Lisa's way of relieving herself from a long, stressful day at work is to visit the secret sex club Tulpa. In Tulpa she can have passionate, mysterious sex with strangers and walk away without a connection to ruin her everyday life. That's until the people she has been enjoying herself with end up being murdered by a crazy serial killer.
After the not-terrible/not-great horror movie "Shadow", it's interesting to see what Federico Zampaglione's next step in movies would be. A potential filmmaker was seen, but had yet to prove himself. Now with "Tulpa", he does something Italy is very known for - giallo. There's certainly a trend of re-animating this subgenre now, and much of that is the desperation of making and finding movies that simply manage to be as great as the classics. I'm not a giallo aficionado, sure, but even I can understand why they'd want to give it another stab. Is Federico Zampaglione's "Tulpa" the movie that the yellowheads have been yearning for?
Lisa, a business woman, is about to go crazy over the problems at work - which might risk her position. The only way for her to manage through the day is knowing that when night comes, she'll be at Tulpa. A secret sex club for members only with Tibetan spiritualism being the theme - the meaning of the word "tulpa" specifically. Essentially, to reach something larger-than-life, a mental enlightenment I guess. Lisa can experience all the fantasies she has and leave only with no assocation to Tulpa and the acts that occur. But Lisa has to go deeper into the club and the people she is intimate with when a crazed killer is stalking and killing the people she has been with in the club.
As someone who was never overly into giallos, I might not be the best person to judge, but it seems to be that most attempts at resurrecting it fails. And "Tulpa", while not being a fantastic movie on its own, does at least manage to bring back some good elements. It has the mystery of the killer and the black gloves (clothes in general), it's very stylistic and visual in both color and cinematography, it's gory and they wait until the ending to reveal anything. So in a sense, it's a good attempt at giallo.
The issues are plenty, as we have some pretty horrid dialogue - executed even worse with forcing English onto actors who shouldn't use it (even though we know they are foreign). The story isn't bad though, it's a horror movie so I'm not going in with high expectations, but we sort of don't care about Lisa's struggle at work - which is what her visits to Tulpa are all about. I appreciate them taking that route though, actually using the sex club as more than a fetish for her.
The gore is often good and plentiful, but a few scenes - such as one involving barbed wire, a roller coaster and a face - are pretty shitty. That scene in particular seems like stretching their creativity so far that it's stupid. If you can let that go, you'll be pleased by the gore and sex that this offers. A lot of nude women in quite steamy scenes, and I can't complain about that. Who can!?
The movie suffers a bit now and then, but I think it was decent. The ending wasn't very good or even that surprising (due to us never fully caring), but overall it was definitely more entertaining than expected. It succeeds with a lot of things that makes a giallo and it's less forced than most recent giallo movies, so it's possible that someone with a bigger interest in the genre will appreciate it even more. I liked it more than "Amer", if that helps. Check it out if you're interested, don't expect a flawless experience, just enjoy what you get and you'll be fine!