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The Asphyx
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The Asphyx (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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The Asphyx -- Blending elements of Gothic horror with the more contemporary ingredients of steampunk, THE ASPHYX has emerged from obscurity to become a cult favorite of the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Utilizing an experimental photographic device, a scientist (Robert Stephens) captures what appears to be the image of the Asphyx - the ancient Greek spirit of the dead.


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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
February 1973 (USA) See more »
Immortality ... what would you sacrifice for it? See more »
English country squire Sir Hugo Cunningham searches for immortality by literally 'bottling up' the Spirit of the Dead, or Asphyx. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(9 articles)
Brian Comport obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 14 October 2013, 5:56 AM, PDT)

Digital Fury: DVD Essentials for April
 (From Planet Fury. 11 April 2012, 9:19 AM, PDT)

Exclusive Update on the Asphyx Remake and First Concept Art for The Sorcerers
 (From Dread Central. 31 August 2010, 12:04 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Memorable gothic horror piece about the price of immortality. See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Stephens ... Sir Hugo Cunningham

Robert Powell ... Giles Cunningham

Jane Lapotaire ... Christina Cunningham
Alex Scott ... Sir Edward Barrett
Ralph Arliss ... Clive Cunningham
Fiona Walker ... Anna Wheatley
Terry Scully ... Pauper
John Lawrence ... Mason
David Grey ... Vicar
Tony Caunter ... Warden
Paul Bacon ... 1st Member

Directed by
Peter Newbrook 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Christina Beers  story
Laurence Beers  story
Brian Comport  writer

Produced by
John Brittany .... producer
Maxine Julius .... associate producer
Original Music by
Bill McGuffie 
Cinematography by
Freddie Young 
Film Editing by
Maxine Julius 
Production Design by
John Stoll 
Set Decoration by
Arthur Taksen 
Costume Design by
Evelyn Gibbs 
Makeup Department
Jimmy Evans .... makeup artist
Stephanie Kaye .... hair stylist
Production Management
Ted Sturgis .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roger Simons .... assistant director
Nigel Wooll .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Peter Bond .... sound editor
John Cox .... sound supervisor
Bob Jones .... sound re-recordist
Ken Ritchie .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Ted Samuels .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Holden .... camera operator
Mike Roberts .... focus puller (uncredited)
Other crew
Ron Bareham .... production accountant
Phyllis Crocker .... continuity
Gerald Larn .... titles designer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Horror of Death" - UK (reissue title), USA
See more »
99 min | USA:83 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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...See more »
Movie Connections:


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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Memorable gothic horror piece about the price of immortality., 3 September 2001
Author: gchance ( from Yuba City, CA

I first saw The Asphyx when I was very young. It was on TV, on one of those Creature Feature-type Saturday shows(other movies I saw at this time were The Thing That Couldn't Die, Dinosaurus!, & Angry Red Planet). Goodness, this had to be 1977, maybe 1978. I couldn't have been more than 8 years old.

Being the impressionable young child that I was, watching everything on TV I could get my grubby little eyes on, I was absolutely captivated by this movie! As a result, I remembered its name and plot for many, many years.

Well, later, along came the advent of VHS video, and the advent of my growing up. I would talk about the movie with people here and there, but I never found it on videotape. Nobody but me had ever seen it: I was the lone fan, it would seem.

Finally, when I attended college, I found a video store that actually had it! It was also at this time that I got onto the Internet...around 1993 or so. I had posted earlier to GEnie about Dinosaurus!, a movie I could only describe from one scene, and once identified(along with Angry Red Planet), I rented all three: Dinosaurus!, Angry Red Planet, & The Asphyx.

Angry Red Planet wasn't bad, although it didn't match my kid-memory. We all have it, where your memory of the film is much better than the film itself. Dinosaurus! was even worse. But The Asphyx was somehow... different.

There was a reason I remembered the movie. Its plot was pretty damn good! I sat, riveted, watching a movie so much remembered from my childhood. It surprised me then(and even now) how vivid the memory of most of the scenes was, such as the electrocution, the guillotine, and gas chamber, although somehow I completely forgot the hanging.

Years have passed since then, of course, 8 years, to be exact. I bought a DVD player about 3 years ago (Pioneer DVL700) which also plays laserdiscs, and have checked the release list every time it's been updated. I will admit, these days it's a bit more fast and furious than in the early days of DVD.

About 3 years ago, lo and behold, what did I see? All Day Entertainment was releasing The Asphyx! I almost had a heart-attack! Here was this film I never thought possible that I would actually own, and it was coming on DVD! And letterboxed, no less! I had remembered the squeezing involved during the credits, which had horrible, horrible results, as well as the poor overall P&S job, so this was a dream come true! So I bought it.

I have to tell you, out of all the DVD's I've purchased, it's received quite a bit more attention by the DVD producers than most films of this age and popularity. By the care taken, you would think this were the Star Wars of horror films.

Interestingly enough, as a kid I misunderstood the beginning/end sequences. First-off, I don't remember the beginning sequence, I had thought it was identical to the end. Secondly, I had always thought it ended with the cars almost hitting Hugo, him walking past, and then the cars smashing together. Of course, this is not the case, but it's interesting what a memory can do.

A couple things I noticed in the movie never fail to make me laugh. At the beginning of the movie, when the police arrive and investigate the crash, they find a person standing about 6 inches from a dead body and have to shoo him off! The other thing that makes me laugh is when Hugo's in the electric chair, and Giles is holding the booster. Hugo's daughter comes in screaming and Giles yells at her to come over to him. Without hesitation, he immediately slaps her! It never fails to make me laugh, since she's not *that* hysterical. Anyway...

Once again, I would like to thank All Day Entertainment. 23 years after seeing the film for the first time, and telling everyone I've known for that time about this film, I can finally rest. I can also watch it whenever I like! You should, too. :)

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