English country squire Sir Hugo Cunningham searches for immortality by literally 'bottling up' the Spirit of the Dead, or Asphyx.



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Complete credited cast:
Sir Hugo Cunningham
Giles Cunningham
Christina Cunningham
Alex Scott ...
Sir Edward Barrett
Ralph Arliss ...
Clive Cunningham
Fiona Walker ...
Anna Wheatley
Terry Scully ...
John Lawrence ...
David Grey ...
Tony Caunter ...
Paul Bacon ...
1st Member


Hugo is a brilliant mid-Victorian scientist, loved and respected by his family and friends, admired by his colleagues. But he is a man quickly becoming obsessed with a curious and frightening question... what is the mysterious apparition found in the photographs of his dying subjects? Hugo brings to a family boating party his newest invention-a motion picture camera. The party quickly turns into a disaster as he captures on film the tragic drowning of his wife and son. When the film is replayed later, the same ghostlike presence appears. It flies towards his son, and vanishes inside his dying body. Has Hugo discovered The Asphyx, the spirit of the dead described in Greek mythology? A spirit which lives in constant agony, not finding rest until it takes possession of a human body? Could the spirit, if captured, become the key to immortality? Hugo is compelled to find the answers. It is a ghoulish search, with eternally haunting results. Written by James C. Allen <spgcs@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If It Were In Your Power...Would You Sacrifice Your Wife...Your Children For Immortality? This Is The Story Of A Man Who Did! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Asphyx  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Super Quadraphonic Sound)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The main credits state that the film's soundtrack was recorded using a 4-channel quadraphonic sound system. Sadly, there appears to be no evidence of it ever being exhibited in this manner. See more »


Sir Hugo Cunningham: I obey God's will, my friend, my old friend, my eternal and everlasting friend...
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Featured in Movie Macabre: The Horror of Death See more »

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User Reviews

A "playing God" scenario with a difference. remastered DVD now available.
11 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

The Asphyx, now readily available on DVD, is a Sci-Fi classic. Its long awaited arrival was worth the wait. The moldering Pan-and-Scan version which was a staple of syndicated Chiller-type programming throughout the Seventies and early Eighties has been totally remastered and is presented in its original aspect ratio.

Set in late Victorian rural England. Sir Hugo Cunningham becomes obsessed with the possibility of becoming immortal after discovering the Asphyx, or Spirit of Death, which seeks out the dying and finds release in them, killing them at once. An, at times, melodramatic cast are quickly drawn into Hugo's experiments, to their misfortune, and his. A "playing God" scenario, with a difference.

Beautifully photographed and very original. I hope many of you will re-remember this film and seek it out. It deserves a fresh audience.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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