VHS Nasty (2019) Movie Script

- [Announcer] On behalf of
the motion picture industry,
welcome to the world of
home video entertainment.
[reel rattling]
[dark synthesizer music]
- [Narrator] A video
nasty is a colloquial term
used in the United
Kingdom and Europe
to describe a number of
films which are distributed
on VHS video in the early
1980s, which were heavily
criticized by the
press, Parliament
and various religious
for their content
which contained
strong use of violence
and graphic nudity.
No legislation was in place to
regulate home video content.
This meant that any
films on the market
and available for video rental
stores had no certification.
Although the act did not
govern home video at the time,
at this time the British
Board of Film Censorship
was established in 1912
only governed theatrical
cinematic releases and was not
enforced to censor home video.
This is due to a loophole within
the film classification
laws at the time.
Because of this,
in the early 1980s,
the market was flooded with
low budget horror films
featuring gore, violence
and graphic nudity.
Due to the video nasty
debate in both Parliament
and in the courts, this
resulted in a number of films
being prosecuted
in the early 80s
by the director of
public prosecutions.
Following this, the
government passed
the Video Recordings Act 1984,
which meant in Britain
all video releases
had to appear before the BBFC.
The so-called video
nasties caused
an outright media frenzy
during the early 1980s.
- [Announcer] To avoid
fainting, keep repeating, it's--
- [Crowd] Only a movie,
only a movie, only a movie.
- [Narrator] In 1982, Vidco
placed an advertisement
for the Driller Killer
in a VHS magazine.
This advertisement served
to bring the awareness
of these types of films to
the attention of the masses.
What happens next was--
- Censorship, censorship.
- [Announcer] Cannibalism.
- Censorship.
- I think it's important
for us to define
what we're talking
about here at the start.
This isn't the small
type of censorship,
say an adult trying to restrict
the access of a small child
to pornography,
something you could argue
is in the best interest of
someone who is not capable
of deciding for themselves
what's best for them
or what is possibly
bad for them.
This is something different.
This is something larger.
This is something insidious.
This is a small group of people,
a governing body of some type
restricting the
access of the body,
of the masses to
something that they want.
These are people who can
decide for themselves
what's good for them or
possibly bad for them,
but you have this
overreaching governing agency
or government
enforcing their own
ideals, morals on the masses.
This is where things get wrong.
And this is what
we're talking about
when we talk about censorship
within this context,
the video nasties, the
PRMC, the Satanic Panic,
this whole era of restriction
of music and film and art
in general from the masses.
- So if you were lucky
enough to own a video player
in the early 80s, you
had unrestricted access
to a number of violent
horror gore films
full of blood full of gore full
of splinters going in eyes,
full of drills going in
heads, full of nudity,
full of Nazis,
full of everything.
The video nasties
are bloody amazing.
They're very important for
film, for film history.
I don't think there
isn't a film maker
a horror film maker alive today
who doesn't owe a
debt to a video nasty.
They were such a big part
of our British culture
and worldwide, they're
a worldwide phenomenon.
- Even the word nasty,
what does it mean?
At the time when that
phrase was coined,
it was considered an
incredibly nasty, vicious film
with a lot of violence,
usually sexualized violence.
Women were the main target
and victims in these films.
And certainly American films
I even find distasteful
the early Wes Craven,
Last House on the Left,
I Spit On Your Grave,
for example another
film from that genre
which seemed to revel
in sexual violence
and it's something that I've
never felt comfortable with.
But whether those
films should be banned
or whether they should
just have a warning on them
is a controversial subject.
Because if you talk
about banning things
then you get into
that area where
if you know Fahrenheit
451 essentially
is the temperature of which
paper erupts into flame
and that was kind of
exemplified as an example
in that great film
of the same name.
- Pretty much
everything on this list
is known for its brutality,
movies like House on
the Edge of the Park.
It's got a lot of rape scenes,
but they're also very
violent in nature.
The same thing with
Last House on the Left.
I think that's sort of
what in a lot of ways
what makes these
videos video nasty,
it's just the
nastiness of it all.
- I know the actual
New York repo
and they actually escorted
that film out of the country
because they didn't want anyone
even making bootleg copies
or any distributor
getting hold of that film.
So the New York repo
was actually escorted
out the country,
which is really crazy.
- But here's the problem
censorship inevitably runs into
is that any time an art
form, music, film whatever
is censored that inevitably
creates an underground movement,
a collective of creative
people that are inspired by
the restrictions that
have been placed upon them
and seek to circumvent that
and find new ways, new
forms of expression,
more extreme forms of expression
as a direct response to the
unfairness of the censorship.
That whether it's hip hop,
whether it's punk rock,
whether it's horror films,
that underground
movement eventually
because of that extremity
because of the interest
in the rebelliousness
of what they're trying to do
that outside group inevitably
takes over the mainstream
down the road and
becomes the mainstream.
The real hilarious
thing about censorship
is if you think about
things that have been
censored from The Wolf Man
in 1931 to Friday the 13th
to Where the Wild Things
Are it doesn't work.
I mean in the end
over the long term,
censorship does not
work, because eventually
these things you're
trying suppress always
get out there, always.
That's the irony of censorship.
- Censorship.
- [Lloyd] There should be no
censorship in films whatsoever
except for children, protect
the children, that's it.
It was a disaster to ban
the movies in the 80s,
like Mother's Day, Toxic Avenger
because what you got
a 40-minute version
of the Toxic Avenger.
It wasted people's money,
it wasted their time
and wasted very good art.
There's no reason for
any kind of censorship.
This is idiotic.
- So it means that
what we're in danger of
is throwing all of these films
into a great conflagration
and destroying them forever
and then a very valid part
of our movie history is lost.
So I think that's what the
British government at the time
had in mind when the list
of video nasties emerged,
where they decided that
any film that had any kind
of graphic violence was
considered beyond the taste
of the British taste
makers and because of that
they decided that the public
should not have access to them.
They became an illegal list
whereby if you wanted them
and they still were
available, you literally
had to get them in a brown
paper bag under the counter
and take them home and bring
them back in the same manner.
- The story I heard is
that they had a Go Video
once try to drum up some
publicity for his film
so he sent a copy
to Mary Whitehouse
pretending to be an angry
member of the public
who had come across
it in a video store
and he was hoping that
she'd complain about it
and that would get people
going out and buying it.
But instead it had a bit
of a catastrophic effect
on the video industry
as a whole at the time
because then it kickstarted
the whole Department
of Public Prosecutions
raids and making a
list and police raids.
So I think that was the kind
of catalyst for the whole thing
but most of the time you
would have video magazines
that would have full page ads
for stuff like The Dreaded
Cutter, Essex Experiment Camp
and things like that
and the video industry
didn't help themselves
at the time.
- But as you can see from
the list of video nasties
a lot of the films are
great Italian classics.
You're looking at Suspiria,
one of the great art movies
of the late 20th century.
Looking at Tenebrae
another really beautiful,
but extremely violent
film, which also had humor
and some of the most
dramatic camera movements
ever recorded in cinema history.
