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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:03 pm 
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“Don’t turn away! These are men like you!”

I've just spent the last few days watching through this very entertaining set tackling the subject of the 'video nasty' moral panic of the 1980s in Britain. The set contains three discs with a documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape on disc one, with two further discs of trailers and introductions for the various films which were caught up in the act - one for the 39 banned films and another for the 33 which were initially caught up in the panic but subsequently removed from the DPP list.

Every trailer features its own introduction but the trailers can also be played on their own. It makes a nice companion set to those 42nd Street Forever trailer compilations that Synapse have been putting out in Region 1 (though I slightly prefer the running commentary approach of the 42nd Street Forever compilations to the filmed introductions of the Video Nasties set, since playing the trailers together with their introductions almost doubles the running time to around four hours for each disc!)

Along with this the documentary disc has a whole slew of trailers for other releases (including the Bettie Page featuring 1950s strip tease film Teaserama, Fantasm, The Ugliest Woman In The World, Between Your Legs (with Javier Bardem!), and so on), and a whole hour of the various idents for the VHS companies of the era - some of these idents are pretty spectacular (the one for Kace Entertainment is a perfect rendition of a noir style private detective's office complete with Venetian blinds, typewriter, ringing telephone and desklamp with green shade! However I really have no idea why that would be appropriate as a company logo!); some of them are hilariously crappy; and some are wonderfully, pretentiously overblown in ambition on the budget they must have been made with! In the midst of all the ZX Spectrum-inspired eye burning logos or wobbly, jerkily zooming in title cards, the unwary viewer then gets shocked back into alertness by a couple of surprisingly unexpected and explicit company logos/promotional trailers for a couple of naughtier labels!

All three discs feature galleries of video covers from the era - the one on the documentary disc features covers from films that were not banned but skated close to the edge (e.g. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which was never placed on the DPP list, even though a number of Tobe Hooper's later films were), and the two trailer discs have galleries of covers for the films discussed.

Cult television presenter Emily Booth, with this set and her introductions of films on the Zone Horror digital channel, seems to be fast becoming the new millennium's version of Redemption Video's Eileen Daly (and I also thought she gave a very entertaining performance in that Evil Aliens film directed by Jake West, who was the director of this documentary as well so perhaps it was inevitable that Booth would make an appearance here!) Of course I fully endorse her quest to become the new face of horror! She certainly manages to make one of the most entertaining DVD menu screens that I've seen this year as she, presumably corrupted by the video nasties, takes her vengeance out on the videotape cases with a variety of appropriate implements (an axe for Axe; a drill for Driller Killer; etc!)

The documentary itself is a very interesting run through the whole saga and brings the subject up to date with a coda about how, after all of the prosecutions and witchhunts that resulted from the whipped up panic pushing through government legislation, there was the whole fiasco about the Video Recordings Act turning out not to have been officially enacted!

A slight issue that I have with the set is that many of the introductions are entertaining but a little vague in terms of content. Occasionally there is also some confusion about what was "the censors" doing, when really much of the Video Nasties involved the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) list circulated to the police about which films were prosecutable, rather than anything to do with the BBFC. Although perhaps "the censor" is just being used as a general term.

Also while Kim Newman and Alan Jones have some great dismissive lines about some of the poorer films (Kim Newman: "about the only thing I can say about Frozen Scream is that it is certainly the Frozen Scream-iest film on the list"; Alan Jones: "[The Beast In Heat] tied in with all those Nazi concentration camp movies of the time, and it is pure concentrated camp"), and all of the contributors have their moments to shine (Brad Stevens, the author of a book on Abel Ferrara introduces, naturally, The Driller Killer, and Stephen Thrower gives a very nice appreciation/attempt at rehabillitation of Axe), these introductions are just that - a brief skim over the main points of each film with some omissions (for example I'm surprised that nobody talks about Tisa Farrow, Mia Farrow's sister, who went from parts in Manhattan, Winter Kills and Fingers to leading roles in Antropophagous and Zombie Flesh-Eaters! Which of course ended her career! Although that might just be too much of an obvious anecdote by now to need to mention. However Alan Jones does point out Veronica Lario, soon to become the wife of Silvio Berlusconi, painting the walls red with blood in Tenebrae, so perhaps Tisa Farrow was just overlooked!)

I would still recommend anyone with a curiosity about this era to pick up the David Kerekes and David Slater book See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy for extremely in depth dissections of all of the films, along with very compelling arguments about why each was likely placed on the video nasties list. The authors of that book get namechecked in the credits for the documentary, and I would agree that it makes an essential complimentary companion piece to this set.

