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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Ironic British Horror Gem
"The Asphyx" a/k/a "The Horror of Death" is one of the most original and yet most unheralded English horror films. Set in 1870's England, aristocrat Sir Hugo (Robert Stephens) accidentally photographs an entity (mythological name Asphyx) entering a person's body at their death. Sir Hugo theorizes that each person has their own Asphyx and that if the entity can be...
Published on December 2, 2005 by Only-A-Child

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-made nonsense, earnestly performed.
In 1870's England a scientist discovers that the spirit of death - "The Asphyx" of the title - can be trapped as it tries to enter the body at the moment of death. Using primitive photography and a chemical spotlight, he attempts to immortalise his nearest and dearest by trapping their individual asphyx as it appears. A thoughtful,and for the most part...
Published on June 15, 1999


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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Ironic British Horror Gem, December 2, 2005
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"The Asphyx" a/k/a "The Horror of Death" is one of the most original and yet most unheralded English horror films. Set in 1870's England, aristocrat Sir Hugo (Robert Stephens) accidentally photographs an entity (mythological name Asphyx) entering a person's body at their death. Sir Hugo theorizes that each person has their own Asphyx and that if the entity can be imprisoned outside the body, the person will be immortal. Guess what happens next.

From the physiological standpoint, the concept is not that different from the idea of vampires and zombies; with the same need to suspend disbelief to really enjoy things. Although like the implications of time travel, half the fun is speculating on the ramifications of the idea.

There is a pleasant and very haunting score and the story has a nice touch of irony as Sir Hugo's first experimental subject is his eventual downfall.

The real strength of this film is the production design. Considerable effort went into the meticulously constructed sets and there was much attention to detail in the various scientific apparatus and instruments. While the historical accuracy of these advanced devices is suspect, they are certainly no harder to accept than the basic premise. All looks great on the big screen and is probably fine on the letter boxed DVD, but the VHS tape is of marginal quality and the 4x3 aspect ratio does not do justice to the frame.

Few films from the era that did a better job of filling their frames than "The Asphyx" (credit to Academy award winning cinematographer Freddie Young), but this just magnifies the problems of the full-screen version. It appears that the 1989 Interglobal Home Video trimmed nine minutes from the film and was recorded at the LP speed, so you should avoid that one if possible.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-made nonsense, earnestly performed., June 15, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Asphyx (All Day) (DVD)
In 1870's England a scientist discovers that the spirit of death - "The Asphyx" of the title - can be trapped as it tries to enter the body at the moment of death. Using primitive photography and a chemical spotlight, he attempts to immortalise his nearest and dearest by trapping their individual asphyx as it appears. A thoughtful,and for the most part effective tale, with some genuinely ghoulish moments courtesy of the impressive (for their time) special effects. Robert Stephens gets a little frantic at times, especially in the last half-hour, but the original plot and a sinister twist in the tail raise a smile and ensure that the film won't be easily forgotten.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first rate sci-fi horror film for thinking people., February 2, 2013
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This review is from: The Asphyx (Amazon Instant Video)
This relatively unknown film is superb, and is a must-see for anyone who enjoys an interesting and original premise, solid acting and a satisfying viewing experience.

The story is set in 1870 London, where a physician accidently captures a photograph of some type of entity entering a person upon their death. He concludes that if this entity (known as an `Asphyx') can be captured before it enters the dying person, immortality will result. He pursues this idea, with unintended consequences.

Everything about this film is top flight. Excellent cinematography, spot on costumes and period sets, very solid acting and an intriguing storyline characterize this highly entertaining film. Those who have sufficient depth to appreciate well-crafted and thoughtful sci-fi/horror films will enjoy this movie; especially those who like the early Hammer films and other `thinking person's" British sci-fi films.