You had the films
from Lucio Fulci,
which again are extremely
violent zombie films,
but they're zombie films.
They're not to be
taken that seriously.
Zombies are fantasy.
As we can see now
in the 21st century,
one of the biggest
shows on the planet
is The Walking Dead.
Now nobody is trying
to ban that show
and it's far more
violent and aggressive
than anything that came
out in the 70s and the 80s.
Again I think video nasties
were a product of their time
and a kind of ethos of the time
of political correctness
where people felt that
we need to safeguard the
moral life of the viewer.
It is fascinating when you look
at the films on the list now
you're looking at The Evil
Dead and you think well
why was that film on the
list of video nasties?
Probably because there was
penetration with a tree branch
basically a women
was raped by a tree
and then you also had a lot of
scenes of aggressive violence
but again that sort of
thing was I think when
sexualized violence
was included with
the more mainstream
horror violence,
then became a tricky area for
the taste makers in Britain.
- Police and forces
were going around
removing these video
tapes from video shops
and burning them,
it's totally crazy.
You think it wasn't that long
ago that this was happening.
I mean where would these
bloody people be now?
What would Mary Whitehouse
do with the Internet?
Would she sit there
going around every webcam
sex fucking website
trying to censor that?
What would she be doing now?
- They wanted to get people
to buy their products
and they tried it in the most
sensationalist way possible
and I think at the time
they could have been
more like if they hadn't done
maybe we wouldn't
have had censorship
or censorship wouldn't have
been so tough as it was.
But they really kind
of in their need
to try and get people
buying their videos
they really went overboard
because at the time when
videos first came out
there wasn't any categorization.
It was classed as a
publishing medium alongside
books and music
and I don't know,
it would be interesting to
see what would have happened
with home video and
watching films at home
if the home video nasty
scandal hadn't happened.
I mean would it have gone
down the same path as
publishing mediums like
books and music and stuff
or would the classification
system be inevitable?
- Well my views on
censorship as a whole,
it's a tricky one isn't it?
Because I'm a libertarian, I
believe in freedom of speech.
We fought two world wars,
even English civil war
was partly about the
freedom of speech.
John Milton actually
wrote a famous pamphlet
speaking about censorship
which I've read.
That's even now
regarded as a classic.
So even then back
in the 1640s, 50s
people were against censorship.
The only thing, where
do you cut the line?
Where you have that point where
you think this is too much?
- I think censorship it
needs to be in place.
I mean there were
definitely movies
that I was watching
when I was young
that I really question
how I even got to do that.
I really believe some
things just shouldn't
be sent to young
persons you know.
You need to be mature and you
need to have life experience
to be able to digest what
it is that you're seeing
so it doesn't affect
you in a negative way.
Still baffled that a lot of the
stuff in America is unrated.
I would die if one of
my kids grabbed a hold
of Cannibal Holocaust and
they were 10 years old
or something it's kind of scary.
I think it's good
in this country,
in Australia that we
have pretty strict laws
on the classifications
because it is appropriate
that some stuff that
kids shouldn't see
until their minds are formed.
- I think you've got
to have some boundaries
with censorship because
I don't want to see
inappropriate material
that children are being put
in films and that.
Because you can't have a
free-for-all I don't believe.
So there's certain things which
I don't think you should show.
Stuff like kids,
but other things
like people being
killed on camera,
not for real of course, I
mean I'm totally against that
because some people
even want to legalize
so-called snuff movies
where people are actually
being killed for real and
that should never be allowed
to happen in any
civilized society
that those films should
be made freely available
if they even exist because some
people say it's just a myth.
So censorship some
things are inappropriate,
which I just said,
but on the whole,
you can't censorship with
films like this to be honest
because at the end of the day
it's just actors, they're acting
even if they weren't
that good some of them.
It's just fiction.
People who want to
ban all these films
should get over it
in my humble opinion.
- The idea of singling
out films in my opinion,
it's just absurd the
whole idea of censorship
in this day and age as well,
particular the Internet and--
- Censorship.
- The idea that you can get,
you can buy these things
and the fact that you
know you had films
that were banned for
years and years
and then they've
all been released
and there's been no
discernible affect on society.
There's not been a sudden
uprise in violence and crimes
and this is all
the sort of things
that Mary Whitehouse
and Margaret Thatcher
was trying these films
were responsible for
when in fact it was her way
diverting attention away
from how badly she's running
the country and stuff.
With Mary Whitehouse,
I think she just wanted
to make people follow the
kind of Christian viewpoint
of what she believed
in and horror films
didn't really fit in with that.
- I've got a big thing
about censorship.
It's really not endorsed
by anybody but myself,
really my views on censorship
we're at an age now where
films are so accessible,
the imagery is so
accessible to everybody,
so easy to get ahold of
and we're also at
an age where people
know what is fake
and what is real.
They know how films are made.
They know how special
effects are made.
It wasn't like back in the day
where you only had
Fangoria to look at,
to look at behind the scenes,
you know through
Blu-Ray releases
and special features,
documentaries that we make
that things are fake,
how to put together
and the crews are doing it.
So saying that
censorship is needed
to protect people from imagery
they shouldn't be watching
and also saying that
by watching those films
people are affected
and will do things
they shouldn't be doing is
I think is wrong really.
Because I'm watched
horror films all my life
and I'm not saying
it's one example,
because I know
people have issues,
but when people do have
issues regards to horror
and do act out and
do blame horror films
people who aren't exactly
people who's side are you on.
The average Joe who
watches a horror film
understands entertainment,
understands how it's made
and enjoys it for what it is.
- Yeah yeah yeah,
I kind of I agree.
I think that's why we've
got certification of films.
- But but--
- No no I'm just saying
that's why right,
it's how we
interpret stuff okay.
We're one of the fortunate few
who have rightly brought up
to see films we shouldn't
have at a young age
against age restrictions right?
And yeah we are two
living examples among many
who have seen these films and
not one thing has happened.
If anything it's
kind of huh exists.
- It wasn't a kid's movie.
- It actually inspired us.
It inspired us to
do what we do now.
- We wouldn't have met.
- We wouldn't have met
except for a love of horror.
- And there's a lot of people.
Look at horror fans
who watch all these,
making also you meet
all these people,
the actors, the talent
behind these films
they always say what a
wonderful crowd horror fans are,
how loyal there
are and everything.
There's gonna be
instances I have no doubt
where people are affected
in different ways,
but you know what it's
not just with films,
it's with anything.
It's that social backdrop,
do you know what I mean?
It's how they were
brought up, et cetera.
And also it's how
the mind works.
- We're also in a culture
where we blame people--
- Well they're scapegoats.
- We blame other--
- Child's Play 3,
Jamie Bulger.
- Exactly.
We blame things to
make our case stronger.
The guy who blamed
the Scream movies,
the guy for the
killings that he did
the guy who blamed
Nightmare on Elm Street.
You said you know fortunately
Jamie Bulger case in the UK,
which was a big case.
It obviously affected a lot
of people in this country.
And Child's Play
3 suddenly banned,
one and two isn't,
but Child's Play 3 is.
- For one video.
