Toilet humour. It’s been with us long before Thomas Crapper perfected the modern ballcock flushing mechanism in the late 19th century (in fact, according to Wikipedia, the flushing toilet was invented by John Harrington, way back in 1596). In fact, the commode itself has evolved far more than the brand of comedy named after it.
But then, there’s The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle. Seattle writer-director David Russo opens his big screen debut with a gorgeous, delicately rendered message-in-a-bottle title sequence that has “art film” written all over it. But once the bottle is retrieved and opened by Dory, Dizzle’s wide-eyed, innocent protagonist (Marshall Allman), its uninspiring, expletive-laden message sets the tone for the remainder of the film.
Dory is subsequently fired from his high-tech, high salaried white-collar job. He embarks on a haphazard religious quest when he finds work with Spiffy Jiffy Janitorial Services, a four-musketeer misfit outfit comprised of cross-dressing Weird William (Richard Lefebvre) crack-addled carnal lovebirds Ethyl and Methyl (Tania Raymonde and Tygh Runyan) and trash-can philosopher-piss artist, OC (Vince Vieluf). OC, in particular, explains the movie by way of explaining his own artwork: “Yes, there’s toilet humour. But there’s also toilet sadness, toilet triumph, toilet a lot of things, because I’m a janitor, and this is my world.”
One of Spiffy Jiffy’s clients is Corsica, a cutting edge, product research company; one of the job’s few perks, we soon find out, is the seemingly endless supply of “test cookies” found in their cafeteria trashcan. These cookies are chemically engineered to produce heat when eaten, simulating a home-baked, oven-fresh experience. They’re also hallucinogenic, highly addictive and not without unpleasant side-effects, including nausea, gas, bloating, mood swings and extreme salt cravings — all exclusive to the males (and only the males) who consume them. By the time we find out that the Spiffy Jiffy workers are unwitting guinea pigs — and the aforementioned side-effects are more than just gastro-intestinal discomfort — things start to get weird. But by this time, we’ve bought into the characters; we’re ready to follow them to the bitter-sweet end and through the miracle of modern science that ensues (as predicted in the film’s title).
Russo has assembled a remarkable cast, likely more familiar to TV viewers than art film connoisseurs. Together, they do a great job of sustaining the energy and humour (toilet and table top) throughout Dizzle’s chaotic plot twists and spirals. He also employs a litany of modern special effects and animation techniques that, for the most part, work well with the cast and content, generating momentum rather than creating distractions. Obvious commentary on our consumer-centric, throwaway culture aside, the film manages to draw you in with its flow until you’re caught up in its virtual vortex and on your way down the proverbial pipe to the far-from-foregone conclusion,
The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle transcends its ew-inspiring premise to flush out an end product that is urinal cake fresh, utterly unique, genuinely funny and ultimately, dare we say, uplifting. It’s also immensely likable, moderately profound and definitely worth catching the first time around. Or, in other words, something to think about while you’re sitting on your Harrington, contemplating life.