Sir Hugo Cunningham (Robert Stephens) is a Victorian gentleman scientist with an avid interest in photography and spiritualism. Obsessed, as were so many others at the time, with photographing the soul leaving the body at the moment of death, Sir Hugo finds that what he has actually been capturing on film is the Asphyx, a spirit of death that appears only at the moment of demise. Further, he finds that every living thing has its own, individual asphyx - and that by devising a means to capture this spirit, death can forever be held at bay. He decides to immortalize himself, then his children; this, of course, is only possible at times of near-death. Which is where the horror starts...
Though it has several near-fatal lapses in logic, The Asphyx is a good example of thoughtful British horror which was doomed to near-oblivion by being released in America the same year as The Exorcist, a film which changed the horror movie landscape to favor the visceral, rather than the cerebral.
Read the full review at The Bad Movie Report.
The widescreen master used for this transfer shows its age a bit with occasional speckles and lines, which become very heavy around the reel changes. There are also some odd color fluctuations present in the final reel, looking for all the world like the Macrovision suddenly kicked in for the space of a few minutes.
The Production Notes section is actually quite informative and well-written. There are also a gallery showing various print ads from the U.S. pressbook, cast and crew biographies, and access to the film's 25 chapters.
One doesn't purchase All Day Entertainment discs to marvel at the flashy extras - the true wonder is that this company puts out movies like this, and cares enough to do them well.
Dr. Freex, 4/26/00