Friday, 9 October 2009

DVD review: Stuart Gordon's Deathbed

It kind of annoys me when a producer gets top billing over the film's director. Stuart Gordon, of Re-Animator fame amongst other things, is billed right over the title, when the film was directed by Danny Draven (although Gordon was on set a fair amount).

Credit to Draven, who did a pretty admirable job with this 2002 movie from Full Moon Pictures and Darkwave films. Where so many low budget horror flicks rely solely on nudity and ridiculous gore to keep people watching, 'Deathbed' differs by offering some actual tension in its construction.

Yeah, it's cheap and some of it looks as though it was shot on a mobile phone, but for the most part it is an enjoyable little flick that does something a little different. Fantasies and suppressed memories begin to invade the life of a children's illustrator and her photographer boyfriend after they find an old metal bed in a secret room in their apartment building. The fantasies become ever more violent and unnerving, and finally the madness starts to spill over into the real world.

Yes, there is nudity. Yes, there is gore. However, neither are gratuitous. While the acting and script are well below par, it is Danny Draven's direction that kept me watching. Lord knows it wasn't the performances of the cast.

The best has been made of a stretched budget, and padding is minimal throughout the film's scant 82 minutes running time. That said, the epilogue isn't really needed, and could have been trimmed a bit, if not cut altogether. Far from being a great film, Stuart Gordon's DeathBed is good late-night viewing for the dedicated horror junkie who doesn't mind cheap productions and wants something a little different.

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