- Because the children
said they watched that movie
and you know there are
similarities between
Jamie Bulger and Chucky.
But you can't then blame
the film for the actions
of people who aren't
completely there.
I knew as a
10-year-old when I was
watching those films
they were pretend.
I knew when I was 15,
those films were pretend.
The fact they are on the screen
and are made to entertain.
Horror is one of the biggest
entertainment genres around
because people
love to be scared.
Horror sounds nasty and
it can certainly be,
with your Blumhouses and
you still have that--
- I think the two
strongest emotions
the two biggest things
you can react to
is horror and comedy.
- Exactly.
- It's a rollercoaster.
It's just a movie.
- [Announcer] Don't
Look in the Basement.
The makers of Last House
On The Left warn you again
to avoid fainting,
keep repeating,
it's only a movie, only
a movie, only a movie.
- Well I think censorship
thing just backfired.
It basically promoted
to the curious
all it did was made
everyone want to see these
and here it is 40 years later
and people are still
talking about them
and wanting to see
what's all the fuss.
Look where we are
right now with all
re-releases on Blu-Ray
and vinyl releases.
I mean the supply
and demand is there.
I just wish a lot of the
film makers could see
the popularity that it got
because they can
finally get their due.
- No, I do not think that
these movies should be banned
or be put on any sort
of list like this.
I mean you don't ban paintings
and they really don't
ban books anymore.
I think that no matter
how extreme the film is
in it's nature, it's still art
and I don't believe that
art should be censored.
- I don't agree that
young children should
be watching films
should be watching
violence films.
I don't think a five-year-old
should be watching
A Serbian Film or The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
So in that way I do agree
that there should be
some sort of classification
system put in place
and young children
shouldn't have access
to these sort of things.
But when you get to
the 18s category,
I think that a lesser
branch of the law,
unless there's actually
something illegal
going on in the film
then the whole idea
that any kind of censorship
should exist is stupid.
- Censorship should
video nasties be banned?
Well now I don't
think they should.
Because it's part
of a cinema history.
It's part of the genre.
If you ban them, people are
just gonna want to see
them anyway, aren't they?
History has shown whenever's
something's banned,
people are gonna try and
find out why it's been banned
and watch it so no they
shouldn't be banned.
People are gonna get
them anyway, aren't they?
You've got the Internet and
YouTube things like that
so no they definitely
shouldn't be banned.
- I think some yes and some no.
Some of the movies
were quite gross.
Others were probably more what
I would consider an R rating,
which you could stomach.
Perhaps back in the
80s, it might have been
really gross and sort of
barbaric for some people,
but I think definitely now
you'll see some of the movies
that were an R rating
then are now an MA rating.
So they've dropped as
we've been able to digest
this material more and
more over the years.
So I think at the time
some yes and some no.
- Do I think they
should have been banned?
It's hard to say that really
because you're looking back,
you're looking back 30 years
and you're thinking well,
these are just movies,
how could they have
possibly have offended
so many people to think
that they should be banned.
But they were in
parts of the world
and they were done
because there were fears
that these would affect kids
and impressionable viewers.
And to a degree,
you can sort of see
that that does make some sense.
You can imagine a little bit
well I'm sure there is a
weird guy down the street
who watches this movie
and he might get an idea.
If he knocks on my door,
I can get beheaded, right?
- No, I don't think
any of these films
should have been put on
a list for the people
can't consume them,
can't watch them.
They're made to be
consumed by an audience.
They're made for
adult entertainment.
If anything, I'd say try harder
to keep it out of the
hands of children I guess,
but that doesn't fall back
on really the film maker.
That falls on the
parents and the people
that are letting them see the
films, you know what I mean?
You have to be a certain
age to drink and smoke
and watch porno you
know what I mean?
It just throws something on that
and get a little more
strict on that if you want,
but I wouldn't
need to ban a film
so nobody can see it,
unless people are actually
being killed in the film
for the sake of the film.
Not so much in a Face
of Death situation
where it's supposedly
documented death
where it happened and
it was caught on tape
so they'll make
use of it that way.
For the most part, it's all art.
It's all entertainment.
It's not real.
There's stories being told
that might be a little
more gorier than Gone
With the Wind and stuff,
but that doesn't mean they
need to be blacklisted
and cut out of the
womb of society
so nobody could watch them.
- When it comes to
do I think the film
should have been banned and
put in the video nasty list,
I don't feel like
they should have.
I feel like they should have
warnings on the front cover
of the videotapes that
says this movie should only
be viewed by people 18 and up.
They just should have really
good warnings on the ones
that really were shocking.
Because the idea
of banning a movie,
because honestly
when you ban a movie,
all it really does is put
more attention to the movie.
It's kind of like
if your parent says
you can't watch that,
you can't see that movie,
that's not something you
should never see that,
it makes you want
to watch it more.
Like I remember when
I was in school,
I remember there was a
sheriff that came into
when I was in middle school,
I think I was in sixth grade
he came in and said,
there's one movie
you should never watch and it's
called Natural Born Killers.
It's shocking.
It's terrible.
It has bad depictions of police,
bad depictions of everybody,
he was going on and on and on
about this list about it
again and again and again,
continuously going on
about Natural Born Killers.
You know what I did that night
when I got back
home from school?
I immediately rented the movie.
- You know maybe you gotta
out of your way a little more
to make sure that they don't
go into the wrong hands
if that's what
you're worried about,
but I don't think
really I don't think
horror movies have ever
really caused problems
in the sense that
they're thinking of
in killing people and stuff.
I think that when
somebody goes out
and they kill somebody
they're killing somebody
because they want to kill them.
I feel like whether they grew
up watching Pound Puppies
24/7 their entire life if
it's in them to kill somebody,
then they'll kill somebody.
I don't think watching
The Beyond or Blood Feast
is something that's gonna
send them over the edge.
But I think yeah all
censorship in a whole
is not a good thing.
People shouldn't be dictated to
on what they need to do
or what they need to watch
and what they can and can't do.
Because I think people
are they have free will
and they should be able to
make their own decisions.
- Yes, so I think
banning a movie,
all it really does is bringing
more attention to the movies
so making it so people
were like you're gonna ban,
I'm gonna find some
way to watch it.
All it really was doing is
making more and more people
have to go out and find any
way they can to sort out
and find the movie with bootlegs
or anything that they could
sending away from
the copy from the US.
Anything that's
all it really did.
So banning it, I
really don't think
that was the way to do it.
And I also really hate the
idea of banning something
and saying you can't watch that.
That's I don't
know I just really
hate the concept of
doing that to a movie
and censoring it and
all that kind of stuff.
- Should there have been a ban?
You've got these
movies being made,
they are produced they
are funded by studios,
financed independently.
- I mean a lot of them
were done quiet rough.
- Yeah, some of
them were European,
they were being
released in Europe,
released in America,
banned here.
Now obviously we had a
particular issue in the UK
in regards to these films.
Now obviously we had
mentioned before was BBFC
was Mary Whitehouse,
so should they have
been banned because of that?
No they shouldn't have been.
- No.