See No Evil also gets more into specifics of how various police forces around the country implemented the act, covers more of the media coverage and reports on a number of cases of people being prosecuted. The book also gets far more into the background of the video recorder in British homes in the early 80s - the way that the 'nasties' seemed far more extreme because they were filling a gap in the market. Demand for films on tape was growing yet the major Hollywood companies were reticent about releasing their films on videotape due to concerns about piracy - so a film like The Evil Dead, or a low budget Italian horror could look much more extreme in that environment where, simply due to the lack of blockbuster titles, they would receive much more mainstream attention.

It also probably didn't help that the covers for many of the films were incredibly graphic, often making claims that the films contained within couldn't back up! Likely a lot of the films were placed on the list due to their confrontational covers, and indeed the VPRC (Video Packaging Review Committee) was created later on in the VHS era to vet cover art for video cassettes.

A number of the commentators on the discs (particularly Stephen Thrower when he discusses Jess Franco's Devil Hunter) talk about the low budget, and sometimes the general ineptitude, of many of the films being the aspect that might have made them seem a lot more extreme to an audience not really used to such products. As Thrower mentions regarding Jess Franco, his films don't really fit at all into a notion of what a film 'should be' like, and how it should be structured, and it could be this that added to the idea of the films being so dangerous (after all if you felt in the mood to watch an Indiana Jones-style adventure film, and rented out Ursula Andress in Prisoner of the Cannibal God, you might not expect the real animal violence).

I would bring up the example of Night of the Demon (the 1980 film, not the Jacques Tourner classic!), as my own personal experience of being thrown off balance by a film's semi-amateurishness. I remember finding the way that many of the murders in the film were dwelt upon in incredibly long and slow takes amazingly disturbing simply because I was used to more mainstream films cutting away after a brief flash of gore, not focusing on the blood and guts literally for minutes at a time (It looks incredibly slow when compared with the hyper-edited scenes of many horror films now). Simply the way that the entire final massacre section of that film clicks into extremely slow motion as it begins was more than enough to add the 'uh-oh' frisson and creep me out! That could be an example of a film where really the slow motion is likely just being used to pad out the running time, and any extra scares were likely unintentional! And the over use of slow motion could just as much be seen as hilarious as frightening! But that film, simply by the technique being so unexpected to me, managed to create quite an impact. I remember Absurd creating the same frissons as well.

(The big massacre scene in The Burning is shocking in almost exactly the opposite manner – a literal raft of teenagers gets bumped off in the space of about a minute, if that, with very little warning, and certainly none of the Friday The 13th style long drawn out stalking scenes to pad out the time - at least in that one sequence!)

A couple of things that struck me while watching the trailers –

Absurd/Horrible has a brilliant creepily bizarre score.

I’m starting to think that Night Train Murders is a better film than Last House On The Left – perhaps it is even more reprehensible and too glossy (love the Demis Roussos title ballad!), but its themes are a lot more complex, interesting and cynically developed than those of the Craven film.

Holly Hunter always gets mentioned for her extremely brief appearance in The Burning, but we should spare a thought for this being Jason Alexander’s (George in Seinfeld) debut as well!

Riz Ortolani is probably responsible for some of the most lyrical scores in all cinema. Yet because they are for some of the most disturbing films, they remain relatively hidden gems.

There is a trailer for Don’t Go In The Park that apparently was not included on the US DVD of that film, and there is a nice trailer for Flesh For Frankenstein that does not seem to be on either the UK or US discs (certainly it was not on the original Criterion DVD at least!). And of course the trailer for the utterly ludicrous Snuff is nice to finally see, since the Region 1 disc from Blue Underground only contained the film running on a continuous loop with no extras (not even any menus!), presumably to create a feel of it being an ‘underground’ disc.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:22 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:51 am 
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colinr0380 wrote:
“I’m starting to think that Night Train Murders is a better film than Last House On The Left – perhaps it is even more reprehensible and too glossy (love the Demis Roussos title ballad!), but its themes are a lot more complex, interesting and cynically developed than those of the Craven film.

Funnily enough, I watched Night Train Murders last night and was thinking the same thing. Boy did I need a shower after this one, I think there's still some dirt under my fingernails. I need to re-watch last house soon to make a honest comparison though.

I'm looking forward to this DVD, as a child of the video years, video nasties and precert tapes are of great interest to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:58 am 
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I agree, Last House On The Left shouldn't be totally dismissed of course but I think Night Train Murders is a particularly good example of a film which, like many of the Italian films, could never have existed without the film that it was copying/ripping off and yet manages to add a lot of interesting extra material to that original structure to let it stand out as a worthwhile experience in its own right.

One of the fascinating aspects of this whole area of video classification is that the way that a lot of these different small video labels releasing pre-certified tapes (and the outlets stocking them) appeared to be utterly decimated by the Video Recordings Act making BBFC classification of home video (and the paying of a fee for such service) mandatory except in a few exempt cases. That might have seemingly made the streets safe for children from the likes of Cannibal Holocaust and Snuff, yet at the same time it created an uneven playing field tipped in favour of the big video distributors and also reduced the diversity of material being released due to it not being economically viable for labels to release just anything any more. It appeared that some labels in the early days just released anything to see if there was money to be made from it, which of course led to a lot of rubbish being released, yet also a lot of films that would never have seen the light of day otherwise got their chance as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:32 am 
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Indeed in some cases people started their own video label to sell their own films, the early Steve Perry (Ben Dover) 'sex thriller' 'Right Time, Wrong Place' being a perfect example. The theme tune to the film (Written by Perry) even contains the name of the video label.

In other cases, video shops themselves started video labels, Medusa started like this and was later sold for a decent profit.

It really was a crazy time for video releasing, some companies had no idea what they were selling and at times didn't even watch the film before releasing it.

Over the years I've collected many videotapes, magazines, trad ads etc from this period, I'm putting together a website at the moment for it all.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:43 pm 
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One of the best DVD sets out there right now. Watching disc 3 at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:09 am 

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colinr0380 wrote:
Trailer
The book also gets far more into the background of the video recorder in British homes in the early 80s - the way that the 'nasties' seemed far more extreme because they were filling a gap in the market. Demand for films on tape was growing yet the major Hollywood companies were reticent about releasing their films on videotape due to concerns about piracy - so a film like The Evil Dead, or a low budget Italian horror could look much more extreme in that environment where, simply due to the lack of blockbuster titles, they would receive much more mainstream attention.

I had a VHS recorder from early 1980 when very few mainstram titles - especially classic films - were available commercially, and those that were cost around £40 each (allowing for inflation, £150 each today!) I used to buy the video magazines to find out about new titles and always resented the amount of horror/porn I had to wade through to find the (to me) interesting stuff. I used to bin them as soon as possible or rip off the front covers immediately as I was so embarrassed - and rather repulsed - to have them lying around. This may sound prudish today but imagine a world where any Criterion-type films are buried (if they exist at all on video) by all this stuff. I'm referring to the period before the moral panic set in, probably because so few people then had VCRs. It was a relief when the (postal) BFI Video Club was formed to cater to people like me - apparently in the minority! - who wanted to buy quality titles that were not sold in shops, at least where I lived. I remember my first purchase was Rear Window, which had been unavailable for over a decade.

For me, though, the emphasis on extreme horror and soft porn was nothing new, as I'd previously collected 8mm films in the 1970s and there was no ratings system or other censorship for that format either, beyond I suppose the laws against obscenity. The film library where, as a boy, I used to go to hire Laurel & Hardy etc. always had at least one customer who was obviously waiting for some "under the counter" material and indeed police raids on it were regularly reported in the local newspaper. My mother never stopped me going, as she trusted the owner not to expose me to any "adult" material and her trust was absolutely justified. No doubt most of the horror films on video a few years later were much stronger than the 8mm fare, but I was nevertheless surprised by the moral panic that broke out. I've always thought that, like the Falklands War (or "Conflict" as the media insisted then), it was engineered as a distraction from unemployment (which affected me personally) and the other real problems that gripped Thatcher's Britain.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:21 am 
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Going through the trailers and the list of the 72 films, I'm pretty surprised that titles like "The Texaas Chainsaw Massacre" (which they mention frequently on the DVD, was never on the list), Bill Lustig films like "Maniac", David Cronenberg films, and nothing from Japan were banned. I wonder how Japan got unscathed and Italy got half of their titles on the list....


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:47 am 
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manicsounds wrote:
Going through the trailers and the list of the 72 films, I'm pretty surprised that titles like "The Texaas Chainsaw Massacre" (which they mention frequently on the DVD, was never on the list), Bill Lustig films like "Maniac", David Cronenberg films, and nothing from Japan were banned. I wonder how Japan got unscathed and Italy got half of their titles on the list....

Quite simply, very few Japanese film were released on video in the early days, so there was not much to ban.

Its important to remember these lists were hastily thrown together, policemen just grabbed videos from local shops and put the lists together. No two video shpos stocked the exact same titles, so it was purley whatever they picked up, the lists varied from one police region to another. There really was no science to it at all. It seems some of the films only made the list because of their art work or at times merely the name of the film. This is how The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and The Big Red One briefly made it on the list.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:27 am 
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It would probably also depend on which libraries of titles that the video labels were picking up - it looks like there were a lot of 'buying in bulk' deals, so perhaps that is why so many of the Italian films were released. But even in the Italian horror subgenre none of the films that ripped off The Exorcist were banned, because they didn't seem to have been distributed in Britain in the first place. And while Joe D'Amato's Anthropophagus and Absurd have extremely gory elements, his Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and Porno Holocaust (both of which, ineptly, fuse hardcore with gore), or any of his Emanuelle films with Laura Gemser did not approach the lists either despite arguably being more offensive in places, due to their lack of distribution in the UK. It is also interesting to note that Flesh For Frankenstein was banned and Blood For Dracula wasn't.

There were also many films released on video in the pre-certificate days that were never placed on the list because they were removed from circulation just in time (often from the bigger companies who seemed to have been given some leeway compared to small distributors) - Straw Dogs and The Exorcist for example. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, too. They were not officially banned, but it amounted to about the same thing since they were not available until they were submitted again to the BBFC in the late 90s for certificates in the wake of James Ferman's departure.

Incidentally, the See No Evil book mentions two further films that were apparently put on the list at some point. The first is Cain's Cutthroats from 1969. The following is a description of the film from the book, which might also serve to illustrate how in depth the analyses of each film are in the book (the book also contains a very helpful full Sight and Sound style synopsis of the plot of each film):

Quote:
...an obscure western using a regularly utilised plot in which a decent man seeks revenge on those who murdered his kinfolk (It was virtually remade as The Deadly Trackers starring Richard Harris in 1973). Although the film slows down considerably after the first twenty minutes it is unusually brutal for its time - the gang rape of the mother in front of her young son being particularly problematic. After this, the film changes pace completely...

...The cast are typical B-movie types and the ubiquitous John Carradine obviously revels in his role of the ambiguous preacher-cum-bounty hunter, delivering Biblical platitudes the one moment and hacking the head from a corpse the next...

...Cain's Cutthroats appeared briefly on a listing of banned and suspect titles in the video trade press, a fact which has largely been forgotten by collectors and genre historians, possibly due to the film being a western as opposed to a horror picture. The violence generally consists of brief though fairly bloody shootouts in the style of The Wild Bunch - made the same year - with the gang revelling in the brutality. They bicker like schoolchildren when no committing some misdeed on some other people; acts of murder and rape cause them to laugh uncontrollably. One of the first victims to fall to the gang, a Yankee soldier on the payroll wagon, is shot in the belly bringing a fleeting glimpse of a gaping offal wound (Notably Soldier Blue was made the following year). But it is probably the rape sequence that caused most concern, even if it is not unduly explicit. The continuous racial insults and the fact that a minor is forced to watch certainly intensifies the sequence.

The film was released uncertified on the VTC label under the category of "violent western". Prior to this, in 1978, it had a theatrical run as Cain's Way, shorn of four minutes. Under this title however the film appears to have run slightly longer, making more of the futility of Cain's plight. (Cain is abandoned because, as the preacher puts it, he is no longer motivated by revenge but by "a lust for killing"). According to the Monthly Film Bulletin the execution of Amison at the film's end causes Cain, cheated of his prey, to fall to his knees in front of the body. The VTC print on the other hand ends suddenly with a freeze frame of Amison's slumped body, over which the credits play.

And the other film is Xtro, a British science fiction film, although the book doesn't really go into details of when this was placed on the DPP list so it could be an error. Athough as Duncan mentions the DPP list was an ad hoc creation, and also not intended for wide circulation, so many titles were added and removed throughout the years of its existence.

EDIT: In terms of Japanese films, I think the Shogun Assassin re-edit of the first couple of Lone Wolf and Cub films was a borderline case.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:22 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:01 am 
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colinr0380 wrote:
It is also interesting to note that Flesh For Frankenstein was banned and Blood For Dracula wasn't.

