Frightfest 2012 – Tulpa 3D Review

Tul-pa (from the Tibetan): meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. The concept of a being or object which is created through sheer discipline alone. It is a materialized thought that has taken physical form.

Italian rock star turned director Federico Zampaglione made a splash in 2009 when his first film Shadow played
to a packed audience at London’s Frightfest. Returning some three years later and after teasing the film at Frightfest Glasgow earlier this year, Zampaglione unleashed Tulpa on an eager and willing audience. Word of mouth had built the film up to be one of the must-see films of Saturday, and I for one wasn’t disappointed.

The film tells the story of businesswoman Lisa Boeri: she has a good job, she’s well respected and at the top of her career but she keeps a secret. By night she goes to a seedy club named Tulpa, owned by a guru who teaches her his bizarre esoteric philosophy on finding spiritual and psychological freedom by having anonymous sex with complete strangers.However Lisa finds out her sex club partners are all being murdered in horrible ways one-by-one by a black-gloved killer who seems out to destroy her life. But Lisa can’t talk to the police for fear of revealing her secret and ruining her career, so she has to unmask the anonymous assassin herself…

Taking the tropes of 70s giallo and updating them for a modern audience, Tulpa is an odd, yet fun, mix of the familiar and the new. Adding copious amounts of sex (much more than many of the giallo of the Italian cinema
heyday) and not holding back on the violence, Zampaglione throws in a little supernatural edge in the form of Tibetan mysticism to create a neo-giallo that would make even Dario Argento jealous.

Packed with some of the countries biggest stars, including Claudia Gerini in the lead role, Tulpa
marks the return of the giallo to the forefront of the Italy’s cinematic output. And from the gloved maniac’s first kill to the final reveal Tulpa is both a nostalgic look back at a now much-maligned genre and a bold statement on its future. All writ large on the screen by a director who has an obvious love for the
genre and the talent to see it through.

This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000

Rating: 18
UK Release date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Federico Zampaglione
Cast:: Nuot Arquint, Laurence Belgrave, Michela Cescon, Michele Placido