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 »
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.
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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 »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
An original and intriguing slice of period horror!
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!
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