Blu-ray Review: Itsy Bitsy

Spiders are scary. I know that there are good spiders in the world, but even the good ones are rather scary with their eight legs ready to pounce. A few weeks ago a rather large garden spider had taken up residence on my front door stoop. At first this was a good arrangement since the spider was capturing the moth and bugs that hung around the front light. But then the web kept getting larger and the spider didn’t seem to care about giving me space. While this spider couldn’t really hurt me, it was creeping me out especially when the egg sack showed up in the web. A bug expert told me that about 500 baby spiders would emerge and hide around the house. Before you think this involves me killing the spider, I did the nice thing and carefully relocated the spider and it’s incoming babies to a tree next to my neighbor’s house. So when the Blu-ray for Itsy Bitsy showed up in the mail, I was ready to be scared by an eight legged horror.

Deep in the jungle a strange ritual is being performed that includes a human sacrifice and a creature that gets trapped inside a piece of crockery. Later on that relic is swiped by treasure hunters. An unfortunate member of the crew gets cut by whatever is inside and his fellow hunters don’t quite get him proper medical attention. Dealing in stolen artifacts seems to be a profession that does not have great health benefits. Eventually Ahkeeba (Eyes Wide Shut‘s Treva Etienne) arrives on the doorstep of antiques collector Walter Clark (X-Men‘s Bruce Davison). A deal is struck that involves a promise of a blood offering and Walter puts the pottery in his collection. At the same time this happens, Kara Spencer (Word Party‘s Elizabeth Robert) arrives with her two kids to help take care of Walter. He’s suffering from multiple sclerosis. Things seem to be going right. She even makes friends with the local Sheriff (Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Denise Crosby). But then the pot breaks and the spidery monster emerges and takes refuge in the attic. At night it creeps downstairs looking for victims. Can the family survive a spider that seems resistant to a can of Raid?

Itsy Bitsy isn’t nearly as campy as the other giant spider movies that have come out over the year. This is a bit more serious in town than Eight Legged Freaks or Arachnophobia. And it deserves a bit more tension simply because the spider at the center of the film is a fearful creation. It’s a masterful monster than will give you the heebies when you notice a spider web in your attic. In case you feel that Deputy Donny looks familiar, he’s Matty Cardarople, one of Count Olaf’s crew in Netflix’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. The child actors are great at showing their fear although it shouldn’t take much for a kid to look afraid of the spider effect. Itsy Bitsy is able reinforce your fear of gifts from the jungle and spiders as the credits roll. Now I’m going to check to make sure my garden spider is happy in the tree and not plotting revenge above my bedroom.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer works well for the amount of dark scenes when we find the nasty spider roaming in the attic. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround. The spider can creep around your living room speakers. There’s also a 2.0 DTS-HD MA Stereo in case you want to keep the spider on the screen. The movie is subtitled in English.

Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Micah Gallo has the director discuss the production and how he was able to adapt the script to the budget. He points out the work of cast and crew. Audio Commentary With Director/Writer Micah Gallo And writers Bryan Dick and Jason Alvino has the writers room look deeper into what was made out of the script they had all contributed to.

The Spider: Beginnings (2:53) goes into how they created the spider character from elements of other spiders. This was a robot spider and not CGI.

Itsy Bitsy: The Journey (2:20) has the crew set up the location house. They talk doing an indie film with such effects.

Denise On Set (3:00) gives us time with Denise Crosby doing her takes. She speaks of her approach to the character. Did you know her grandfather was Bing Crosby?

Kickstarter Mini-Featurettes (4:17) were the update videos including more time with Denise Crosby, the spider creation and the extensive nature of the project.

The Most Spidery Spider (3:07) has Andy Dick Screen Test as the star. It’s like an outtake from The Ben Stiller Show. Andy is over the top while covered in pink spandex and ping pong balls.

Storyboard Gallery (30:44) shows how they envisioned the major scenes before shooting. The key to indie filmmaking with a crew is to let everyone know what you’re doing because time is the only thing you can’t fix in post.

Trailers (3:35) sets up how the spider gets loose.

Scream Factory presents Itsy Bitsy. Directed by Micah Gallo. Screenplay by: Jason Alvino, Bryan Dick & Micah Gallo. Starring: Bruce Davison, Elizabeth Roberts, Denise Crosby, Treva Etienne & Eileen Dietz. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released: September 24, 2019.

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