- They were banned
because of an agenda
from a particular
political group
or a particular organization
who deemed those films
to be inappropriate.
They weren't banned because
there was an uproar from
the community in the public,
far from it, actually the
public were drawn towards
these films even more so
because they were banned.
- That's the thing ultimately,
I'm talking about all
this in retrospect--
- Of course yeah.
- We weren't there at the time
in the sense of knowing--
- I've done my research
and watching, so talk
about me maybe on this,
on this our kind of experiences.
So for me, I got into horror
films from a very early age
and in fact, doing
the story part now
my first encounter
with a video nasty,
albeit I didn't
realize it at the time
was the original Texas
Chainsaw Massacre.
My old man I had actually
seen Part 2 first
on a pirate Dutch
video, my dad had it
and the reason I think we
got on to watching that
was because I think I was
helping him organized his vinyls
and he had the original
soundtrack Chainsaw Massacre 2.
The cover threw
me straight away.
It was the breakfast club shot,
which now it's
absolutely hilarious.
When you're a little kid and
you see this hideous face
with a chainsaw and nubbins,
corpse, it was terrifying.
We watched it.
I was entertained.
I was terrified.
But you know it was a
memorable experience.
Then not long
afterwards he dug out
his original Iver Film Services
VHS box of Chainsaw Massacre
the original like it
was just the silhouette
Leatherface waving
the chainsaw around.
Thrown all over the box is
uncut, uncensored, it happened,
completely sensationalizing
the product.
And he popped it on and
I think I only watched
a segment first it was when
Kirk runs into the house
and Pam does as well and
they both met their demises.
So I'd experienced horror,
but never on that level
and unfortunately
the bar was set then
and not much in the year since
has the had same impact on me.
- I don't really
believe in censorship.
I don't really see
the point behind it,
particularly in
this day and age.
But the BBFC's
viewpoint has always
that they will ban
something if they feel that
it can cause harm
through to an individual
or to society for the
actions of an individual,
which I think is just
something that's just
never been proved,
it's just illogical.
It's like saying
you know for example
if you take something like
a gun, a gun is harmful.
It's been proved to cause
harm, so therefore we ban it.
But when it comes to films,
to say that some people
might watch a film and go out
and cause harm or whatever,
while other people
might not is pretty much
kind of proves that
films don't cause harm.
The way that people
act in society
comes back the whole kind
of nature, nurture debate.
It's all about how
someone was brought up,
their kind of how they learn
about ethics and morality
and how they understand their
actions cause harm to others
or it can be through the
nature side of things.
If someone has some sort of
mental problems in their brain,
if it's like caused
through genetics
or it's caused through in
psychology I learned about
how someone's frontal
lobe gets damaged
and that relates to
their theory of mind
and how their
understanding of their
actions causes harm
to other people.
These are the sort of things
that make people
go out and kill.
If you've been brought
up as a normal person,
you're brought up, you
understand the difference
between right and wrong.
You understand that your
actions have consequences
and you understand the
feelings of other people,
you're not gonna watch a film
and then have all of
those beliefs changed.
If I spent the weekend watching
the film Reservoir Dogs,
I'm not gonna go out on Monday
and start cutting
policemen's ears off.
That's just not how
human beings work.
I think if a film
doesn't break the law,
if it's not like
child pornography
or a real life snuff film or
doesn't have animal cruelty in,
then I don't think that
anything should be banned.
I think it's absurd as well,
the fact that we
still have stuff like
A Serbian Film is banned.
The full, uncut version
is still being cut.
Yet, you can go onto Amazon now
and buy the full
uncut Swedish release
next to the
BBFC-approved version.
I don't understand what
these people are doing
in their little SoHo office.
It just seems a bit crazy
idea that they still sit there
and they still agonize
over which bits to cut
and which bits to leave in.
Oh should we is this okay,
should we have this shot here?
As if any of that
really matters.
Like I said, going back to the
and the other thing as well
you get films which
were banned once
and then have now been released.
Their logic has always been that
well society's changed
and what was once harmful
is now not harmful and going
back to my example of the gun.
If I shot someone
with a gun now,
if we waited 20 years
and then I shot someone,
the fact that
society has changed
or the world has changed,
it's still harmful.
Whereas the idea of
a film being harmful
and then not being
harmful is just illogical.
We've got access to 24 hours
a day hardcore pornography.
We haven't got a society full
of rapists and sex offenders
as a result of it.
- I'll tell you what is actually
the silver bullet is technology.
Technology will
always advance faster
than oppression
can keep it down.
You put warning labels
on tapes, on music,
on heavy metal,
on hip hop and rap
and people copy the tapes
and distribute them.
You ban videos, you
ban horror movies
from being sold
from video stores
from being sold in the market
place and people copy them.
You ban videos now, they
get up on the Internet.
Technology is the silver bullet.
Technology is the thing
that always triumphs
over censorship.
- It's about the
constant fear of what if.
I think especially when
you become a parent,
that comes into play a
lot, because you're always
what if something
were to happen?
What if something was
to happen to my child
or yours or anybody else's,
the people in society that need
more protection than others?
And there's a feeling
that you want to take over
and control or at least
make safe and make safe
is an interesting term,
because you say make safe
and yet making safe is not
it may be safe for you,
but that's not safe
for everybody else.
In fact, that's just
straight out controlling.
That's where I think
a lot of the mindset
was coming from within the
idea to ban these films.
You gotta keep in mind that
these were not just typical
horror films with the violence
you would have already
seen or expected to see.
Blood that was in
color and red and gore,
I mean that was sort
of already there.
People were expecting
some of that
that was there, but
this was balls out.
This was the stuff where
you would just figure
if somebody was dying
by a knife or a machete
that's bad enough, but to
have them chopped into pieces
or guts pulled out or
somebody's eating the guts
and then you turn around
you cut off the head
next person who's
watching this happen.
I mean that's just
going for broke.
You cut off the genitals
and eat that penis,
because everybody
in cannibal land
seems to want to eat the
genitals, I don't know why.
Anyway, there's this idea that
it's not just a horror movie,
it's not just what you
might expect to see
down in the cinema,
it's no restrictions.
It's balls out in your face.
Whatever you could
imagine what would happen
would happen in these movies.
- [Announcer] To avoid
fainting, keep repeating--
- [Crowd] It's only a
movie, it's only a movie,
it's only a movie.
- What's great about
video nasties I think
is it's something that
doesn't exist at all anymore.
Don't get me wrong,
there's still censorship,
but what we have now these days
is ease of access
to all these films.
You can download them.
You can buy them in shops.
Half of them are now
available in Poundland.
- Yeah and I also think
the audience's perception
of what is gory and
what is horrific
and also censorship itself
has completely changed now.
Whereas you look back in
the video nasties of the day
and actually in
today's comparison,
they're kind of tame, we
said when we we're talking
about our own that these films,
some of them aren't
the greatest of films.
But they have
become cult classics
because they were
labeled as video nasties.
- I don't really think these
films should have been banned.
I mean okay they've
got a rating,
so you've got a rating
for a film that's fine.
But they shouldn't have
been outright banned.
