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Saturday, July 19, 2014

PRODUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT: DEATH BED... The Play?

Recently we reviewed the movie Death Bed as released by Cult Epics. This long unseen gem is a bit of funny, a bit of creepy and a complete trip. I'm glad to have enjoyed it, and I highly recommend cult horror fans of the 70's pick it up. It has come to light that a new production, a play, of Death Bed is in the works. While complete details are as of yet unavailable, we are want to get as much info out as we can to help support this release. We will make sure to get dates etc up when available.

From the production:

"Death Bed has had an unusual journey: made in 1973 and not officially released until 2004, it has taken on a legendary status as a terrible movie from the pirated version that was available in Europe through most of the 1980s. Bob Mondello of NPR picked it as his Number 1 Worst Movie Ever Made – beating out Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space for the top spot on that list. But perhaps it is comedian Patton Oswalt who has done the most to promote Death Bed. On his “Werewolves and Lollipops” album he showcases the horror that is this movie with no plot. Yet someone actually put money into it, whereas he, Oswalt, a legitimate artist can’t get his movies made. Where is the justice?" ... "Oswalt’s material can be viewed as well:www.youtube.com/watch?v=01l1WIC9mBo."" 

Here's a look at the production team:


From Gwenyfar for the Production team:

"I got involved with the adaptation of Death Bed because of my relationship with Jock Brandis, a longtime movie Gaffer who moved from Canada to Wilmington, NC with Dino De Laurentiis in the early 1980s. Jock is the guy who built the actual Bed in Death Bed (the one that Oswalt slams so shamelessly). There were many hurdles to be cleared when adapting Death Bed to the stage. For example, the film completely lacks a plot arc and characterization. In addition, the monster (i.e. The Bed) is not scary at all. After seeing Jaws, you wouldn’t go to the beach for a week, but no one has ever been scared to take a nap after watching Death Bed. However, the story of the making of the film is fascinating: lots of crazy anecdotes about Jock getting thrown out of a whore house while trying to borrow a Gideon Bible, smuggling a human skeleton across an international border and the trials of trying to get The Bed “to eat”. Consequently, Act I of the play is the making of the film, and Act 2 is the straight stage adaptation of the worst movie ever made, complete with the seven minute long scene of Dianne being dragged across the floor by The Bed’s curtains."

Until then enjoy the release notes below featuring a history of the Death Bed release from the production. Also as a special treat see the "Build Your Own Death Bed" cut and assemble project. From the production: "we have included some fun stuff: a “Build Your Own Death Bed” like the cut and assemble castles from when we were little. Just print it cut and tape together. The Death Bed experience is essentially ridiculous and funny, so we wanted to share that sense of whimsy with you."


From the production on this history of Death Bed:

The Legend of Death Bed

Ed Wood Meets Christopher Guest

In 1973 George Barry made his only feature length film, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Shot at the end of his college career with a motley crew of some students, a few friends and a couple of film professionals, it has achieved cult status as the worst movie never seen. Because Barry couldn’t get a distribution deal, or so he thought.

By 1977 Barry and Ron Medico, the film’s editor, had cut together enough of the film to start looking for a distributor. No one would bite. With the rise of home video, Barry pursued the possibility of a straight to video release. One of the video distribution houses he sent the print to declined an offer, but unbeknownst to him, copied the print and released it on video in the UK. While the answer print languished in Barry’s attic, the video release in the UK went on to become much appreciated as a classic of the 70’s horror genre. Sometime in the 90’s a bad Spanish language dub was made. It was so laughable that it soon became the Rocky Horror of Spain: people would show up in costume for mid-night screenings and talk back to the screen. But Barry still knew none of this.

By accident, trolling the internet late one night in 2001, he stumbled upon a thread in a film forum. He was shocked to discover that the movie languishing in his attic had been pirated and was an underground hit in Europe! As a result of this discovery, Barry was finally able to secure the first official release of the film: a DVD of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats in 2004 . In 2014 it came out on Blue-Ray, so people can now enjoy it in high-def.

The making of “Legend of Death Bed” owes a great debt to comedian Patton Oswalt. He is personally responsible for introducing legions of fans to Death Bed. On his stand up album “Werewolves and Lollipops” he has a bit about how tough it is to get movies made – but it is just crushing for him that someone put money into something as terrible as Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, yet he can’t get his movies made. Oswalt’s plea touches the heart of creative people everywhere, but for playwright Gwenyfar, it was particularly personal. Oswalt goes on at great length about the guy who built The Bed: the sacrifices he must have made for this vision, missing out on spending time with his son, who grows up to resent him. “….and his dad’s going ‘you know what? He’ll finally understand when he sees Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People.” When Gwenyfar heard that routine she turned to Jock Brandis, the film’s gaffer, Bed builder, and cast member. “Oh my god sweetheart! He’s talking about you and Darwin!” Jock, who has always had a good sense of humor about himself, just laughed and laughed. His son Darwin had been the one to play Oswalt’s take on Death Bed for Jock.

But a bigger surprise awaited Brandis: after the DVD release of Death Bed, almost 40 years after principal photography wrapped, Barry sent a check for Brandis’ work on the film. In late 2013 Gwenyfar found herself engaged in a conversation with Steve Vernon, Artistic Director for Big Dawg Productions about an upcoming Halloween Horror Play Festival and the possibility of adapting Death Bed to the stage. “Well, at least we know the guy who can build The Bed!” she agreed. Vernon and Gwenyfar worked on a structure for the show, decide ding that the stories form the making of the movie were fascinating, and essential to fleshing out the plot arc. In addition to the “Live now in 3D!” version on stage will be the story of the Detroit whore house and the Gideon Bible, how three Canadians smuggled a human skeleton across an international boarder and the guidelines for building a Bed That Eats: first buy all the Mr. Bubble available in the greater Detroit area.

George Barry’s Death Bed will come to life at Big Dawg’s Cape Fear Playhouse in October 2014 for the Halloween Horror Festival. Verrnon will direct and Brandis is helping to recreate The Bed. The full cast will be announced in August

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