David Russo’s “The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle” is a sight to behold. Equal parts fever dream, vision quest, and navel gaze, Russo aims high, and though he doesn’t quite hit his mark, he does manage to create a singular film that is definitely worth a look.
“Little Dizzle” follows Dory (Marshall Allman) as he attempts to find meaning in his life while earning a steady paycheck as a night janitor in a corporate highrise. As Dory becomes acclimated to his new position, he bonds with his fellow janitors, particularly O.C. (well-played by Vince Vieluf), who becomes something of a father-figure to the younger Dory. To keep things interesting, the janitors pick through the garbage left in the building earlier in the day, which leads to complications when one of the building occupants takes on a contract to market-test cookies of dubious origin. It’s also when the movie really comes into its own.
As the janitors consume more and more of the chemically laced goodies, strange things start to happen to the male characters, including hallucinations (where Russo’s beautiful animations really shine) and, eventually, anal births of little blue fish. Yes, you read that correctly.
Okay, so this movie is not for everyone.
But for those viewers that are ready for something a little different (perhaps a lot different, depending on your baseline), this film is a genuine discovery. The narrative sags at times (mostly to allow for animated excursions) and some of the acting is lackluster, but these things are to be expected in the skin-of-your-teeth world of independent filmmaking.
What’s unexpected, however, is how much this movie grows on you. I’m writing this review a good two weeks after I saw the film and I just added another half star to my review as I was typing this. Also, special kudos to Matt Smith as the head of the market testing firm; rarely has corporate malfeasance been so funny.