That doesn't really surprise me - Blood for Dracula is a much tamer film, and doesn't come anywhere close to the entrail-spilling (and dangling) excesses of Frankenstein.

Quote:
There were also many films released on video in the pre-certificate days that were never placed on the list because they were removed from circulation just in time (often from the bigger companies who seemed to have been given some leeway compared to small distributors) - Straw Dogs and The Exorcist for example. They were not officially banned, but it amounted to about the same thing since they were not available until they were submitted again to the BBFC in the late 90s for certificates in the wake of James Ferman's departure.

Similarly, EMI put out a pan-and-scan copy of the uncut Suspiria, but withdrew it when the VRA was introduced. For many years that was my only opportunity to see the full version - I'd already seen it in 35mm, but in the BBFC-snipped edition. I bought loads of VHS and Betamax tapes in September 1985 in the run-up to the VRA's one-year grace period before classification became compulsory - they were going for silly amounts of money by the end (Paul Verhoeven's Spetters for 99p, that kind of thing - and this is when new videocassettes went for around £50!).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:41 am 
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Though you are correct in stating that 'Blood for Dracula' is considerably less gory than Frankenstein, I very much doubt its omission from the list had anything to do with its content.
There seemed to be only 3 ways for a film to catch the attention of the Police: A. Notoriety ('Athropthogus' made it on the news as a snuff film, ditto 'Snuff')B. Cover art. (Very gory or a hint of sexual violence) C. Name of the film ('Canibal' or 'Zombie' or 'SS' would have got their attention) . Only then it seems the content was examined.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:11 pm 
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I wonder if also the Andy Warhol/Paul Morrisey imprimatur could have led to extra attention being paid to Flesh for Frankenstein, due to the earlier controversies and police raids surrounding the theatrical release of the earlier trilogy of films? I could imagine that just the idea that a film would contain the level of sexuality of a film like Flesh, which then would be combined with gore and then with the possibility of literally having it all pushed into your face with 3D effects that work well even in a flat print might cause some palpitations amongst the list-makers; or at least give them concerns about excessiveness, even if that was the entire point of the film!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:16 am 
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Interesting theory, but would the police really have joined the dots like that? I don't imagine for one second that anyone involved in the Flesh raid gave two hoots about whether it was a film by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, and this was at least a dozen years before Flesh for Frankenstein got into trouble.

In fact, since the Flesh raid ended in humiliation for the Met, with the then chief censor John Trevelyan roundly denouncing their actions (the first time that an official censor had sided with the public rather than the forces of repression), I'd have thought that a more clued-up police force would have wanted to steer clear of any fresh Warhol-related controversy.

And the 3-D would have been irrelevant - I think the film had only been shown a handful of times in 3-D in Britain, and this certainly didn't apply to the video release.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:39 pm 
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I agree that your explanation is far more plausible! Sometimes I forget that most people don't have a particular interest in film to connect the dots like that and therefore it was far more likely that it was simply the content of Flesh For Frankenstein itself rather than any other connection that brought it onto the list.

Although I'd love to pretend that there were some cinephile police officers or politicians actually putting some thought into what they were targeting during this period. It's far scarier to think that it was just a kneejerk reaction to a media scare campaign, even if that is far more likely to have been the case!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:42 pm 
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One of the most depressing things I've ever read was the Hansard transcript of the "video nasties" debate in Parliament, which lead to the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Matthew Parris, then an up and coming young Tory MP, was just about the only participant who seemed to have something approaching a clue, but to no avail.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:43 pm 
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I wanted to thank Colin for his continued hawking for this set, as I've been enjoying it immensely-- I don't have any investment in the British case, but I thought the doc and especially the interviews do something few if any DVD extras for films of this sort seem interested in doing, which is just literally talking at length about these kinds of films not from strictly derisive or fanboyish stance, but an honest appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses. Unlike 42nd Street comps, the trailers seem at best an afterthought!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:53 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
I thought the doc and especially the interviews do something few if any DVD extras for films of this sort seem interested in doing, which is just literally talking at length about these kinds of films not from strictly derisive or fanboyish stance, but an honest appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses.

I think that's the only rational way to approach a collection like this, given that the films were essentially "programmed" by people with no qualifications in the subject - namely the Director of Public Prosecutions and his police advisers.

