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on 13 September 2017
The Asphyx is a great film, and the Blu-ray picture quality is very nice, plus the Blu-ray is region free, so will play on your UK Blu-ray player.

The great thing about this film is the Asphys(the soul) because the sound it makes when they try to trap it, is very creepy, and i just love the sets which make the film so atmospheric its untrue.
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on 8 April 2014
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 the 'asphyx') that theoretically captures the escaping soul. Their aim is to ultimately prevent death itself - if they can stop the asphyx from taking away an individual's soul then it could be the case that the individual themselves could attain immortality.

A leisurely paced UK production that is not considered a classic but is a carefully crafted and eloquent production that does explore some interesting concepts. I think what holds this one back from more widespread appeal is the lack of dynamism - the director hardly takes things forward with energetic zeal. However, it's an exquisitely shot piece of work with some dark moments that can yield rewards for the patient viewer. The beauty of the film should come as no surprise when you realise that its cinematographer, Freddie Young, won several Oscars for his work.

I'd only ever seen the UK 86 minute 'theatrical' version of this film - it had been widely available on VHS and DVD for years but old reviews dangled a carrot suggesting that the longer 99 minute US version was a better way to view the film. Odeon Entertainment have in recent years released a two-disc DVD containing the extended version but that has since been bettered: a welcome entry into home video was Redemption's Blu-ray, which contains both versions of the film. The standard cut is fully mastered (from the negative I believe) in HD and looks stunning. Fully scoped (as shot in Todd-AO) the detail is amazing for a film of this vintage, and really shows what can be done with older stuff. The longer cut is featured as an extra (and has to be accessed, as such, from the bonus menu). This cut is taken from an inferior source mastered in standard definition. Redemption could have done the lazy thing and just included this as is, but they've retained the HD footage where possible and inserted the extra material where it should be, meaning you're still watching the bulk of the film in HD if you choose to watch the longer version. I don't mind this, because the periodic quality shift reveals exactly what they decided to remove, presumably in the name of brevity. There is also a slight ratio shift from 2.39:1 to what must have been the only thing available for the extra material, 1.85:1 approximately, although this is 'window boxed' to prevent too much of a visible jolt for the viewer. Personally I think the excised material is of some value as there is greater exposition on some of the themes explored, plus additional characterisation.

Other extras include some trailers and a photo gallery, but really this remains an invaluable acquisition because this disc means we can choose whether to watch the shorter or longer cuts completely (in the former case) or mostly (in the latter) in full HD. If you like the film, or have a fondness for Hammer-era horror, the Redemption Blu will sit comfortably on your shelf. The gorgeous presentation of the HD transfer enhances one's appreciation without a doubt.

Paul (from Grim Cellar at Blogspot)
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on 18 May 2016
I'm no good at writing in depth and informed reviews, as some critics have pointed out. This copy's first language is Italian, but if you go to settings you can get it in its original English version.
I thought this was a Hammer Horror production, it's got all the hallmarks, but here it's under the banner of 'Sinister Film.' It was first released in 1973, and it's at least 40 years since I last saw it; I remembered it as being really scary, like the film 'ROOM 1408.' Having watched it yesterday I'd say it's got scary moments in it but it's not scary enough. The Asphyx is a great concept and if you could keep its image and screams on a repeat loop you could scare yourself into a state of insanity; especially if you were in a locked room in the pitch dark, and the volume was turned up really high.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 October 2012
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 research. This Odeon double DVD release (2010) is a great example. A truly beautiful Cinemasope transfer in great colour of the U/K original, plus the U.S. longer version including scenes from different sources. If you are intersted it's a fabulous opportunity to see both versions. Plus you bget a featurette, stills gallery and Trailers. It is just a shame, I personally feel, that so much trouble has been taken over a not really very good film. What holds it together for me are the performences of Roberts Stephens and Powell, who must have had a pretty hard job keeping their faces straight! It's basically the old oft done "seeking immortality" story with a bit of an "Asphyx" twist, but with a lot of talk. Jane Lapotaire has no real chance to shine, and this is almost a 2 hander. I think a lot of people will enjoy this in all it's pristine glory. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood, tho I am glad I bought it. 5 stars for the 2 Dvd's and quality, and 3 for the film
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on 30 December 2009
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. The grieving father and widower tries to comfort himself by watching the film through as a memorial, but instead he finds a strange smudge in the film just before Clive is hit by the tree, the same smudge that he found on photographs of dying patients in the hospital.
His colleage Sir Edward then informs him that a public execution is to take place, the first in many years, and he wants it filmed for posterity. Sir Hugo obliges, but he has his own motivations. Later, he confides with Giles that he is going to attempt to trap the spirit of the dead, known as the Asphyx via an experiment. However, Sir Hugo soon graduates from Guinea Pigs to a terminally ill man from the poor house, and his son and daughter gradually realise to full extent of Sir Hugo's plans. Immortality.
This 1973 release came out at a time when Hammer films were heaving its bosoms with soft core lesbian vampire films, and other interesting deviations from the gothic norm. The horror film in general was becoming bloodier and more exploitative, especially through the lenses of Pete Walker and Norman J Warren. In that respect, this film seems very much out of time, like it should belong in another age. Its a sombre, wordy period piece with a literate script and good performances. Its a fine film, if a little stagey at times. The most effective scenes for me were the ones showing Sir Hugo's and Gile's experiments to trap the Asphyx. These scenes are very eerie, with the green shrieking spirit being dragged towards the spirit trap(this is despite the fact that the Asphyx resembles a very mouldy chicken). Another highly effective segment is when Sir Hugo films the execution. In the end, the film does now and again slow to a crawl with perhaps too many words and not enough action, but the excellent performances from Stephens, Robert Powell and Jane Lapotaire ensures it remains watchable throughout. In fact the transformation of the character from benevolent family man to single minded, selfish scientist all because of the external tragedies in his life, is skillfully handled. Particularily so in the scenes where he kneels and prays at the foot of his bed. He tells Giles he is praying for God's guidance, when in fact he is attempting to play God. It is this switch in character that leads to the destruction of his family.
A very interesting British horror, with a unique style all of its own. There are no extras on the disc, but as mentioned before picture, sound and running time all present and correct, so the whole package gets 5 out of 5 from me.
Thats the spirit!
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on 20 September 2017
Great film! However, we were surprised to get an Italian DVD but it plays in English once you select the language setting. We were also somewhat perturbed by the difference in quality of the extended scenes and nearly sent it back until a quick Google explained that this was actually how it was supposed to be due to the the extended version was created. However it would have been nice to know before watching!
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on 31 March 2018
Couldn't believe it last time I saw this film was in the seventies ( aged 8) with my brother just goes to prove if you want it's here
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on 16 September 2016
The dvd is primarily in Italian & I found it a bit fiddly to find the English version. Also when watching the film some scenes aren't fully restored and it does spoil the viewing somewhat. Still watchable though and a great horror classic.
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on 24 March 2016
golden oldie
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on 3 April 2016
It was watchable, but the visual quality kept switching from restored to poor.
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