It wasn't just children who
were seeing these films.
It was adults who
were being told
they couldn't watch
the video nasties.
So these were being
banned from everybody.
The major thing was children
might see these at
home or whatever.
But what about the adults?
Can't they make
their own mind up?
That's what I really
didn't get is how
they didn't even put a rating
on it or anything like that.
[dramatic music]
Adults couldn't
even make a decision
to watch these films or not.
So I really don't
think these films
should have been banned at all.
- Perhaps they were
seeing the title alone
and they were
imagining in their mind
what was happening
in this movie,
what could possibly
be in this movie.
And of course you've got
to give it to the people
making the box covers
because you look at something
like Driller Killer
and you see the drill
going into the guy's head.
It's puncturing the skull
and it's drilling away
and all the blood
is coming down.
The guy is screaming and it's
probably in his brain already.
And you gotta imagine if
that's on the box cover,
my God, what else
could be in this movie?
- The Last House on the Left,
this film was on the
banned nasties list.
It was rejected
until 2000, I think,
I think they submitted
it again in 2000
and then it was rejected
and then in 2003,
they allowed a cut
version to be released.
And then in 2007, it
was submitted again
and they allowed
it through uncut.
I'm thinking when it
was banned in 2000
and they said no, you
can't release this film,
did they honestly believe
that it was harmful then?
Then 10 years later,
or less than 10 years
they'd allow it to be
released fully uncut?
I mean are there admitting
that they were wrong
and they're saying
we were wrong,
it's not actually
a harmful film.
It's illogical.
It doesn't make any sense.
I've seen all these films and
I don't go out killing people.
Going back to video nasties,
the only thing which I
do agree with being cut
or censored is
the animal cruelty
which comes into a lot of
the Italian cannibal films
unfortunately because that
does, that breaks the law.
Animal cruelty is illegal.
We don't really
want to watch it.
I agree like I said
anything that breaks the law
shouldn't be
allowed in the film,
but when it comes
to made-up violence
and fake effects and
things like that,
then there's no logical reason
to keep banning
that sort of thing,
to keep censoring
that sort of thing.
- Video nasties I always found
a very interesting
subject matter
because over the years I
think a lot of the films
that were considered video
nasties are art films.
They're actually really
beautiful examples
of how horror could be enter
like the art mainstream.
I know in a way that sounds
like a contradiction,
where a lot of people
think art movies
are Ingmar Bergman and Antonioni
or people like that, and
of course those films
are really artistic,
but the reason is
the Italians always
took a very blanket view
of making a film, whereas
they actually thought
and rightfully so
that the visual aspect
of making a film
and the audio aspect
should marry as a
really beautiful thing.
Even if the subject matter
is dark and the Italians felt
that the overall package
should be beautiful.
I totally agree with that.
I think that film
is a visual medium
and so unless you are
creating something
with a look that's meant
to be deliberately grungy
because say it's
like a mockumentary
or a fan film footage film,
then I think films
should be beautiful,
no matter how dark
the subject matter.
I suppose in a way that
means when I talk about
video nasties I'm
really thinking about
the Italian films that
came out at the time.
Of course when I rented
them as a boy on VHS,
I always remember going
down to the VHS store
and you'd find out the
latest horror movie
had come in from Italy or
had come in from the USA.
And they weren't
video nasties then.
They were just the
latest horror movie
and so many in retrospect
that these films
are considered video nasties.
- Horror films of
the 1970s and the 80s
are notorious primarily
for their gore.
I think it was a prime
period for horror films.
The style had changed
way before then
from the your gothic castles
to the real world,
serial killers.
- You change to mass
killer kind of films
compared to your Dracula
films or your Hammer horrors.
- And then by the late 70s,
you've got the odd zombie films.
So you're dealing with
two kind of extremes.
On the the one hand,
you've got you're gritty,
realistic films like
Last House on the Left
and then on the other
hand, you've got your
beyond fantastical
films like Evil Dead.
- But this was an issue
then for the censors
that when these films like
Last House on the Left
came out they were so
real in their terms,
they weren't
monsters or vampires,
they're sort of real
things happening.
- And then that's
where you can probably
like easily that question then.
You know it's hard
for me to discern
what should be and
shouldn't be banned.
I think Gunner Hansen once said
he finds it outrageous
a small group of people
like the BBFC were able,
all it has is a
small group of people
who basically decide
whether everyone else
can watch it or not.
- Well, that's true,
you've got think about
the types of people,
you're middle class people.
- Video nasty was a mass
class divide, wasn't it?
- Well yeah, Mary
Whitehouse this older lady,
who was probably in
her 60s, 70s maybe--
- And she hadn't even seen--
- She hadn't seen
any of these horror films
that she was dictating
to people--
- And then you had
James Furman say the--
- James Furman yeah.
- The impact of Texas
Chainsaw Massacre
might not affect
your everyday person,
but it might affect what
was it, a working class
member from Birmingham like you.
And so going back on that
you're super realistic
horror films because
that's what it was, right?
It was either serial killers.
I mean you had your
cannibal movies,
but then you had
your zombie movies.
So if I was to say, if
I was given the choice
one of these is more
susceptible to being banned
than the other then in my eyes
because they're doing
it because the effect
it might have on the audience.
And in this instance,
their major worry is kids.
Then in all reality, the ones
that should be looked at more
would be your Last
House on the Left,
because you're literally
I mean the thing is
Wes Craven and I'll say
this as a fan of the film,
Wes Craven never set out to
make Last House on the Left
to glorify violence,
it was his--
- Or to be a banned film.
- No, or to be a banned film,
but it was his reaction
to the Vietnam War
and the fact that the TV
was showing such violence.
All right, we know that
as fans of the film
and a lot of people do,
that that was his intent.
The BBFC's perception of it was
that it's glorifying violence.
So ultimately it's
down the violence,
but Last House on the Left,
you are kind of showing
what could be a
very real situation,
which no doubt there has
been situations like that.
If there are to make a
decision on that or Evil Dead,
which was also on that same
list and Zombie Flesh Eaters,
then that would be the one,
at least I personally lean
more towards if there
was ones to be banned.
- But why like you said,
why was a small group of
people banning those films?
What was it about
those particular films?
- One of my memories
of renting was
when we got I Spit On Your Grave
and I watched it with
two of my friends
probably around 12 or 13.
My dad walked in me,
the scene right where
the rape was about to start
and he just sat down with
us and started watching it.
We were like just
laughing uncontrollably
because we were just
basically embarrassed
we didn't know how to process it
and he just turned to us
and said, this isn't funny.
We just felt so stupid,
but he ended up watching
the whole thing with us.
- I think in a lot of ways
the video rental store
was sort of a gateway
to the video nasty.
I remember renting both
Last House on the Left
and I Spit On Your Grave
for the first time
at a video store.
I remember when I rented
Last House on the Left,
I had to rent it on my
dad's rental account
because of course I wasn't
old enough at the time.
The movie actually
got eaten in his VCR
and I remember he
got really upset
and told me this is what happens
when you try
watching old movies.
So I'll always have that memory
from watching Last
House on the Left,
renting it at the store.