So, unavoidably, it's going to be a pretty random selection that owes far more to their release-date coincidence, their visibility on shelves of shops being raided and the accompanying tabloid hysteria than any artistic or cult/fanboy merit. In fact, with a reasonably hefty number of these titles, their inclusion on the DPP's list is the only reason they haven't been forgotten three decades ago.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:31 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
I think that's the only rational way to approach a collection like this, given that the films were essentially "programmed" by people with no qualifications in the subject - namely the Director of Public Prosecutions and his police advisers.

Michael I would agree with that point, the collection does have that accidental quality, but personally I would put a lot of value in the list, at least as a primer on Exploitation Cinema, encapsulating so many genres and styles - slashers, zombies, cannibals, mondo, Nazi-Exploiters, American Exploitation and European Cult Cinema. It's not surprising that fans still love to discuss it. I watched the 39 core-Nasties for my blog and aside from a few maddening moments (Andy Milligan's The Ghastly Ones, and Franco's Devil Hunter), I found most of the 39 generally enjoyable, and there are some genuine classics scattered throughout the list.

What might surprise people not steeped in Nasties lore is the amount of money original banned VHS editions go for these days - if you can navigate passed the counterfeiters, good condition tapes will cost you serious money...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:27 am 
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I'll add my highest appreciation for this set.

I must admit that I was a bit worried when I put in the disc, which has some chainsaw girl running around someone's backyard as the intro. All fears were calmed when Kim Newman showed up and added his usual charm. I guess it's only all too appropriate that they use the same marketing techniques that the films did. Look, you can even get a shirt.

Might anyone know some other resources regarding Video Nasties/80s exploitation censorship that they might recommend? I have this book coming soon (it lists all of the VHS artwork for the films). I'm having a difficult time finding some other works (I'll lean more academic than in your face).

I'm always surprised by what was left off the DPP list, although I'm quite partial to that crazy sasquatch film.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:33 am 
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Minkin, if you can seek it out, See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy by David Kerekes and David Slater is the difinitive study of the Nasties. I reviewed each of the 39 Nasties here


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Thanks, domino. There are certainly some intriguing defences for the films put forward (I'm certainly more interested in tracking down Axe than I had been for example, and I have picked up the recent Arrow edition of Don't Go In The House), and although I would probably fall into more of the fanboy category about some films (I think Contamination is great fun for example, and wasn't analysed particularly well), I do think that the contributors talk through the stories behind the films really well. And in many of the films discussed the behind the scenes stories are the most interesting part!

MichaelB wrote:
So, unavoidably, it's going to be a pretty random selection that owes far more to their release-date coincidence, their visibility on shelves of shops being raided and the accompanying tabloid hysteria than any artistic or cult/fanboy merit. In fact, with a reasonably hefty number of these titles, their inclusion on the DPP's list is the only reason they haven't been forgotten three decades ago.


I agree, though I find that I'm perhaps perversely most interested in the rarer, perhaps most terrible, films. For example many of those 'dropped' titles on the third disc such as I Miss You Hugs & Kisses, Pranks, Frozen Scream, Terror Eyes (which I did recently see after its release as a Warner Archive title in the US under the title Night School) and Unhinged sound particularly interesting to me!

Minkin wrote:
I must admit that I was a bit worried when I put in the disc, which has some chainsaw girl running around someone's backyard as the intro. All fears were calmed when Kim Newman showed up and added his usual charm.

That's Emily Booth - I remember her from late night television back in the late 90s where she was one of the three female presenters of the computer game show Bits (one of the other presenters, Aleks Krotoski, has gone on to become a technology correspondent for the BBC and The Guardian even presenting a recent series about the internet, The Virtual Revolution). Since then Emily Booth has become quite prominent as the face of what was the Zone Horror digital channel (now called just Horror), doing introductions, as well as monthly guides to upcoming screenings and reports from Frightfest. Plus she was also in Evil Aliens.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun May 13, 2012 5:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:11 am 
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colinr0380 wrote:
That's Emily Booth...

Easily, the worst thing on the DVD....


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Good, if slightly perplexing, news from the twitter feed of Nucleus Films:

Nucleus Films wrote:
Nucleus spent yesterday afternoon filming yet more introductions with Steve Thrower for our forthcoming Video Nasties 2 box set.

A set of the rarer films with more in-depth introductions perhaps?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:26 am 
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Thanks Colin for pushing this one. It's really a very interesting set that presents the whole era in a very fascinating light that's not really discussed (even if the thing ends with the requisite righteous anger) and presents the films (which I've surprisingly only seen eight from the main two lists).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Thanks knives! I have to ask which eight you had previously seen? I assume one would have been The Evil Dead?


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