A Ghost You Can’t Bust

The Asphyx

In the oddly titled The Asphyx (1973), Sir Hugo Cunningham, a turn-of-the-Century science dude, stumbles across a curious phenomenon. Having invented a motion picture camera, he films a hanging execution of a criminal. (Fun to run in reverse.) During the playback notices a small, fart-like, black smudge zooming into the condemned man right before the trap doors put an end to his wrong-filled life. (Fart-like is such a handy phrase.)

The Asphyx

Later, Hugo and his family go row boating on the lake without life preservers. That no one knew how to swim is none of your business. While filming the accidental drowning of his son and his wife, he later plays back the footage and notices that same dark smudge fly across the frame and go into his son as he was about to swallow lake. He deduces this to be the Asphyx (pronounced, “ass fix”), a death spirit.

The Asphyx

This gives Hugo a bright idea – to see if he can capture his own death spirit by tricking it into thinking he’s about to die. Hugo manages to succeed in a grim sequence that will make your pants bunch up around your puckered lower orifice. It’ll also cause a fart-like stain and/or noise down there.

The Asphyx

More experiments with remaining family members, which ends in a few “oops” moments. Anguished at the oops of his entire family, Hugo tries to take his own life – but it’s not working. With his Asphyx successfully stuck in a bottle, Hugo can’t die. Harshness abounds.

The Asphyx, which looks like a glow-in-the-dark version of Slimer from Ghostbusters (1984), is a cheesy special effect. Still, he sure is a cute little fellow. I wonder if you can get your picture taken with him without croaking?

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