Then I also remember
I Spit On Your Grave
from the time I was 15 I think
and so I had to have an
older friend rent it for me
actually and he made a
bootleg copy of it on video
with photocopy guard so
I could watch it in
on my own any time.
Because at the time that movie
hadn't really been available
here other than the
Wizard release in America
and obviously it
was a video nasty,
so it was practically
impossible to find at the time.
So I always have those memories
and they definitely stick
out for that reason.
- I've got so many
favorite video nasties.
I love Cannibal Ferox.
That is one of my favorite ones,
really do love this
film, Cannibal Ferox.
I think this is actually
a bootleg copy as well.
I paid about 50 quid for this.
I actually remember years ago,
these did have a
small box like this,
but this one does look
like a bootleg version.
I think this actual
label is far too shiny,
if you can see that one there.
So I actually think
this is a bootleg.
Cannibal Ferox is one of my
favorite all time video nasties.
I love the actual
soundtrack, the score.
It was so shocking.
When you actually
watch this film,
I remember seeing
this as a bootleg copy
and it scared the shit
out of me, this film.
It's bloody brilliant.
That haunting score,
you hear this music,
this synth kind of prog
rock music come up,
the same part all throughout
and you know there's
gonna be a death scene
or a killing scene,
so I think one of my
all time favorites
is Cannibal Ferox.
[creepy rock music]
- My favorite video
nasty is probably
it's a tough call
but I'd probably say
either The Evil Dead
or Cannibal Holocaust
because those movies are
really balls to the wall
and really intense and
you take the Evil Dead
that's a little more cartoony
than Cannibal
Holocaust would be.
Because Cannibal
Holocaust was pretty much
just a documentary, but
it's a fake documentary,
but it's shot entirely
like a documentary
so you're supposed to believe
that these things are real.
And then The Evil Dead
you're not supposed
to believe these
things are real.
It's a very kind of
far out there tale
of just gore and madness.
Cannibal Holocaust is
more along the lines
is this is what happens on
the other side of
the world type deal,
which is scary, because
it's that unknown.
You'll probably never find
yourself in a situation
where you'd have to deal
with that group of people,
but it's still scary to
know that they're out there.
- I think for me definitely
Flesh For Frankenstein
as I had been watching
all these horror movies,
when I finally
discovered that one,
actually there was two films,
there was Blood for Dracula,
which were both
Andy Warhol films.
But they're both
borderline pornographic
and I think being a teenager,
a pubescent teenager
starting to get really
interested in the other sex.
And finding these movies
were sort of borderline
but had the horror and the
gore that I really loved,
so definitely Flesh
For Frankenstein,
that would be my favorite.
- I would have to say
my favorite is Absurd
and it's actually one
of the latest entries
from my findings,
I first heard of it
from the soundtrack and was
immediately blown away by it.
And as a film, it checks
every box for video nasties,
and of course it's
got the great score,
but the story is good.
It's intriguing, it's
actually one of the few
that you don't have
to check your watch
and you don't have
to fast forward it.
The story is entertaining
and it keeps you entertained.
It definitely takes
a lot from Halloween,
but that's cool and
George Eastman rules.
It delivers on very,
checks every box.
- I guess maybe around
here we called them
bootleg the old VHSes
back in the day,
you'd see guys selling
out of a trunk of a car.
Some people because
they rip people off
and in some cases because
they were too violent
and sexually explicit.
Now this stuff was very
sought after when I was a kid,
because there was
no video on demand.
There was no Amazon
Prime or Vimeo
so people couldn't
find these things.
They had to exchange them.
It's kind of creepy
if you think about it,
it's like a dark web of
inappropriate VHS movies,
but I think that it really
built up independent film-making
in a big way and
I personally feel
without some of
the video nasties
and how they were
exchanged almost illegally
or illegally in some
countries, some states.
I think without that
you wouldn't have seen
such a surge of
independent film makers
who later did move on to the
Hollywood level in the 90s.
You saw a lot of
people get their start
working on these movies
that it was so shocking
everybody wanted to see it.
It had either the
insane gore effects
or a sex scene that
was crazy for its time.
You know very low budget stuff
and personally the last
couple of movies I've done
such as Witchhunt
and Parts Unknown,
I think I've modeled a
lot of what I've done
as a director around some of
these so-called video nasties.
Because they were shot
on much smaller budgets.
I think the budget wasn't
what was important.
It was what was accomplished.
And what was accomplished
was creating almost this
taboo situation where you can go
and watch one of these things.
You weren't seeing in a theater.
They were hard to find,
hard to track down
and you had something
that somebody didn't.
It wasn't just because it
was hard-to-get movie either.
It was because it actually had
the sex scene and violence in it
and the good stuff that I think
sometimes we don't
get to see anymore.
As our society changes and
becomes a little bit more PC
and we're not allowed
to show stuff in film,
I think there's gonna be a
big someday a big resurgence
in this underground film making.
And a way to bring this
back for fans of this genre,
I'd say anyone watching
his is probably
a fan of this genre,
is to go and support the
local horror conventions
and some of the local
people that set up shop
at these small events.
Because they're the ones
selling the stuff now.
The Amazon Primes and all
that stuff, that's cool,
but what you're
gonna see on there
and Netflix and all
that is probably
more of what you've
already seen.
So hopefully someday
we get to back to this,
it might not be VHS,
it might be on Blu-Ray
or even digital, but
someday I hope there's a way
to kind of trade
these movies again.
I think it got a lot
of people their start.
It found a lot of fans.
That's kind of my feeling
about the importance
of the so-called video nasties
and what they did
for people like me
who make low budget material.
- I got into video nasties
as around it might be
around '98, '99 time
when they were still banned,
but it was right before
James Furman left the BBFC.
All these films started
to become unbanned
and were starting to get
certificates and stuff.
So I got into the
video nasties at a time
when they were still
banned and then I saw
the point when they
started to get re-released.
When they were still
banned I remember
my other school and
a friend of mine
I'd always had an
interest in horror films
and extreme films
so the video nasties
were something that
always fascinated me.
That idea these films
that you shouldn't watch,
that they've been banned
somehow dangerous or whatever,
if you watched them they
could be disturbing to you
and say that when
you were at school,
that just makes you want
to find all these films.
At that time a friend of
mine he came across an advert
on the back Darling Free
Ads newspaper magazine,
if anybody remembers that.
Someone was sending
copies of The Exorcist.
Then he asked about nasties,
if he had any other tapes
and he had a whole
list, he had pretty much
the whole video nasties.
He had loads of obscure,
cult hard-to-find films.
That's where I basically
started seeing these things.
We would spend I think he
used to do two for 10 quid
or two for 15 pounds, he'd
put two films into one tape
I used to start buying those,
I think all of them from laser
discs or pre-seller copies.
My first experience
to the video nasties
was just all through
bootleg copies.
But his ones were
really good quality.
I remember a friend who also
had another guy selling them.
And they were fifth, sixth,
seventh generation copies
and they were
almost unwatchable,
but this guy from the
Darling Free Ads magazine,
his stuff was always
like amazing quality.
