai

This one will be short and sweet.

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I was interested in this primarily for Ewan McGregor, secondarily for Johnny Depp. I remember it coming out and dropping out of sight again almost immediately.  The few reviews I’ve read were mixed, but generally skewed towards negative.

Well, I loved it.

It’s an art heist caper done in the style of old-timey art heist capers (think Peter Sellers, though I’m not saying they’re similar quality), with switcheroos on top of switcheroos, witty repartee, double entendres and a running gag (pun intended) about Johnny’s mustache that gets funnier and funnier.

Ewan is sadly underused (but I always think that) because this is Johnny’s movie. I’m not an unconditional Johnny fan, but he is at his best when he’s not trying to be taken seriously (Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood).  And his Charlie Mortdecai seems like a perfect runner-up for Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year.

However I must take exception to this poster. In place of Olivia Munn should be Paul Bettany, who plays Mortdecai’s capable but subtly exasperated manservant/bodyguard.  He almost stole the entire movie.

Without doubt I’ll be buying this, if only because a lot of dialogue goes by very, very quickly, and I feel the poorer for having missed it.

4 out of 5 Counterfeit Goyas

Coming soon: Hopefully more boob updates!

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2 thoughts on “For My Moviegoing Public

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