The Asphyx (1972)

35mm film, “filmed in Todd-AO 35”, colour, 2.35:1
Super Quadrophonic Sound, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

A British horror film directed by Peter Newbrook.

Plot Summary

At the end of the 18th century, scientist Sir Hugo Cunningham discovers that he can photograph the Asphyx, the spirit of dead, if he photographs a subject at the precise moment of death. He realises that if he can capture his own Asphyx, he will become immortal and sets out to prove his theory…


Directed by: Peter Newbrook
© MCMLXXII [1972] Glendale Film Productions (Two) Ltd.
A Glendale production. A Peter Newbrook film
Produced by: John Brittany
Screenplay by: Brian Comport
Based on an original idea “The Asphyx” by: Christina and Laurence Beers
Director of : Freddie Young
Editor: Maxine Julius
Music Composed and Conducted by: Bill Mcguffie
Recordist: Ken Ritchie
Costumes: Evelyn Gibbs
Make-up: Jimmy Evans
Hair Stylist: Stephanie Kay
Special Effects: Ted Samuels
Production Designed by: John Stoll

Robert Stephens (Hugo [Cunningham])
Robert Powell (Giles [Cunningham])
Jane Lapotaire (Christina [Cunningham])
Fiona Walker (Anna [Cunningham])
Alex Scott ([Sir Edward Barrett] president)
Terry Scully (pauper)
Ralph Arliss (Clive [Cunningham])
John Lawrence (Mason)
David Grey (vicar)
Tony Caunter (warden)
Paul Bacon (1st member)

Alternative Titles

Experiments – German title
Horror of Death – UK re-release title
Spirit of the Dead



  • Cinéma 74 no.188 (June 1974) pp.156-157 – credits, review
  • CinemaTV Today no.10019 (17 February 1973) p.3 – note (For Registration)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10021 (3 March 1973) p.5 – note (General Releases)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10022 (10 March 1973) p.3 – note (General Releases)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10025 (31 March 1973) p.23 – credits, synopsis, review (The new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Shivers no.58 p.46 – review
  • Trauma no.4 p.52 – review
  • Video Watchdog no.45 (1998) pp.45-46 – illustrated review (TL [Tim Lucas])


  • Daily Express 30 March 1973 – review (by Ian Christie)
  • Daily Mail 30 March 1973 – review (by Cecil Wilson)
  • Daily Mirror 30 March 1973 – review (by Arthur Thirkell)
  • Evening Standard 29 March 1973 – review (by Alexander Walker)
  • Financial Times 30 March 1973 – review (by Nigel Andrews)
  • The Guardian 5 April 1973 – review (by Derek Malcolm)
  • Morning Star 30 March 1973 – review (by Virginia Dignam)
  • The Observer 1 April 1973 – review (by George Melly)
  • Sunday Times 1 April 1973 – review (by Dilys Powell)
  • The Times 30 March 1973 – review (by Philip French)


  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video p.37 – UK video data
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.230-32, 231
  • Fantastic Cinema Subject Guide pp.453-454 – brief synopsis
  • Film Review 1973-74 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.212
  • Film Review 1976-1977 by F. Maurice Speed p.169
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.27 – short review, credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.15
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.164-166 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.33-34
  • Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.16-17 – illustrated review (by Daryl Joyce)
  • X-cert 2: The British Independent Horror Film: 1971-1983 by John Hamilton pp.66-70; 278 – illustrated review; credits