Prepare to be corrupted and depraved once more as Horror Channel broadcasts a season of films that defines the Video Nasties phenomenon – one of the most extraordinary and scandalous eras in the history of British film.
Headlining this ground-breaking series is the world TV premiere of VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE, which will be broadcast on November 4th @ 10.55pm
Directed by renowned filmmaker Jake West (Doghouse, Evil Aliens) and produced by Marc Morris, (co-author of ‘Art of the Nasty’ and ‘Shock Horror: Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era’), this era-defining documentary features reflective interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday) and Christopher Smith (Severance, Black Death) as well as charting the heroic stand taken by journalist/author Martin Barker, who single-handedly came out in protest against what he saw as the erosion of civil liberties.
There are also revealing interviews with the MP Graham Bright and Geoffrey Robertson QC, as well as rare archive footage featuring James Ferman (director of the BBFC 1975-1999) & Mary Whitehouse. Taking in the explosion of home video, the introduction of draconian censorship measures, hysterical press campaigns and the birth of many careers born in blood and videotape, West’s cannily piercing and topical documentary also reflects on the influence this peculiar era still exerts on us today, particularly in the light of what has happened with A Serbian Film and Human Centipede 2.
Season Of The Banned – The Films
4th Nov @ 00:20 – THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
Sam Raimi’s masterpiece, starring Bruce Campbell, sees five twenty-something friends holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead. Playing the taped incantations, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival. Because of its graphic violence and terror, the original version of the movie was banned in several countries, including Finland, Germany, Iceland and Ireland. In the United Kingdom, the film was one of the first to be labelled a video nasty and was only finally released uncut in 2001.
11TH Nov Double Bill – THE EXTERMINATOR and THE BEYOND
10.55pm – THE EXTERMINATOR (UK Premiere) (1980)
This exploitation revenge classic can finally be seen (uncut) on UK TV. James Glickenhaus’ explosive story sees Vietnam vet John Eastland (Robert Ginty), go on a bloody vendetta against the New York underworld when his best friend is brutally beaten by a street gang. The film also stars Golden Globe winner Samantha Eggar. Although never on the DPP’s banned lists, the UK theatrical version was shortened by 44 seconds and the film only surfaced uncut on DVD in 2000. It was banned in New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Norway and Iceland – who no doubt, given the amount of fires started, found it too ‘hot’ to show. Surprisingly, the film was released uncensored in Germany.
00:50 – THE BEYOND (1981)
Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece of face chewing Spider action, milky eyed psychics, face melting embalming fluid and rotted, flesh-crazed Zombies returns in all its blood splattered, surreal and grossly disturbing glory for a new generation of horror fans. Also known as Seven Doors of Death, the second film in Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, The Beyond has gained a cult following over the decades, in part because of the film’s gore-filled murder sequences, which had been heavily censored when the film was originally released in UK cinemas in 1981. It ended up on the DPPs video nasty list from March 1984 to April 1985. An uncut version was finally released in 2001.
18TH Nov Double Bill – ISLAND OF DEATH and CITY OF THE DEAD
10.55pm – ISLAND OF DEATH (1972)
Greece is transformed into a bloodbath of sex, death and sadism by director Nico Mastorakis in a notorious film that only got the blessing from the BBFC to be distributed uncut in Sept 2010. Originally cut by 13 minutes and resubmitted as Psychic Killer 2, the BBFC still banned it for video in 1987. The film briefly appeared on the video nasties list in Nov 1983 but was deleted by the next issue. The video returned to the list in Oct 1985 and remained on the list throughout so becoming one of the collectable DPP39s.
00:55 – CITY OF THE DEAD (1980)
The king of Euro-Terror, LUCIO FULCI, throws open the gates of Hell, unleashing a plague of Zombies, in this notorious shock and gore masterpiece. In the early 1980s, the film was passed by the BBFC for cinema exhibition but with the infamous ‘Head drilling scene’ cut. The same “X” version was released on video around the same time. It never appeared on the video nasties banned list but when it was submitted to the BBFC for official video release it received further cuts to the vomiting scene and to the brain removal scenes. In 2001, it was re-submitted and passed uncut. Three versions of the film have been banned in Germany.
25TH Nov Double Bill – THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and TENEBRAE
10.55pm – THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)
It has been called the “movie that defined horror”. It was attacked by churches, banned by governments, and acclaimed by only the bravest of critics. Rejected by the BBFC outright in March 1975, the film was eventually granted a Greater London Council “X – London” certificate. It then appeared on home video. Although not an official video nasty, it did appear in the DPPs Section 3 list of titles, which meant it could be seized from rental stores but no prosecutions would take place. It was eventually granted 18 uncut status by the BBFC in Aug 1999 and was given a theatrical re-release alongside a home video release.
00:40 – TENEBRAE (1982)
This infamous video nasty updated the classic Giallo blueprint for the gorified 80s, courting controversy and drenching the viewer in crimson arterial spray. In the UK, the film was shorn of five seconds of “sexualized violence” by the BBFC prior to its 1983 theatrical release. The same version later became one of the thirty-nine video nasties. The ban lasted until 1999, when it was rereleased on videotape, with an additional one second of footage removed from the film. In 2003, the BBFC reclassified the film and passed it without any cuts.
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