I think they were all from
laser discs he got them.
Then around that time
I actually started
making bootlegs as
well to sell on eBay.
Like I said at the time
this is when they were
still banned and you
couldn't get them
so I used to make copies.
Used to get four-hour
tapes and put two films
that were kind of
connected one tape
and stick them on eBay and
send them for like 10 pound,
15 pound a pop each time.
Stuff like Cannibal
Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox
would go onto one tape.
I Spit On Your Grave and
Last House on the Left
would go on another tape.
Occasionally you'd get
bootlegs from people
saying they didn't realize
they were buying bootlegs
and your account
would be closed down.
- So did I ever own any
bootlegs of the video nasties?
God yes, I tell you, this
is a really great story.
In about '96, '97, this
is before the Internet
was really big, e-mail
might have been used
by some people that I knew.
But in '96 to '97 I
started doing mail trading
of movies on VHS where
we would send dupes.
Through e-mail you would
make contacts with people.
I guess they did have
websites up which is really
how you would find people,
but they were into trades,
so somebody would
have their list
of what movies they had
and you would have a list
of what movies you had
and we would swap lists.
And of course we'd make a deal.
You say well geez,
I would really love
to get this, this and this
and then the guy
on the other end
would pick same amount
of movies from your list.
You would make the copies if
you were a reputable trader,
you would buy brand
new video tapes
and make the copies onto those.
I guess some people might
have used previously used
blank tapes, which was the
shittiest thing to
do for somebody.
But anyway you're
buy blank tapes,
copy the movie you
had, so you're making
your third or fourth
generation movie
onto a fifth or sixth
generation movie
because everybody is trading
a dupe of a dupe of a dupe
and then you mail
them in the mail.
Well this went on for
me for a few years
and I got so many movies
through the mail trading.
Cannibal Holocaust,
Cannibal Ferox,
Beyond the Darkness,
I got that one.
I got everything you see,
uncut Friday the 13th Part One.
These were all the movies that
were not on DVD at all yet.
They were not being
re-released and remastered.
They were still on
very ropey old tapes.
Another company I'm aware of
was of course Midnight Video.
They were selling
it at the time.
A lot of people I
knew had that movie
or Midnight movie tapes
and they were making
dupes of that to trade.
So I got Anthropothigast
and stuff
and the Midnight
Video Anthropothigast
was made up of
different sources.
So when it came to
see George Eastman
reach into the woman and
pull out the fetus to eat her
that particular piece of footage
was coming in this
very, very washed out
blurry piece of video
and then would cut out
sort of washed out
video where you saw
the rest of the movie.
So you had different
composites put together.
- So yeah, I remember
when I was a kid,
the one in the United States
everybody wanted to see
Faces of Death, that
was the big thing.
If you had a VHS of Faces of
Death, you were like a king.
You'd go into a party
and be like hey,
I bought this off of
some dude on the street
and everybody would gather
around the TV and watch this
I have no idea if that's
actually real or not.
I feel like it's mixed.
It was just that
suspense I think
really paved the way for
things like The Blair Witch,
the found footage films
that excitement of
I'm seeing something that's
nobody supposed to see.
I think it really captured
what independent film
is supposed to be and not
a system of Hollywood B
which is what we tend
to get on a lot of
the video-on-demand services.
- One of the next
things that I have here
is actually bootleg
copy of Tenebrae.
This was a copy of the Video
Media release as you can see,
but it's a totally
photocopied cover art.
And also something
interesting about it,
you can see here
maybe is that it's got
the British rating on it
instead of the American one.
It's sort of all
over the place here,
but this is the way
I first saw the film.
It's what interested me to not
only Dario Argento's movies,
but Italian movies as well.
That seen at the
end with the girl
that gets her arm chopped off
and sprays blood
all over the wall
was sort of life changing for me
because that's the moment
I realized horror was art.
This movie will always stand
out to me for that reason.
Even though this
is a bootleg copy
and I of course have better
versions of this to watch
I'm always gonna hold onto this,
because this is what started
my love for Italian horror,
this very bootleg
release of Tenebrae.
- I did own one banned film.
I remember in
Melbourne, Victoria,
there weren't a lot
of films banned.
I mean the Driller Killer was.
I think Silent Night,
Deadly Night perhaps.
Some of these films
you could into state.
I remember a friend
of mine came to me
knowing how much I adored horror
and he'd been to the
States and he picked me up
a copy of The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre 2,
and I remember that was banned.
I was the only guy I knew
that had this video tape,
and so attracted a lot of
friends to come and watch it.
And that was a banned film,
so that was probably
one of the only ones
that I really owned at the
time that did have the stigma.
- I did own a lot of bootleg
because I was on a quest
to try and own all
of the video nasties,
so I literally did
own, I still do now
so I've got a lot of bootleg
copies of stuff like that.
I had these tapes and it
was stuck on the side,
hand written Driller Killer
and stuff like that on there.
- Yes, I owned several bootlegs
actually of these movies.
Growing up back then, they
weren't that accessible.
You couldn't just
walk into a Best Buy
if you wanted to buy
a movie like this.
You had to track them down.
You had to do your research.
Usually, they were second,
third, fourth generation copies.
They were squiggly and
grainy and looked like crap
and you could barely tell
what was happening sometimes.
It was in a lot of
ways really cool
because you knew that this
was the only way
to see the movie.
You were seeing something
that not everybody else saw.
- So they were a bit
thing, the bootleg copies,
because they were
just going around.
I mean when I was a
kid in teenage years,
it was bootleg copies.
You never saw a real
copy of a video nasty.
So from about '85 to
about 2000 or even 2001,
you had these bootleg VHS copies
and bootleg DVD
copies in circulation.
So you're watching these,
sometimes it was like
a fifth generation bootleg
of The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre you were watching
or something like that.
- It's funny because it's given
me a really high tolerance
for low-quality transfers
because I just grew up watching
a whole lot of bootleg movies.
Nowadays it doesn't bother me.
I can watch really
horrible stuff on YouTube
and I don't blink an eye.
It's part of growing up
watching those bootlegs
and it's still sort of exciting
if I'm at a flea market now
or garage sale and I find a
bootleg of an old horror movie,
I definitely snatch it up.
It's nostalgic.
It's really cool and unique
and it's exciting to watch
a movie like that sometimes.
It adds a lot to the
mystique of the movie.
- [Announcer] See Abel
Ferrera as Reno Miller,
a man driven to the very edge.
And then beyond.
[drill rattling]
The Driller Killer is coming.
- The Driller Killer
when it came out
I remember was a very
controversial film
because they had all this
rumor going on at the time
that when Abel
Ferrara made the film
and starred in it
that he was actually
killing down and outs.
Because the people in the film
really looked like
down and outs.
Some of them probably
were and they were paid
a few dollars to become
part of this movie.
I always found that
very disturbing
for years after seeing it
and then experiencing again
over the years and the decades.
I've still found it a
very troubling film.
I think because it's incredibly
realistic on one aspect
and a little over
the top in others
in terms of the performance.
The performance of
Abel Ferrara himself
it's mixed, it's
very strong at times.
