6.2/10
1,890
49 user 51 critic

The Asphyx (1972)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | February 1973 (USA)
English country squire Sir Hugo Cunningham searches for immortality by literally 'bottling up' the Spirit of the Dead, or Asphyx.

Director:

Peter Newbrook

Writers:

Christina Beers (story), Laurence Beers (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A gang of young people call themselves the Living Dead. They terrorize the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in ... See full summary »

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Ann Michelle
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two young English women go on a cycling tour of the French countryside. When one of them goes missing, the other begins to search for her. But who can she trust?

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Pamela Franklin, Michele Dotrice, Sandor Elès
Symptoms (1974)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young woman is invited by her girlfriend, who lives in an English country mansion, to stay there with her. The estate, however, isn't quite what it seems--and neither is the friend who issued the invitation.

Director: José Ramón Larraz
Stars: Angela Pleasence, Peter Vaughan, Lorna Heilbron
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

Director: Piers Haggard
Stars: Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews
Alucarda (1977)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After the death of her parents, a young girl arrives at a convent and brings a sinister presence with her. Is it her enigmatic imaginary friend, Alucarda, who is to blame? Or is there a satanic force at work?

Director: Juan López Moctezuma
Stars: Claudio Brook, David Silva, Tina Romero
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Eight people have been invited to an island estate for the weekend. One of them is a werewolf. Can you guess which one?

Director: Paul Annett
Stars: Calvin Lockhart, Peter Cushing, Marlene Clark
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young girl who returns to her hometown to see her dying father finds herself being drawn into a web of vampirism and witchcraft.

Director: Richard Blackburn
Stars: Lesley Taplin, Cheryl Smith, William Whitton
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

Directors: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
Stars: Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.

Director: Giorgio Ferroni
Stars: Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss
Raw Meat (1972)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When a government official disappears in the London tunnels, after several reports of missing people in the same location, Scotland Yard start to take the matter seriously, along with a couple who stumble into a victim by accident.

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Norman Rossington, David Ladd
Asylum I (1972)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Barbara Parkins, Richard Todd, Sylvia Syms
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Victorian scientist tests a serum that transforms him into a sensuous murderess.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick, Gerald Sim
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Terry Scully ... Pauper
John Lawrence John Lawrence ... Mason
David Grey David Grey ... Vicar
Tony Caunter Tony Caunter ... Warden
Paul Bacon Paul Bacon ... 1st Member
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Immortality ... what would you sacrifice for it? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Horror of Death See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Glendale Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Super Quadraphonic Sound)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Sir Hugo Cunningham: I obey God's will, my friend, my old friend, my eternal and everlasting friend...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was originally shot in Todd-AO 35, a wide-screen process which is normally viewed at 2.35:1. The 1995 UK video featured a much shorter print and missed around 12 minutes of footage including dialogue scenes, an anti-hanging protest before the execution, and the removal of a scene showing the now-immortalized guinea pig being released from its cage. The 2004 Anchor Bay UK DVD features the same print and is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 ratio and also uses a pan & scan technique, thus cropping much of the print into a false version of wide-screen. The 2010 Odeon DVD features both the shorter and longer original prints in genuine widescreen. See more »

Connections

Featured in Movie Macabre: The Horror of Death See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Classic 70's horror

When The Asphyx was released in 1973, The Exorcist was about to change the landscape of horror forever, moving the genre away from subtlety and into the realm of graphic effects and makeup. That's one of the reasons why The Asphyx was a box-office flop, fondly remembered by a select few who never forgot this quirky little "thinking man's horror film" (as Variety called it), in which a 19th-century British philanthropist and amateur psychic researcher embarks on a fateful quest for immortality. Sir Hugo Cunningham (nicely played by Robert Stephens) has a morbid hobby of taking photographs of dying people, and this leads to his discovery of a nebulous spirit of the dead--known in mythology as the Asphyx--that appears (only visible on photographic plates) at the moment of death. Sir Hugo becomes obsessed with capturing his own Asphyx and thus ensuring that he cannot die, but of course this is an ill-fated ambition that puts Sir Hugo on a ruinous path to destruction and death. With its talky, literate script, well-drawn characters, and fascinating themes, The Asphyx bears closer resemblance to the Hammer horror films that became passé in the early and mid-1970s. The chills are subtle but effective under the direction of Peter Newbrook, and the widescreen cinematography by Freddie Young (whose credits include Lawrence of Arabia) adds polish and elegance to the proceedings. Filled with foreboding atmosphere, this is an intelligently conceived horror film that relies more on story than shocks, although the screeching Asphyx is eerily haunting. Kudos to Allday Entertainment for producing this DVD--The Asphyx has been rescued from obscurity, painstakingly remastered in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio for discerning connoisseurs of high-class horror.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed