A Film That Should Be More of a Cult Classic Than It Gets Credit For
Genre: Cult, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Year Released: 1972, Kino Lorber restoration blu-ray 2023
Runtime: 1h 26m
Director(s): Peter Newbrook
Writer(s): Christina Beers (story,) Laurence Beers (story,) Brian Comport
Cast: Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire, Alex Scott, Ralph Arliss
Where To Watch: Available January 31, 2023, up for pre-order now at Kino Lorber
RAVING REVIEW: A true gem of the science fiction and fantasy genre, THE ASPHYX is a masterful blend of Gothic horror and steampunk that creates a unique and eerie atmosphere. An underrated classic that deserves far more recognition, solid acting, a fun story, and cool effects (at times.)
The film's story follows a scientist who, using an experimental device, captures the image of an ancient Greek spirit of the dead, known as the Asphyx. Together with another scientist, they dive deeper into the nature of the Asphyx and seek to harness its power for immortality. However, the consequences of defying the laws of the natural and spiritual world prove to be dire.
The drama between the central characters is always engaging, and the standout element of the film is undoubtedly the effects used for the Asphyx, which are spooky and haunting in their own right. The animal-like noises accompanying the Asphyx add to the film's eerie atmosphere and make for an unforgettable experience.
The film's themes are fascinating and reminiscent of the classic horror films of the 1970s. The script is dialogue-driven and works well in this context, offering subtlety in place of flat-out scares. The film's look and score combine to form an underrated classic.
Despite its age, THE ASPHYX still holds up in many respects. While it may not be a box office hit, it is a film that fans of the genre should notice. The film's blend of iconic horror elements and themes makes it a unique and unforgettable experience, and its themes and atmosphere continue to resonate with audiences today.
- Includes the Standard UK Cut and Extended US Cut
- NEW Audio Commentary by Novelist/Critic Kim Newman and Writer/Editor Stephen Jones
- Theatrical Trailer
- Optional English Subtitles
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[photo courtesy of KINO LORBER]