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The Asphyx Reviews

An unusual horror movie with an intriguing premise, THE ASPHYX is unfortunately marred by a weak script and unimaginative direction. Set in England in the late 1870s, the film follows nobleman Stephens as he uses the emerging arts of photography and cinematography to uncover the existence of the legendary asphyx, which according to Greek mythology is a protoplasmic being that hovers near living things at moments of great peril, ready to capture their souls. Stephens is able to isolate the asphyx of a guinea pig by using a special blue light. He then seals it in an airtight container, making the tiny animal immortal. Obsessed with making himself and his family immortal too, Hugo begins experimenting on human beings. Although the concept alone makes the film worth watching, THE ASPHYX is ultimately frustrating as a result of its distracting lapses of logic, talkiness, dull direction, and missed opportunities. It's more an exercise in the intellectual than the visceral, and if thought about too intently the movie begins to unravel. The film is beautifully photographed in wide-screen by Young (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA), but regrettably much of the effect is lost on videocassette.