A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Asphyx-- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Asphyx, released by Kino Lorber is an interesting film from point of view.

    The sole directing credit for Peter Newbrook, and photographed by Freddie Young -- this should send a message that something interesting is going on here.

    The Asphyx is a little horror film concerning the discovery and capture of a creature that appears at death to take away souls. If one thinks of the ticking clock and the stairway to heaven in A Matter of Life and Death...

    This isn't it.

    Definitely worth a viewing, the Blu-ray offers both the UK 86 minute release version, as well as the longer 98 minute US release. Be aware that scenes from the longer version are taken from a release print, with a very obvious drop in quality.

    The Blu-ray has an interesting look to it, and I'm not certain precisely what's going on. It may be an older transfer, but I'm not positive. Occasionally the sides of the anamorphic image look a bit soft, but the film will hold one's attention.

    Image - 1 - 3.5

    Audio - 4

    For fans of horror and the occult, this should be required viewing. For the general public, worth a rental.

    RAH
     
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I'm used to the American cuts being shorter. Do you think the additional minutes help the film?
     
  3. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    i got my copy from amazon yesterday and hope to watch it either late tonite or late saturday nite. I'm thkning Midnite Movie.
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I remember 1973 very clearly. So how has this gotten past me all these years? I'm in.
     
  5. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    I contacted Kino and they didn't have much to say about the fact that the original stereo soundtrack is not included. In fact, it has never surfaced on any video release. It is one of the few films I can think of that advertises the fact that it is in stereo in the opening credits.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    There was an excellent 2-DVD release in the UK a few years ago of THE ASPHYX in both versions, and I'll bet the Kino DVD is from the same master (though hopefully without the PAL speed-up). There was a prior UK DVD release that was pretty horrid, and this "restoration comparison" was included on the last release. It really is a DVD release comparison, not a true "restoration comparison," but still - it's interesting:
     
  7. Tom M

    Tom M Stunt Coordinator

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    A company named All Day released this to DVD in the early days of the format. They used two 35mm positive prints to cobble together the extended version. That release was met with scorn for not being 16x9 enhanced but also praise for restoring a once lost film to the public eye.
    The stereo tracks are considered lost. All Day was told this when doing their restoration.
    The Blu-Ray was mastered from the recently recovered 35mm negative (it had thought to have been destroyed). The extended scenes likely come from the All Day transfer, mastered in SD from 35mm.
    Without an extensive restoration, this is likely the best The Asphyx will ever look.
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    How does one buy a movie on Amazon and get HTF the credit, when there is no link? I'm talking about the Asphyx of course.
     
  9. RobHam

    RobHam Stunt Coordinator

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    Fond memories of this one creeping the bejesus out me as a teenager. Imported the BD from the US as (oddly) it was cheaper than buying the DVD in the UK. Image quality seemed OK, but on the soft side with a slight yellow tint to my eyes. The disappointment for me was with the movie itself and the danger of reliance on teenage memory. I had to look up Peter Newbrook, and found his connection to LoA as second unit to Freddie Young. What he seemed to be trying for here with his one and only attempt at direction was more akin to a filmed play and the camera does seem static for long periods - almost as though admiring the set-design. The acting performances also seemed overly theatrical to me - would have been interesting to have seen what Terence Fisher/Peter Cushing could have done with the same material. Where I had expected to be let down turned out to be the strongest part of the movie - the Asphyx sequences were still eerily effective. Worth seeing again, but not the nightmare-inducing film I remember from my mis-spent youth.
     

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