Tulpa: Demon of Desire (2012) Poster

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Poor 'neo giallo' attempt
Leofwine_draca9 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
An Italian attempt to emulate the classic gialli of yesteryear, or a 'neo giallo' if you like. I didn't care much for this cheap-looking production at all. It follows a businesswoman who's also a member of a secret swingers club. When people she has sex with start getting bumped off by a mysterious killer, well...nothing much happens. It's certainly an explicit tale with lots of sex, nudity and graphic kill scenes, but the latter have a mean and vindictive feel that made me depressed. The whole thing looks like a cheapo indie and is far too dark to boot, particularly at the climax.
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Welcome to the comedy club
kosmasp15 October 2012
If I were to judge the movie and rate it for quality, then one "star"/point out of ten would have been too much. Dialog, acting (if you can call it that), script in general, almost nothing seems to work. If you see it as a horror movie that is. So in keeping in tradition with the latest "Giallo" (not only the movie, but also) by Argento, it stays true to the master by being as ridiculous as possible.

Don't get me wrong there are good actors in this and it was produced by the wonderful Marcia Grazia Cuccinota, but those ingredients do not work. Which made me feel a bit bad for the filmmakers and the producers at the Frightfest screening were I watched this. Because most people were laughing and obviously the producers were stunned in a negative way about that development. Something that was one of the things people talked about after the screening.

So sit back, relax and prepare yourself for one of the most hilarious comedies you've seen in 2012. Even I had to surrender to the sheer weight of nonsense and couldn't resist laughing. Better than crying, I tell ya
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This is what modern giallo should be
BandSAboutMovies20 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I've often bemoaned the death of the giallo as much as I've worried about its return over the last few years. So many movies are influenced by it to the point of slavish devotion that keeps them from becoming their own unique films. Or even worse, they are more inspired by American films like Basic Instinct and look boring and lifeless when they should be neon-hued punches to the face.

I'm pleased to report that Tulpa is the movie that I've been looking for.

Lisa Boeri (Claudia Gerini) is obsessed with her career, but in the evening, she visits the club Tulpa to unleash her darkest fantasies. The club, led by a Tibetian guru - well, that's a first - allows her to indulge in all manner of aardvarking potential, but then her lovers start getting killed the day after she makes love to them.

Once those murders start uniting her day and evening hours, she decides to track down the masked killer on her own.

Tulpa was written by Giacomo Gensini and director Federico Zampaglione, who also made the film Shadow together, along with Dardano Sacchetti, the Italian writer who wrote, well, just about any genre film worth a damn out. I'll give you three, but he has a huge list of credits: The Beyond, Shock and The Cat o'Nine Tails. So yes, this is a movie with an eye toward the past and the future, as well as an ear. That's because the soundtrack, by Zampaglione and Andrea Moscianesca, sounds like Goblin.

I had a blast with this film and it felt like a real discovery. And that's why I spend so much time writing about movies, in the hopes that I can help you do the same.
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great Giallo
trashgang24 November 2014
A Giallo in it's purest form. I came across a lot of advertising for this flick and finally found it at a convention and I don't regret it picking it up. The way it was shot and the score used is typical giallo and the black clothed killer with his hidden face and gloves makes it all perfect.

The story is rather simple but that doesn't affect the flick itself because it contains some nasty killings with extremely good effects and even gory and nasty shots. And naturally it also contains a lot of nudity, never full frontal.

if you are into giallo's and are afraid to pick one up after the disastrous Giallo (2009) of the master himself, Dario Argento don't doubt it if you come across this one. Worth seeing.

Gore 2/5 Nudity 2/5 Effects 3,5/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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Pretty vicious and bloody Italian neo-giallo.
HumanoidOfFlesh14 February 2015
Claudia Gerini plays Lisa Boeri,a successful business woman who is also a member of an exclusive club in which people are having sex with multiple partners in order to reach a higher level of consciousness.But people with whom Lisa had sexual encounters begin to die viciously murdered by a killer dressed in black.It's up for Lisa to track the killer down.Federico Zampaglione's "Tulpa - Perdizioni Mortali" is a pretty vicious and bloody Italian neo-giallo scripted by Dardano Sacchetti.The film has some obvious references to Dario Argento's "Tenebre" or "Inferno" and Sergio Martino's early 70's gialli.The killings are stylish and brutal and there is plenty of sex and nudity.Unfortunately there are some dull scenes and the dialogue is horrible at times.7 hungry rats out of 10.
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A bigger budget and cleverer writing could've made this great
r96sk31 October 2020
Some great cinematography early on, the score is consistently nice and the creative/gory deaths are enjoyable to watch. Sadly, that's about it.

