"The Asphyx (1973/Blu-ray/Redemption, Kino Lorber)" Review

Review: The Asphyx is a film that I have had an eye on watching for a couple of years now since i saw it released on DVD. That was mainly due to the interesting cover. Now I finally get to view this film and I was overwhelmingly surprised at what this film had to offer. What I got was a very intriguing and unique supernatural sci-fi film.Now there is no one film I could ever really compare this to, but the 2 that I can think of that comes to mind is The Time Machine (1960) and Ghostbusters (1980). Here is a rundown of the plot...

The Asphyx follows a scientist/inventor Hugo (Robert Stephens) who ends up creating an experimental photograph camera and when a tragic accident happens while using the device he catches an image of what he sees to be an Asphyx in the image. After that he is determined to catch an Asphyx with a combination of his inventions. He recruits his adopted son Giles (Robert Powell)  to help in his search to catch one. After capturing one from his pet he ends up realizing thatif you can catch the Asphyx and contain it than you can live forever. From there he takes his experiment further and tries doing it with humans, but has he went too far?
 Let me now explain what I mean about this film reminding me of the 2 I brought up earlier in the review. Well I see The Time Machine inspiration from the fact that you have a scientist/inventor who creates a device that changes his life for the worst and in the process the fix it it gets worse. Now where I see the whole  Ghostbusters type of thing going on is the fact that the light device he uses to capture the Asphyx reminds me of how the Ghostbusters uses their proton packs to capture it, then there is the device that they both use to hold the spirit captured. In the Asphyx it's a coffin looking device that uses a light to keep it captive and in the Ghostbusters they use a device that a light comes out of to capture the spirit. In ways I think that Dan Akyroyd & Harold Ramis could of been influenced by The Asphyx.
Now as far as the haracters go I really think they did a good job when it came to casting. Robert Stephens plays as the very intelligent and creative Hugo Cunningham who is very determined to prove that spirits like the Asphyx are real, but at the same time gets blinded by his own greediness for answers.He plays his role perfectly and shows the torment that he goes through as his experiments progress and things seem to get worse. Along the side of his Robert Powell who plays as a very skeptical young man who seems somewhat standoffish about helping with the experiemtns but goes through them nonetheless. Robert Powell caught my attention for his role in Dark Forces (1980) and after his great role in this film I will be seeking more of his work. The rest of the cast was very well picked also, but I figured I would cover the main two.
One last thing I want to talk about as far as the film goes is the special effects that they used to create the spirit. As you would expect they used practical effects mixed with old school optical effects. I don't know why, but I fell in love with this film once I saw how they did them. That could be because I am a huge fan of the old school effects weather it is stop motion animation or the effects they used in this film. Once again the effects are very much like the ghosts on Ghostbusters. That makes me really wish I could talk with the 2 main writers of Ghostbusters.
I really have to give it up to Kino Lorber and Redemption Films for bringing this film out on Blu-ray with an amazing picture quality and sound quality that is way far superior to that of the older DVD release (I compared from screenshots of the older DVD) Also you do get an extended cut of the film, but the added in footage is in standard definition so it kinda sucks, but it is still watchable. You also get a trailer for The Asphyx, photo gallery, and even 2 more trailers for other Redemption Film releases Killer's Moon and Virgin Witch. Overall this was an awesome film that deserves more respect than what it got back in 73', probably due to be over shadowed by The Exorcists that was released the same year.

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Peter Newbrook
Genre: Horror/Sci-fi
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2012
Theatrical Release Year:1973
Time Length: UK Version 86 mins./US Extened Cut 98 mins.
Company: Kino Lorber/Redemption Films
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