Monday, June 15, 2020


Wow, here's one brutal British flick that'll flip your lid, it's all about a Victorian English country squire, Sir Hugo Cunningham, who searches for the source of immortality by using his machine to 'bottle up' the spirit of the terrifying... Asphyx!

The Asphyx is the grim reaper in Greek mythology.

It stars Robert Stephens as Sir Hugo Cunningham, Robert Powell as Giles Cunningham, Jane Lapotaire as Christina Cunningham, Ralph Arliss as Clive Cunningham and Alex Scott as friend Sir Edward Barrett.

Sir Hugo and friends are giving a lecture to the parapsychological society where they show slides of what they believe are photos (taken by a special camera he built) of the human spirit leaving the body at the time of death, as shown with this man. The audience is amazed as to what they have just witnessed.

Sir Hugo loves his camera, he's out filming his fiance and his son in a boat but the whole thing ends in disaster as both drown after the boat capsizes.

Still in mourning, Hugo and his ward, Giles Cunningham, open Clive's coffin to photograph him to see if there's any trace of his soul still present. It's not.

So, next, Sir Hugo wants to film a public hanging and use a special spotlight ray to actually see the thing's image. The crowd goes bananas as they can hear the screeching of the spirit too...

By the way, the guy was innocent, the authorities try and stop the hanging but it's too late!!

Hugo finally figures out that the thing is not a soul but an entity that appears at the time of death, better known as 'the Grim Reaper!' Here, he and Giles capture the Asphyx of their guinea pig that is near death. After the capture, the guinea pig is now immortal...

Sir Hugo is a nut case, he wants to become immortal now (without even considering what could possibly go wrong) by restraining himself in an electric chair that he has control over the amount of electricity he receives.

Giles needs the help of another person to pull off the event and gets Hugo's daughter (and his fiance) Christina to operate the beam to pull the spirit into a special coffin for capture.

Giles and Christina take the coffin down into the cellar where it'll rest for eternity!!

Giles and Christina want to wed but Hugo says that only if they both agree to become immortal!!.. Christina is outraged but after daddy spills out his heart, her and Giles agree...

Holy freaking Hell man, they decide to set Christina up to be decapitated (while Giles makes sure not to drop the blade all the way down) in an attempt to lure out her Asphyx for capture. Sounds great on paper, right!..

No, that's insane!! Here's what happens... Yeah yeah, spoiler alert, BFD!.. Okay, so as Sir Hugo is working the beam, something crucial breaks on the machine and panic ensues. Giles needs to assist the crazy man, he 'drops everything' and rushes to his side. OOPS!!! Christina cannot be brought back to life now since she's been decapitated!!

Giles tries to choke out Hugo but he reminds his young ward that he cannot die!

Giles goes a little whacko and wants to attempt/fake his death inside an enclosure with deadly gas. It's all a ruse though, Giles can't go on without Christina and brings down the house with one tiny match!!

Sir Hugo survives the explosion only to grab his little immortal friend and head off into the future... The ending was totally unnecessary as far as I'm concerned.

Here's a better pic of what the ghastly thing actually looks like. And like, tune in again Wednesday when Eegah!! tightens the screws a little tighter, here at The Dungeon!!..


Randall Landers said...

The ending was simply so off-putting that I've only seen this once. What was clearly a more and more insane scientist just falls apart. I guess they just couldn't figure a way to write themselves out of the corner they'd crafted.

K said...

Saw this film a long time ago (1980s?) and thought it was unique and very well-made. Chilling and very unusual!

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