The acting in 'Tulpa - Demon of Desire' isn't the best, though I don't actually blame the cast - rather the filmmakers, who chose to shoot the majority of the film in English, despite having a mostly - if not entirely - Italian cast. The language choice makes it feel clunky and cheap.

I liked watching Claudia Gerini in the lead role, she does a solid enough job. There aren't any others I'd pick out, though. There are a few that play a big part, one in particular with the twist at the end - which is poorly executed. I do, meanwhile, give the film credit for how it mixes the sexual stuff into the story.

A bigger budget and cleverer writing could've made this great, instead it's a disappointment in my opinion.
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jmerlino15 October 2020
The biggest problem with movies like this and Eyes Wide Shut, that revolve around a sooper-seekret sex club is that sex clubs don't generally operate in secret. They tend to be right out in the open. Just for kicks, I googled "swingers clubs rome italy" and got dozens of results.

That said, I enjoyed this movie. It really felt like it could have been made in 1972. Not that it's a period piece or anything, but the style, the pacing, the music, and the whole general vibe of the film felt very retro.
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Too much graphic violence.
pauldeadman4 June 2020
The film has a good plot but the nasty violence is unnecessary. Less violence and more graphic sex would boost the ratings.
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Italian erotic thriller with American morals
djangozelf22 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
One of the first scene of the movie really ruined it for me, because here you see the basic rules of the movie by avoiding nudity and after that hitting you in the head with useless violence.

It just did not make sense to me and as the movie progressed it was a repeating this formula over and over. The nudity I did see was more personal and even that felt a little awkward with weird close ups and out of focus shots.

Because of the subject matter and the way to walk around it the whole thing became kind of silly.

I usually like Italian actresses but these seem to be chosen to look like Hollywood bimbos where double d is mandatory.

Did not watch it until the end cause if you've seen more than half of the movie and it don't convince you the whole thing is tainted.

I always liked Italian cult for not being so uptight but this one is to uptight even for American standards.

Could have been a cult classic.
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London FRIGHTFEST 2012 SCREENING: TULPA '..playful and painful in equal measure'
markgordonpalmer29 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
TULPA (2012)

No giallo, or few, have ever really featured stunning dialogue and wonderful scripts.

This was no exception.

But the scenes in the s&m club, the odd occult barman, doorman (or door hermaphrodite) and general sense of unease were rewarding. Set in the world of big corporate business, someone is bumping off the boardroom at unnerving frequency. The manner of the deaths of the sharp-suited girls and boys, is dreadful - strung up on a merry-go ride with barbed wire hanging at the edges or locked in a box cut and bruised with a few hungry rats to gnaw away the hours with (in a lovely touch, the unseen man in the box is forgotten about until the end credits, when we go back to him as if we have just remembered there's someone left to save).

The film has a witty edge that could be mistaken for being entirely serious - hence some laughs in the audience at FrightFest. Giallo, as a genre, is often at its best when playful and painful in equal measure. This film clearly riffs on classic Italian horror director Dario Argento's work. Interestingly, Argento himself at the start of the festival in an onstage Q&A mentioned that many directors copy his style, sometimes good (as in Black Swan), sometimes really bad. Tulpa I think does reference classic Italian giallo with reverence and good effect, although few crime films are ever much good set in a corporate environment. When Tulpa breaks free from this environment, there's a lot more fun to be had, especially in the warren-like red light-bathed sex club or just escaping up trees in the Italian countryside in the dark.

I liked the way the killer grew more and more unhinged like their world was crumbling, about to be found out. I never would have guessed who the killer was. But then, I was having too much fun with the killer's nice (if a little weird) side to suspect.

Giallos have featured the occult before, but this one was still a refreshing homage to Hitchcock and Argento and everyone else inbetween -and the cheer when you know who (the odd chap) saved you know who (the pretty one) from you know who (the killer) - wow! That strange bloke needs his own show..

mark gordon palmer
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Opera meets Eyes Wide Shut
dekalog66630 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Not since Dario Argento's "Opera" have I had so much fun in the cinema. TULPA in the tradition of the aforementioned giallo classic's continues the black gloved killer franchise in a way that their creator has failed to equal since. Enter Federico Zampaglione, cat-like femme fatale Claudio Gerini and future horror icon Nuot Arquint in a trippy and highly erotic sex and death adventure, accompanied by moody neo-noir cinematography and a score that rivals Simonetti and the Goblins at their very best. Clunky plot points and expositional dialogue aside, TULPA is a must see for any horror fan worth their weight in salt. 8 stars....
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For your information: one of the worst films of all time
davidwright267325 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Take a video camera, any will do, new or old, it doesn't matter. Then assemble a group of strangers, give them no plot or script to work from and film them. Whatever the outcome of this endeavor the chances are you will surpass Tulpa in style, complexity and your actor's performances.

Tulpa is without doubt one of the worst films ever. Acting so wooden it makes Haydn Christensen's turn as Anakin Skywalker look as complex and multi-faceted as Al Pacino's in the Godfather Part II. A script so bad that it contains the line, "For your information I work in IT", although the delivery and context of this made it one of the funniest scenes committed to film this year.

The first post credits scene of a business meeting written via what must have been a copy of meeting buzz words for idiots is hilarious, with the head of the company, who is the sleazy love child of Silvio Berlusconi and Alan Sugar, telling his management team that one of them must go.

The sex club run by the weirdo in white gloves does more for promoting abstinence than anything right wing Christians can cook up with him constantly imploring our heroine to "Release her Tulpa".

I have wasted hours of my life watching this so you don't have to. Heed my warning and keep your Tulpa where it is!
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Not so bad tribute to 70's giallo
Gallstoner19 July 2014
I finally got time to watch this movie. I ordered a German special edition blu-ray a way back but was too busy to see it until now. A negative feedback that this movie got from various sources seemed to affect my mood for watching it a little bit too much which really was a shame.

The movie itself was a little bit of a mixed bag. First 1/3 was actually quite good in terms of story and killings. In fact the actual murders were quite innovative throughout the movie. I got flashbacks from various Argento and Fulci movies throughout the film with both the style and methodology aspects included.

After a one third to first half of the film the direction and the script seemed to fall apart a little bit. The naive Argento inspired escape from the club was fascinating and boring at the same time and the plot seemed to degenerate after the movie went along. However: The latter part of the movie got me flashbacks from Argentos Tenebrae so it basically went from tribute to tribute within the movie in decades (I loved Tenebrae btw).

I really appreciate the directors effort to tribute some earlier giallo directors and movies. In my opinion some reviewers have focused too much bashing the protagonist skill of English using it to take the movie down (It really didn't mind me very much).

If you like horror and giallo in general this is a movie worth watching. IMDb users seem to be harsh with horror in particular so don't let the overall score fool you.

BTW: The "blue/red pill joke" at the end made me grin :)
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Sitges 2012
jackierouge17 October 2012
I saw it at Sitges this year and i was impressed by the quality of this crazy and bloody Italian flick. Zampaglione clearly knows his stuff and with this new film he shows all his love for the genre. . Tulpa visually looks fantastic,and it's a well performed addition to Italian cinema, most importantly it does what it intends to do, it remains faithful to the Giallo mentality, and breathes life back into a dead area of the horror/thriller genres.

Zampaglione even goes as far to bring back the traditional Giallo killer, a dark shadowy figure, with face covered, black hat, and those leather gloves . There are also some incredible and elaborated murders you will never forget. Giallo fans will love this one.
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the resurrection of giallo
alain-stas-974-17041513 April 2014
For a movie which elevates itself to the level of Profondo rosso or Tenebre, I'm very surprised of the overall note of Tulpa here on IMDb. Federico Zampaglione looks to me like the glorious successor of Dario Argento in that very specific genre, he even surpasses the master somehow, succeeding to produce some of the most stylistic murders of the years 2000. And cherry on the cake : the musical score has the same effects than a hallucinogenic mushroom, providing some of the most obsessive themes ever created since Goblin's Profondo Rosso. The principal actress is to die for and she really delivers the goods in the exchange club. Tulpa is essential for the Giallo aficionados and I strongly recommend it.
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Giallo and nero
Gian115027 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Someone here said that this movie was one of the worst films of all time. Well, I don't thing it's really the worst, although for sure there is a lot of crap in Italian cinema, I mean in every genre: I thing it is very difficult to decide which is the worst. It's a fight to the death, there at the bottom! In my opinion, Tulpa is quite good in creating some "giallo" atmosphere, even if the narration shows plot holes. But what's important is the feeling that audience gets. The actors act very bad in real life situation (it seems they are reading their lines, not acting), but are better in the horror/giallo one, probably because of the script, absolutely trite, boring, not plausible and trivial in the office part. The director follows the footsteps of Dario Argento in a very specific genre and quite succeeds. The musical score is good, too.

The main character Claudia Gerini is an extremely beautiful woman, even in her 40s and after 2 sons - just (a little) extra weight on her hips, to be honest. But she cannot resist; has to be naked, at all costs, even if many people do appreciate her even totally dressed. You know, the call of the wild for nowadays actresses: breasts are displayed like you show a new haircut. The (very, very) weird thing – for me - is that she was directed by her real partner in life (they have a child), the (good) musician/director Zampaglione. Putting your (wonderful) wife naked, in an orgy scene! It is simulated, obviously (BTW, the scene is not vulgar and well filmed), but her body is touched by other people, kissed by another woman (maybe friend?) or another man (maybe unknown). Can you imagine? I cannot. I'm very open minded, but I find this very awkward. Perhaps I'm too old.
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