"Grandly absurd" is an apt description of the trip that is "The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle," from title to ideas to scope, despite being a tiny Seattle indie. So it's all the more disappointing that this Mr. Hallucinogenic Toad's Wild Ride ultimately goes nowhere.
Dory ( Marshall Allman) is a spiritually searching Everyman in the intersection of the secret worlds of janitors and product testing. His punk-tinged nighttime cleanup crew winds up as unwitting guinea pigs for high-tech cookies using a new chemical compound. There may be side effects — possibly world-changing ones.
Against a fair amount of toilet humor (and "toilet tragedy," one character points out), the unconventional comedy dips its toes into various spiritualities, conspiracy theories and modern art.
There are moments of cinematic wit (director David Russo has made award-winning animated shorts), such as the clever use of black bars during a sex scene and the briefest of visual effects to emphasize a character's description of a figure from Greek mythology. The dialogue balances awkward philosophizing and anti-corporate ranting with nuggets such as "Do not insult the cookies, thank you" and "We don't stand a chance against product research." The cast is game and there are even a couple of weirdly touching moments.
The rough-edged film gets major points for originality. But its ending utterly flames out, as if the filmmakers suddenly found they had nowhere to land, so hit the self-destruct button.
"The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle." MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes. Playing at Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood.