Directed by: Peter Newbrook
Starring: Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire, Alex Scott, Ralph Arliss
MPAA Rated: PG
Distributed by: Redemption Films
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Running Time: 83 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars
“The Asphyx” is a decent little-seen British sci-fi/horror film from the early 70′s. It feels like something that should have come out from Hammer and packs an eerie Victorian setting and decent special effects. The spooks in the film are low-key but its story still delivers some creepy aspects. Kudos also needs to go to the widescreen cinematography by Freddie Young, which adds a lot to the films charm. This release includes both the theatrical cut (86 minutes) and an extended version (99 minutes). Fans of 70′s horror should give this little gem a chance and should be plenty surprised.
The film follows Hugo, a well respected turn-of-the-century scientist, who becomes obsessed with a mysterious apparition found in the photographs of his dying subjects. During a family party, Hugo brings his latest invention, a motion picture camera but it ends up capturing the tragic drowning of his wife and son. Hugo believe that he has uncovered The Asphyx, the spirit of the dead from Greek mythology, and will stop at nothing until he gets to the bottom of it.
The extended cut’s quality isn’t as good as the theatrical cut and the film actually carries a disclaimer before it is as well that it “blends HD footage mastered from the 35mm negative with SD footage mastered from a U.S. release print (of inferior quality)”. Despite that, this is one of the best releases, I have seen from Kino and Redemption Films. The film also packs a comparable LPCM 2.0 audio track, also very impressive. Although, the special features do not impress as well as the film does. The only extras are a theatrical trailer and a photo gallery.