Trash Can Be A Buggy Treasure
Bruce Von Stiers
Sometimes someone's trash is meant to be left alone. Sometimes an item is thrown away for a very good reason. And sometimes, when you pick up someone else's trash, there are dire consequences. Such is the foundation for a comedy called Bite!
Danny Arroyo is the person behind this comedy. He wrote it, directed it, produced it and acted in it. The premise is loosely based on a real situation in Danny's life.
Bite! was originally put out as a web series. Arroyo also put the episodes together for a short. The run-time for the short is not quite nineteen minutes.
Bite! opens as we see someone beating on a bean bag chair and then throwing it out into the alley. Up drives Remy (Arroyo), who picks up the bean bag chair and takes it home. So far so good. But when getting it home, Remy's girlfriend Avalon (Juliana Betancourth), is not happy with him. Still things aren't that bad.
Then, that night, when Avalon and Remy are asleep, something creepy happens. Human sized bugs start getting out of the bean bag chair. They have the appearance of a laid back army, in camo pants and t-shirts, with a lead bug smoking a corncob pipe imitating General McArthur. He tells his fellow bugs that they have new territory to explore.
The next morning Remy and Avalon wake up with bug bites all over their bodies. They soon discover that the bean bag chair came with the gift of bed bugs. They try various solutions to get rid of the bugs, including hiring some gonzo exterminator.
Anyone who has battled with bugs where they live can relate to the situation presented in the film. I know at my house I've had to deal with cockroaches, ants and mice. And we keep a very clean house. Sometimes those pesky bugs come in when we least expect them. And, depending on the bug and the severity of the infestation, they may be nearly impossible to get rid of. That's kind of what Remy is up against trying to get rid of the bed bugs and get back into Avalon's good graces.
The interpretation of bed bugs as human sized bed bugs is pretty funny. I already mentioned the General bug. There are also bugs that eat everything in sight and others that play pranks on the unsuspecting humans. And then there's my favorite; a bed bug dude who like to look at girlie magazines.
The film has a bit of a surprise ending. But only a bit. I was expecting a twist and Arroyo provided one.
Arroyo payed homage to several classic films with Bite! One scene relates to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The exterminator scene is reminiscent of the Clint Eastwood classic, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. A scene from Lawrence of Arabia inspired Arroyo to write a scene that features Avalon. And there is a montage of dying bed bugs that Arroyo says was inspired by Bugs Bunny cartoon montages.
Arroyo has been in several films and appeared on numerous television series. He attended the LA Film school, receiving a bachelor's degree in directing, writing and film production. Bite! was his college thesis. Originally from Colombia, Betancourth has acted in several international films. Besides playing the McArthur bed bug, Teddy Lane. Jr. has been seen in Castle, Training Day and Wisdom of the Crowd. The other members of the cast have varying acting, directing and producing credits. Those cast members include Genesse Campos, Myke Michaels, Sierra Heuermann and Mary Cameron Rogers. Caliber can be seen in the opening title sequence of Supergirl. Michaels was a key makeup artist in Guardians of the Galaxy, Stranger Things and several other films. Heuermann actually sung the two songs( Jeff and I'm Doing Just Fine) for the scenes she was in.
At the time I started writing this review, Bite! had been submitted for consideration in three different Emmy categories. These are Best Short Form for Comedy or Drama for the film, Outstanding Actor in Short Form Comedy or Drama for Arroyo and Outstanding Actress in Short Form Comedy or Drama for Betancourth. When the nomination process had been completed, Bite! didn't get picked for any of the categories Arroyo submitted it too. He does, however, plan to begin submitting Bite! to various film festivals.
Bite! is both funny and totally relatable. Arroyo took a difficult situation that happened to him and made an excellent comedy.
Bite! can be viewed as a web series on Arroyo's web site. You will find his site at http://dannyarroyo.com/
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© 2018 Bruce E Von Stiers