It's a shame that two non-reviews sullied the film by giving it one star, when neither non-reviewer actually watched it. Ignore them and treat yourself to a really well done film. And if you do watch it, pay particular attention to the first few minutes; it seems to have nothing to do with the film, until the shocking ending. Highly recommended.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Asphyx - Henstooth Video (2009) Edtion, February 26, 2010
This review is from: Asphyx (DVD)
This is a review of the Henstooth Video (2009) Edition
This movie is very unusual and is well worth watching. I would highly recommend it to people who enjoy Hammer or similar movies. Please see other reviews for a full plot out line.
The main point of this review is to report on the quality of the new DVD edition. It has both bad and good points.
Bad point:
1. No extra's apart from chapter selection.
2. The picture is not restored and has a number of blemishes.
Good Points:
1. This is the full length 99 minute uncut version of the film.
2. The video has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 which means that you actually get the full picture on this edition.
3. Although the picture is not restored it is not that bad and is quite watchable.
Overall I recommend this DVD. It is much better then previous editions and I highly recommend it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable treat., September 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Asphyx (All Day) (DVD)
A co-worker and I were just discussing unusual films last week, and I immediately thought of "The Asphyx", though no one else in the office had even heard of it. They're all younger than me so I guess it's excusable. I haven't seen this on the small screen yet, but did enjoy it during its initial release in 1972 on the big screen. I thought it to be thought provoking in the way of classic horror films, when the protagonist discovers (too late) that he shouldn't have been messing around with things like immortality. I've not seen or heard of it since then but I haven't forgotten it either, nor will I. A genuinely scary, gruesome movie with a moral comes along not too often. I highly recommend it and intend to buy it on DVD when it's released!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Day's print vs. Redemption's, February 18, 2013
By 
Brian (Jersey City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asphyx (All Day) (DVD)
Having seen both the All Day and Redemption Films releases of this 1973 cult creeper, I must say I'm torn over which to recommend. The restored picture utilized by Redemption-- particularly stunning on Blu-ray-- is nearly flawless, adding depth, detail and dazzling vibrancy to Freddie Young's sumptuous photography that's almost indiscernible watching the older, comparatively drab All Day version. In addition, Redemption offers theirs in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) while All Day's is letterboxed. However, it isn't a slam dunk for Redemption because the print they've chosen to present is the truncated U.K. edit (86 mins.) as opposed to All Day's, which gives us the film intact, honoring its extended U.S. theatrical running time of 99 minutes (effectively enhancing character background and providing a steadier, more convincing dramatic framework for Sir Hugo's descent into madness). Redemption does include the extra 13 minutes, but as a separate feature in unremastered form-- a decidely less immersive experience. For fans, a tough call (I opted for both). Movie rates 3 1/2 stars; distributors' efforts combined, 4.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic That Holds Up Well, December 5, 2013
This review is from: The Asphyx (Amazon Instant Video)
Though an older film, I thought this period thriller/horror piece is one to be put down as a classic that holds up quite well. The use of 19th century gadgetry to bring the Asphyx to light was a standout. And, the British have a way of infusing such stories with human empathy, while at the same time not letting up on the tension and horror. In synopsis, it is a tragic tale of how a brilliant scientist's thirst for knowledge of the unknown leads to the destruction of everything and everyone he holds dear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Horror Movie For The DOWNTON ABBEY Set., October 12, 2013
By 
Chip Kaufmann (Asheville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Asphyx (All Day) (DVD)
There were so many horror films that I first saw at drive-ins in the 1970s, that one needed to be rather special in order for me to remember it. THE ASPHYX certainly qualifies for it contains one of the most original screenplays that I've ever encountered in a horror movie. The idea sounds like something out of Arthur Machen or Conan Doyle with the meticulous background attention to detail that you find in the novels of Bram Stoker. Victorian scientist and local philanthropist Sir Hugo Cunningham (Robert Stephens - THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES), whose hobby is taking photos of "sleeping beauties" (people who have just died - like those in THE OTHERS), discovers the existence of a spirit of death or Asphyx that comes to claim the soul right at the moment of departure. He surmises that if he can somehow find a way to trap this "spirit", then he can never die. With the assistance of his family he succeeds in his ambition but this leads him on a downward spiral that will cost him and his loved ones dearly.

Along with the highly literate screenplay, THE ASPHYX has amazing production values for what is basically a low-budget film. In addition to meticulous attention to set detail and surroundings (you really feel that you are in the Victorian Era), the movie was photographed by one of England's premiere cinematographers, Freddie Young, who shot the David Lean epics LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, and DR ZHIVAGO. It is simply gorgeous to look at and the look of the film aids tremendously in the storytelling. The performances by the rest of the cast are right on the mark especially Robert Powell and Jane Lapotaire as the tragic lovers. I relish this movie because it unfolds like a stately 19th century British novel. Think of it as a horror movie for the DOWNTON ABBEY set. Slow moving and cerebral, it demands a lot from the viewer but those willing to put forth the effort will find THE ASPHYX richly rewarding. This review refers to the ALL DAY ENTERTAINMENT version of a few years back. It has a quality transfer of the uncut version and in the right aspect ratio as well. I haven't seen the new REDEMPTION DVD but it will be hard pressed to surpass this version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You can't kill me Giles, no one can...........ever!", July 16, 2013
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I had never heard of this movie before this, so I was naturally curious to see what it was all about. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I quite liked it (it's a great addition to my collection).

I wouldn't exactly classify it as horror or science fiction, it belongs somewhere in the middle. The story is an advisory of sorts, don't muck about with powers you know nothing about. Unfortunately, when tempted, man will investigate, experiment, and seek to do things he shouldn't. The boob in question, scientist Sir Hugo Cunningham (Robert Stephens), is utterly fascinated with parapsychology. He has a morbid preoccupation with dying and the notion of capturing a photo of the soul as it leaves the body. Using the `smudges' evidenced on only 3 photos, Sir Hugo announces this as conclusive verification, his theory is sound.............but he needs further proof to satisfy family and colleagues. "It's all right. I won't resort to murder." He does, however, show up at a local hanging, photo equipment in hand, to gain additional confirmation. From that point on, a new plan surfaces. He wants to capture his asphyx and thus achieve immortality. Things don't run as smoothly as planned. The results are ironic and terribly sad.

Beautifully photographed by Oscar winning cinematographer Freddie Young, this movie is a stuffy but absorbing period piece. People take time for tea before experiments. They chat. There is no monster (per se) but the asphyx does shriek in an unnerving fashion. There are a couple of (tasteful) shocks. I watched the extended US cut. The additional scenes are a bit ragged but offer more information so it's definitely worth seeing over the shorter UK version, also included on this Blu-ray Disc.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Movie is fine, DVD is lacking, May 19, 2009
This review is from: The Asphyx (DVD)
The DVD features the movie in a poor NTSC to PAL conversion. The movie is shown in 2.35:1 widescreen, but it is not 16x9 enhanced for widescreen TVs.
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Asphyx
Asphyx by Peter Newbrook (DVD - 2009)
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