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The Asphyx (1973): Unable to Breathe, Unable to Move…

The Asphyx (Peter Newbrook, 1973)

 

photo credit: zomboscloset.com

Wow, that tagline isn’t a spoiler or anything.

The Asphyx is a ridiculous, and yet strangely watchable, film from Hammer wannabes Glendale Pictures; this would be the second, and last, Glendale production (1971’s unintentionally hysterical Crucible of Terror was the first). Robert Stephens (Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet) and Robert Powell (The Italian Job) slum it as a scientist obsessed with capturing the soul (which he calls the asphyx) in an odd machine that looks like an old movie projector and one of his sons. (He has another son, played by TV character actor Clive Arliss, and a daughter, One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing‘s Jane Lapotaire, but they’re set decoration mostly.) Basically, the plot involves Sir Hugo (Stephens) catching the asphyx, and trying to convince Giles (Powell) that (a) his research is valid and (b) Giles should carry it on. It’s not the worst thing you’ll ever see, but it is at best a pale imitation of Hammer; why not just watch a Hammer film instead? **

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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