TDF Film Podcast 34 - Video Nasties

  • In Podcast
  • 00:00 on 8th Aug 2014
  • By Matt ShingletonMatt Shingleton
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Will someone please think of the children!!


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Those of you old enough to remember the “Video Nasty” furore will probably look back fondly on the climate of scare-mongering and political jostling that took place throughout the early 80s when cuddly middle-class rabble-rousers like Graham Bright and Mary Whitehouse - with the full might of NVALA behind her - decided that horror and exploitation movies making their way uncensored and unregulated into our living rooms via that beautiful (and at the time burgeoning) medium of VHS represented a practical Tsunami of filth and depravity that had the power to not only warp the very wills of the weak-minded, but also irrevocably corrupt the impressionable minds of our tiny, tiny children.

Albion was besieged, and these campaigners (complete with the backing of the always impartial and understated British press) decided no tactic was too aggressive or underhanded as they sought a parliamentary clampdown on VHS content. Astonishingly they prevailed, resulting in the Video Recordings Act 1984, which for the first time meant that not only did a commercial video recording have to make it through BBFC classification before it could legally be sold or hired in the UK, but it had to do so with a stricter set of censorship rules than films seeking theatrical release.

Well, amazingly this July marked the 30th anniversary since the Video Recordings Act reached Royal Assent, a whole year after the Department of Public Prosecutions put together a (not so) short list of around 72 titles they felt were in breach of Britain’s infamous Obscene Publications Act and would most likely bring any distributor, trader, and renter straight into the legal crosshairs should there be even a whiff of one such title in their collection.

These days the DPP List is just an embarrassing blip in the history of film censorship and distribution in this country, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating the anniversary of the act that started the charge should it? Especially when the NVALA and those Tories put all that hard work into convincing the DPP to provide fans of the outré with a list of 72 films that simply had to be experienced to call yourself the very hardest of the hardcore horror/exploitation buff. After all, you’re not a true genre fan here in the UK until you’ve seen at least 10 of the films on this list, but our podcast team have sadly fallen a little short of that figure in our Video Nasties episode as we seek to provide a little history on the anniversary and take a close look at eight of the titles that were lucky enough to make it into the special shortlist of 39 films that were successfully prosecuted in the UK.

Episode 34 contributors: Mike Sutton (host), John White, Matt Shingleton, and Kev Gilvear

The eight “nasties” we’re reviewing this episode are:

Absurd



A Bay of Blood



Bloody Moon



Flesh for Frankenstein



I Spit on Your Grave



The Last House on the Left



Night of the Demon



Zombie Flesh Eaters



As always we hope you'll get in touch with us in the comments section if you feel like chiming in on the subject at hand!

The theme music for this Digital Fix FilmCast is:
I saw you on TV (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0

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