The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta (also known as The Miracle of Life) is not what you might expect. Sure, it has all the hallmarks of a Troma flick (they released it) but instead tells a moving & gritty story of love & acceptance.
Female body-builder, Marianne (played by man Pascal Maetens) gives birth to a living placenta that she calls Luke. Marianne raises Luke with the advice of priest godfather Julio (Karel Vingerhoets) & attempts to give him a normal life. Problems begin to arise though when Luke hits his teenage years, starts becoming interested in the opposite sex & runs afoul of bullies at school.
Life is hard for the teenage placenta; his Christian beliefs are tested & his love for his mother makes him want to be everything he can be so she will be proud of him. Unfortunately, there is only so much even Luke can take.
A cinematic oddity, The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta is a gritty & grimy film that makes you want to take a shower after watching. The style of filming, the locations, the characters…all very sleazy and all very captivating.
The story is well told even if it’s not overly original, the ‘outsider’ who just wants to be normal, we’ve seen it a lot over the decades. The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta tells it in an interesting way though with a constant dark & dour tone.
It has plenty of silly moments, absurd looking visuals & tongue in cheek humour. However, often these just build towards a scene or sequence that leaves you feeling pretty down. This is not a feel-good movie at all, confirmed by the ending.
The most captivating thing though is Luke. Thanks to his soft voice & unwillingness to give up. Visually though, he’s pretty rough looking. The effects are poor, really poor especially when held up against a similar looking character, Belial from Basket Case. Luke is a rubbery looking blob who just sits there most of the time.
This is the kind of film you will either love or hate. On the one hand it’s sour tone & sleazy feel is off-putting but on the other it really tries to do something unique.
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The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta