6.2/10
1,946
50 user 53 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 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
Girly (1970)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A wealthy, fatherless British clan kidnaps bums and hippies and forces them to participate in an elaborate role-playing game in which they are the perfect family; those who refuse or attempt escape are ritualistically murdered.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Michael Bryant, Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood
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
Frightmare (1974)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After escaping a death sentence for her hideous crimes, a seemingly rehabilitated woman settles in an isolated farmhouse with her husband, only to ache, once more, for blood, and a crash-course in surgery. Is, indeed, her old self back?

Director: Pete Walker
Stars: Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith, Deborah Fairfax
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A timid, withdrawn woman meets a man she believes is finally the love of her life, unaware that he is a vicious serial killer.

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Shane Briant, James Bolam
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
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A serial killer who drains his victims' blood is on the loose in London. The police follow him to a house owned by an eccentric scientist.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
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 | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An anthology of four short horror stories about people who visit Dr. Diabolo's fairground haunted-house attraction show.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a British antique shop and its mysterious owner.

Director: Kevin Connor
Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman who may be a witch defends her husband from forces attempting to harm him.

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair, Margaret Johnston
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:

This circle of light is the difference between life and immortality. 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

A good U.S. version of this film has never been found. Only UK versions that are shorter with great quality. DVD releases of this movie have combined HD footage mastered from the 35mm negative with SD footage mastered from a U.S. release print of inferior quality resulting in significant shifts in image quality. You do get to see the entire extended version of the movie this way. 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

 
An original and intriguing slice of period horror!
7 February 2007 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Avoiding death and what happens when we die have been recurring themes throughout all art forms since the dawning of time. Despite the fact that there are a lot of films that handle similar themes, The Asphyx stands out for it's original and intriguing exaction. The film hasn't gained itself the best reputation in the three decades since its release, and it was apparently ignored upon its introduction to the general public. This isn't surprising - The Asphyx takes elements from supernatural horror and there's a little bit of sci-fi involved, but selling this film couldn't have been easy as there's no way to pigeon hole it. The plot focuses on Hugo Cunningham - a man who discovers that when we die, what's called an 'Asphyx' appears. After conducting a few experiments, Hugo presupposes that if one were to capture this Asphyx, then that person would never be able to die. He then proceeds to test the procedure on himself, and after becoming immortal decides he wants his young assistant and daughter; who want to get married, to become immortal also…

The Asphyx is a British film set in Victorian times, and director Peter Newbrook does an excellent job of producing the period setting. The film was obviously made on a budget, and as such it doesn't exactly compete with some of the bigger budget films set around the same time; but still the director gets the point across. The special effects are a little hokey, but they work really well. The main standout where the effects are concerned are with the 'Asphyx' itself, and personally I'd much rather the effects shown here than the CGI rubbish we have nowadays. The acting is decent, with Robert Stephens being the main standout in the lead role, and receiving good support from Robert Powell. Jane Lapotaire is something of a weak link in my opinion as she's a little flat, but it's not too important. The film has a great premise, but in order for a premise to work, it needs a good plot too and this film certainly has that. The film is not predictable for most of its duration, and the drama between the central characters is always interesting enough to hold the audience's attention. The ending is both haunting and memorable, and overall; it has to be said that The Asphyx is a film that deserves more wide recognition!


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed