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Red-band, NSFW trailer: New giallo film “TULPA”

The man who brought new attention to the Italian horror scene with SHADOW has the modern giallo TULPA ready to his theaters this year, and distributor Jinga Films’ extreme, NSFW trailer has hit the web.

Directed by Federico Zampaglione from a script he wrote with Giacomo Gensini, based on a story by veteran Italo-horror scribe Dardano Sacchetti, TULPA stars Claudia Gerini as Lisa, a businesswoman who leads a secret night life of sexual exploration and experimentation, centered on the titular nightclub. When her lovers start getting brutally killed, she undertakes her own investigation to avoid exposing her carnal activities. Michele Placido and Nuit Arquint (SHADOW’s memorable villaing Mortis) co-star; Leonardo Cruciano created the makeup FX, and actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta (whose credits range from THE DAY OF THE BEAST to THE RITE) was one of the producers.

TULPA, which we first reported on here, screened last year at London’s FrightFest in not-quite-completed form. “We knew what worked in the genre,” Zampaglione says, “but we were also aware of its shortcomings, and that is why we test-screened a rough cut of the film to an audience at Frightfest. We shot the film in English, so we needed to gauge the response of an English-speaking audience, and as a result of that screening we took the film back to the editing room and cut out 20 minutes.”

Explaining the movie’s title, which has it origins in Buddhism, the director says, “A tulpa is a manifestation of mental energy. It’s an entity that attains reality solely by the act of imagination. It’s supposed to help you, but sometimes things go wrong and it can become very sinister.”

Cucinotta and her Italian Dreams Factory partners Giovanni Emidi and Silvia Natili decided to produce TULPA after viewing a 10-minute prologue Zampaglione had shot to attract financing. “It was Federico’s enthusiasm for horror and the opportunity to bring back one of Italy’s beloved genres that convinced us to go ahead,” Cucinotta says. “For a long time now, Italy has been waiting for the heir to Dario Argento, and Federico certainly has all the qualities to achieve that lofty role.”

Stay tuned for more details of the film’s release, and for Fango #322, on sale in March, which will contain a feature on Zampaglione and TULPA.

About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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