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Satan’s Bed (1965)

Something Weird DVD
Directed by Michael Findlay, Marshall Smith, Tamijian

Recently there was a line of menswear that hit New York City, Tokyo, and London. The collection offered everything today’s professional man would want: trousers, shirts, blazers, hoodies. They were “ready-to-wear” pieces that men could feel comfortable wearing to a board meeting or to a bar to watch the playoffs. Highlights from the collection include a blazer with one mesh sleeve, a neon mesh top with cut out shoulders, a bra (for men) with light up nipples, and a padded jockstrap with a light. The light is where you would find the penis. There was also a pair of black slacks with a white hand sewn right over the crotch. The crotch is where you would find the penis. The entire collection was designed by Yoko Ono.

I don’t care that Yoko Ono broke up The Beatles. They were going to break up anyway. It had to happen at some point. I don’t blame Yoko Ono for killing the band, enabling Paul to start fucking Wings and be in Nirvana. Paul was never my favorite Beatle. Nor was John for that matter. Ringo is everyone’s fourth favorite Beatle. I don’t hate Yoko Ono for any influence she had on John, but I hate her for everything else she’s ever done. I can’t decide what I despise the most: her music, her art, her fashion, or the arrogance with which she gives the world her music, art, and fashion. She represents bullshit. Pretention. Tired provocation. Fame without talent. Celebrity culture. Coattail-riding. Noise dressed up as music. Nonsense dressed up as art. One of her works asks people to “Hide until everybody goes home. Hide until everybody forgets about you. Hide until everybody dies.” I will pause here so you can wipe away your tears.

I relish any opportunity to see Yoko Ono suffer on screen. I want to see her writhe in pain and sink into despair. I want to see her get kidnapped and tortured. This would make me happy. But I am not happy because I watched Satan’s Bed. This movie is boring, which further proves that everything Yoko Ono touches is garbage.

Yoko Ono, clad in a kimono, has just arrived in the States. Her fiancé is an American. He’s also a drug dealer. But that’s all behind him now! He explains that he’s straightening out his life. She just nods. Her English isn’t too great. She makes an origami crane because that is what Japanese people do. People call her a “side-eyed Suzie” and “an Eastern delicacy.” I assure you Yoko Ono is no delicacy. She is an acquired taste the way fermented salmon heads are an acquired taste.

Meanwhile, three heroin addicts spy on a woman who’s taking a shower. She sensually puts on her bra and panties. The addicts break in, slap her around, and drag her across the bedroom. They take off the bra and panties she just painstakingly put on. The rape begins, but, hey, the woman’s into it. She grabs fistful of sheets in ecstasy. One of the addicts is a lady, and when it’s finally her turn to rape, the dudes pull her off. But don’t worry, the “victim” is satisfied, a small smile on her lips. This is prime, joyous sleaze. The good stuff. The addicts go on a rape spree, and normally this would make for quality entertainment. But each scene has less and less sleaze and joy until the rapes feel like a formality. If you set out to make a sexploitation film, then by all means, exploit. But you have to dig deep and go farther. You’ve got to one-up yourself and go farther than those that came before you. Instead what we get is Yoko fucking Ono.

Yoko Ono gets kidnapped, but not my force. A dude just leads her to some dirty apartment and she follows quietly because that is what Japanese women do. And, like a good Japanese woman, she cleans up the place. Then she gets raped on a pile of newspapers but it’s not very compelling, so if you want the pleasure of seeing Yoko Ono suffer, look elsewhere. Later, she sets up a tea service for her rapist because that is what Japanese women do, and then gets raped again. But there is no sense of fun, no glee in doing something naughty. It’s not even that dark as far as rapes go. There’s no push to shock or awe, which is surprising since Yoko Ono fancies herself a provocateur. There is no exploitation. Things just happen. And that is the problem with this movie. No one cared about making this movie good, so no one should care about watching it.

Satan’s Bed is two stories rolled into one movie. There are the parts with the rapey addicts and the parts with Yoko Ono, who only says about five words in this entire movie. The stories don’t ever meet, but we are supposed to draw parallels about violence and empowerment or something like that. We are supposed to understand that drugs make you rape ladies. We are supposed to understand that “rape” actually means “sensually rub.” We are supposed to understand that Japanese women make origami and hang out in their kimonos and serve snacks to their rapist. Looking at Yoko Ono’s fashion line is much, much more entertaining than watching this movie. So is looking at her art—my favorite might be the piece where people write their wishes down and tie them to a tree.

My wish did not come true.