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The Asphyx [DVD]

Robert Stephens , Robert Powell , Peter Newbrook    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Stephens, Robert Powell, Jane Lapotaire, Fiona Walker, John Lawrence
  • Directors: Peter Newbrook
  • Producers: John Brittany
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Odeon
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Feb 2010
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001Q58KSM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,765 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Early 1970s cult British horror starring Robert Stephens and Robert Powell. The Asphyx - the spirit of Death - enters the body at the precise moment the soul is released. Each person has their own Asphyx and if it can be captured the person can theoretically live forever. Sir Hugo (Stephens), through his interest in photography and metaphysics, captures the Asphyx on film. When his son dies in a boating accident, Sir Hugo becomes obsessed with immortal life, with terrible consequences.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Restored and uncut 23 Feb 2010
By All of them Witches TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The Asphyx at last beautifully restored and available on two discs in a 2:35:1 ratio as the director had intended it to be seen. Included here is the original shortened UK version and the US longer (12 mins or so) version released in region 2 for the first time, at least that I'm aware of.
It's a tale of one of those well meaning but power-mad meddling with nature Victorian scientists who having discovered via the medium of photography what he initially believes to be the captured images of the souls of the near dead/recently expired soon realises that what he has discovered is the Asphyx, a tormented spirit that possesses the bodies of the soon to be deceased as its escape route from its own suffering. The scientist soon discovers that if he can capture and contain the asphyx before it can possess the body then that person, as long as the asphyx is prevented from entering them, would not die; the secret of immortality no less!
The Asphyx is a really quirky original british horror but it is very dialogue heavy. There is a lot of character building, back story, ethical debating, exposition etc which slow the pace somewhat and is probably best not watched unless you are fully mentally alert enough to appreciate the quite bizarre narrative, questionable behaviour and decisions and occasional illogicality of what it is laying forth.
A tale of perdition, guinea pigs both literal and metaphorical, immortality and obsession The Asphyx is well acted, has an interesting premise and manages to gloss over all the bits that don't really add up.
There are no real special effects to talk of bar the Asphyx itself which is a kind of glowing incandescent mish mash with a face of sorts, though what it lacks in visual effect it makes up for with sound by way of a nice screechy eerie noise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Decent Horror Flick 25 Aug 2008
Format:DVD
Luckily, I bought the version put out by Umbrella in Australia. It's the uncut that lasts for 99 minutes. The video quality is okay but the print used shows some wear every now and then. Let's face it: if you want a really good print of this movie, then a bit of restoration is in order, inasmuch as the film needs color correction, general scratch removal, and lighting adjustments. However, Umbrella did an adequate job with what they had.

Aside from those technicalities, the plot is original and the acting is pretty good, with Robert Powell giving a convincing performance.

Worth owning if you're a true horror fan. If not, see it out of curiosity's sake.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Odeon release! 12 Feb 2010
Format:DVD
The reviews here are for some reason for the previously released Anchor Bay DVD - ignore them! This new Odeon Entertainment version has been restored from the original negatives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting into the spirit of things 30 Dec 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Before summarising the plot and reviewing the film I must just state that this is a review for the 'Hen's Tooth' release not the Anchor Bay release. So the following things are incorrect in other reviews(they are actually reviews for the 'Anchor Bay' release!). The Hen's Tooth release is a widescreen presentation as stated and is in the correct aspect ratio, so no hideously cropped pan and scan as to be found in previous releases. Secondly, and most importantly, this release is uncut. Yes, 100% uncut, not one little snip has been made. Oh, it also happens to be all regions, not Region 1 as stated. So the Amazon product information is wrong as well. So please ignore negative reviews for release from other companies, and any incorrect info under the cover image.
Anyway, onto the film. It starts in 'contempary' Britain(well for when the film was made anyway) and a poLice car rushes to the scene of a car accident. A policeman rushes over and drags a body from between the wreckage of two cars. He then discovers that the victim is still alive.
The viewer is then taken back to Victorian Britain, and to the country mansion of wealthy squire Sir Hugo Cunningham(Robert Stephens), who is taking his bride to be Anna to meet his family for the first time. The family Cunningham comprises of son Clive, adopted son Giles and daughter Christina. The film paints an idyllic picture of family life as everyone gets on famously. Sir Hugo also is a scientist, conducting experiments into the last moments before death, through the medium of still photography and the moving image.
When Clive and Anna are on the lake boating, Sir Hugo decides to film the event. However disaster strikes, and Clive is knocked into the water by a tree branch, the boat capsises, and both lives are lost to the murky water.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame on Anchor Bay UK. 6 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
A fascinating theme in an accomplished 70s period horror that I waited 30 years to see - and I'm still waiting. Why? The UK Anchor Bay DVD claims to be "A Widescreen Presentation" but, at 1.78:1, it's a pan-and-scan travesty that does zero justice to Freddie Young's Todd-AO 35 2.35:1 photography. Judging by the incomplete logo in the credits, it even appears to have been cropped vertically as well. A major disappointment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a little gem! 25 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am an avid collector of Hammer era films and this is a little gem. The acting is superb, the sets are lavish and the special effects are surprisingly creepy given its production date. The various methods of summoning the Asphyx are clever and keep the plot fresh as opposed to repeating itself over and over. This is the digitally remastered, wide screen version and is excellent! If you are a collector or not I highly recommend this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For some reason I always remembered the ending - a horrible aged old...
I remember watching this as a kid. For some reason I always remembered the ending - a horrible aged old man holding a guinea pig, who both can't die due to the experiment he'd... Read more
Published 15 days ago by gabriel rachid
5.0 out of 5 stars blast form the past
i saw this movie once when i was little and it always stuck within my mind. i was very pleased to see it here! Read more
Published 2 months ago by 'JonnyRay'
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but interesting little British sci-fi horror period piece on...
After spotting apparent photographic anomalies that occur at the point of a subject's death, two scientists embark on a journey to capture the mystical being responsible (dubbed... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul WJM
3.0 out of 5 stars poor quality.
Not a very good version, poor picture quality would not recomend ancor bay version. Shame needs remastering for dvd quality.
Published 6 months ago by roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian/Edwardian horror scifi
Saw it as a child and it has stayed with me ever since. If you love 'Murder Rooms', this film was definitely used as the idea for one of the episodes.
Published 6 months ago by Juan Carlos Mateo
3.0 out of 5 stars ODEON - WHY THIS ONE?
I have had cause to criticise Odeon in the past for some less than mint quality releases (See "The Big Sky"), but, boy have they shown us just what can be done with some care and... Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. W. Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent picture quality
I have only viewed the UK Version (the US version is also included)so far. As mentioned elesewhere the picture quality is much improved compared to earlier releases.
Published on 9 Nov 2011 by Benny
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit Of Death Brought To Life
My 4 stars are for the dvd itself...Odeon & the BBC restoration team are to be applauded for this beautiful looking & sounding 2 disc release. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by Nonny
5.0 out of 5 stars Asphyx-i-ace-ion
Brilliant film! Remember seeing it on TV late one saturday night in the early 1980's when i was a kid. Read more
Published on 10 May 2011 by KP
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