The Video Nasties are finally back.
After the Video Recordings Act was made law in 1984, one of the most controversial and difficult periods for independent video distibution companies began.
At the beginning of the 80s, VHS and rental stores were blossoming and so the production of horror movies, that since the late seventies were being distributed in the UK without any regulation. But under the Act many of these movies became known as “Video Nasties” and were banned from distribution.
39 films were totally banned, and the titles included gems like Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, Lucio Fulci’s Zombi Flesh-Eaters, Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left, Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave, Mario Bava’s Blood Bath and Tony Maylam’s The Burning.
33 more, like Death Trap by Tobe Hooper, Evil Dead by Sam Raimi and The Living Dead by Jorge Grau were later dropped because not considered obscene.
Now we can relive the atmosphere created by those forbidden movies thanks to a 3-Dvd Box Set, VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE. In the first two dvds the 39 banned movies and the 33 subsequently removed from the list are presented along with their trailer and interviews with journalists and media academics. The third disc features the documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape, directed by Jake West. This documentary was screened at the last Frightfest edition in London and it became even more interesting after the case of A Serbian Film, which the organizers dropped from the list of movies to be screened after being asked of cutting too much of it.  The work of Jake West exemplifies through interviews and archive footage the rise of censorship in those turbolent years and what has left on today’s british cinema.
Being fan of cinema, and not only horror movies, means to be aware of what happened in the UK during those extraordinary years of censorship and prohibition. VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE is a must-have collector’s edition box-set that will throw you back to a time when zombies  and slasher killers caused heated protests and tumultuous reactions. Dare watching?

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