Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Somewhat slow and, as expected, a bit B-Movie hokey but not bad at all.Published 2 months ago by T. D. Kozan
This rates right up there with all of the other great monster and sci-fi classics I loved this movie just way to sad thank you Amazon keep them comingPublished 3 months ago by Arnold M.
Saw the last ten minutes of this movie years ago. Now that I got to see the entire movie--I like it. Shows what lack of focus and what humans do in the name of love.Published 3 months ago by msac