And then it's so wild it's
like do I quite believe that?
But it was shot in
such a lurid style
that you couldn't
help be sucked into
that grimy, horrible underworld.
And then when the
murders you were like
oh my God, is this
happening for real?
So in a way, even though
it's not found footage,
it kind of feels like a
mockumentary-style film,
which would have been one
of the first of that kind.
Driller Killer is a film
that's always stayed with me
for its level of violence,
grungy atmosphere
and general feeling of
dismay and overall horror.
- [Announcer] Faces of Death,
now a major motion picture.
- Faces of Death, the
mother of all Mondo movies.
Oh, where to start
with this one.
In a nutshell, it's a
documentary about dying.
It's pretty tame
compared to what
a lot of people think about it.
A lot of people think it's
a flat out snuff movie
where you see real people
getting murdered on video
and that's not at
all what it is.
It's got a narrator,
he basically discusses
the whole cycle of life
and what really happens
to us when we pass on.
They examine it throughout
different cultures
and they look at the
different traditions
that different people do around
death in their own cultures.
It's got some pretty
notorious scenes,
like a man that
is caught on fire.
I think that the original movie
is the movie with
the monkey brains.
There's quite a few scenes
that really make this movie
stand out, but it's notorious
for being mostly fake.
A lot of the stuff was staged.
It's come to light now
throughout various documentaries
and information on the Internet
that the re-enacted
a lot of the stuff.
I think that the
scene that takes place
in the Middle East
with the monkeys
was supposed to take place on
a tradition somewhere in Russia.
So they changed a lot of things
to not offend so many cultures
when the movie came out,
but to me the movie's
just a big spectacle.
The fear surrounding
the movie with parents,
the fact that you
couldn't find it anywhere,
you had to ask
for it some places
or it was in a special section
with the other death
movies or pornography even.
You had to be 18 to get it.
That always really
appealed to me
and made the movie
probably more exciting
than it is to watch,
because like I said
it's a pretty by-the-number
70s documentary.
It's just focused on death.
I think that even today
it's the type of thing
you could probably show
to a high school class
and nobody would bat an eye.
Everybody would
be on their phones
watching stuff more
extreme on YouTube.
It's funny because those movies
will stick out and
be the most extreme,
but by today's standards
they're almost a joke.
I think that that whole
series really stands out
against the other video nasties
just because it's
sort of the real deal
and it was the first of
its kind when it came out.
- I remember another
series of video nasties
which was quite horrific at
the time to be quite frank.
Faces of Death, do
you remember those?
It was a series of
films, video films
with apparently
people actually dying.
Well I wouldn't want
to watch them now
and it actually turns me stomach
to think I watched
them back then.
But there was one
that I remember
and it was a chap
in a gas chamber
and you actually had the
cameraman in the gas chamber.
Even as a kid I thought hold
on, this can't be right.
Then it turned out most
of them were faked.
Then there was one of a magician
and mostly goes round and
he's trying to cut himself
out of something and
these knives come down
and go into his
head and he dies.
He's so obviously it was
a rubber head or something
or plastic or wax head,
but then you still had some
what still appears to me
genuine footage of people dying.
THere's one terrible
scene where a chap
gets out of a car in
Africa or somewhere
and he's filming this lioness.
They cut to actually him
filming it on this teeny camera
and then this other lion
comes up from behind him
and attacks him and kills him.
All the people are screaming
and they have the footage of him
being put in a
car in a body bag.
So that was pretty horrific.
I wouldn't want to watch
them again I didn't think.
- Some of the
sickest video nasty,
I would say the craziest,
goriest, sickest one
out of the whole lot
would be Faces of Death.
[droning music]
- [Announcer] Now a
motion picture dares
to take you beyond the
threshold of the living
where you may discover
your own face of death.
- I think that film
is really sick.
I mean there's actually,
is there real killings
in that film or not?
I don't know because
I've never actually
got the whole way through it.
I've put it on before, but
it actually turns my stomach.
There was that big
thing in the 80s
where they were deemed to
be eating monkey brains
and we've got prime
ministers, MPs,
saying they're eating monkey
brains for God sake in that.
They weren't.
It was all fake anyway,
which was totally crazy.
But Faces of Death has to be
the sickest, craziest film.
I think the film
that you'd crown
the king of the video nasty
would be I Spit On Your Grave.
That poster art, that
whole cover is synonymous
of being the queen,
king of the video nasty.
It's such an amazing film.
It's really brilliant.
- Faces of Death
was actually created
for the Japanese film market.
It was a movie called Junk.
It was released there that way.
They tested it with American
audiences and it caught on,
so they dropped it on home video
and it ended up becoming a
really popular American series
known as Faces of Death.
A lot of people also don't know
is that almost every
installment of the film
was released in a different
version in other countries.
Notoriously Faces of Death 3,
it's not actually on the list,
but it's a sequel
to the original.
That was released as Fear
in most parts of Europe
and it had a completely
different narrator,
totally different scenes, it
was edited completely different
and in some ways
it's a lot better
than the American
version that came out.
Of course there's several
versions that were released
of Last House on the Left.
America first got
the R-rated version
when it came out to theaters,
but then we did eventually
get the uncut version
on home video even
though it was missing
a lot of the gore that
Wes Craven had shot.
It was still a little bit longer
than what the UK
got for example.
- Definitely Faces of
Death would have to be
the most sadistic I mean
when I first heard the name,
it was almost like
this taboo Fear Factor.
Someone would say Faces of
Death, have you seen it?
And people would go
no, don't watch that.
It's supposed to be terrifying.
I think because you know
it's really a documentary.
And it was the
first video footage
that came out in the 80s
where apparently you could
see these real deaths.
Of course there was skepticism.
Some people thought they
were staged and whatnot,
but Faces of Death at
least where I was living,
that was supposed to
be the most scariest
and the most taboo so just based
on the reputation of those.
There was a whole spawn of
documentaries that came out.
I remember there was
Savage Man, Savage Beast,
Shocking Asia and there
was Being Different.
There was The Killing
of America, there
was this whole range
Savage Man, Savage Beast.
So it was really
appeared in the 80s
where I guess horror film
became sort of popular.
Then they went into
documentary stream.
It almost like trying
to find the scariest
or trying to find the most
impact with the gore factor.
That's what people were after.
It was almost those people
that had an obsession
and they wanted to get
as nasty as they could.
And of course now
everything is reality TV.
So even documentaries back then
I think they were
onto something.
- One of the most violent
other than Faces of Death
in the video nasties would
probably be Cannibal Holocaust.
I mean there's a lot of
violent movies on the list,
but that's the one that really
pushed the envelope at the time
and was notorious for
its graphic nature.
The impalement through
the woman's anus
and out of her mouth
is pretty iconic now as
far as horror imagery goes.
I think that would
probably have to go down
as probably the most
sickest of the banned films,
followed closely by movies
like Faces of Death.
- Every time I watch
it it makes say
god damn this fucking
movie goes all the way.
I mean Cryo House Releasing
has the perfect tag line.
It's the one that
goes all the way.
But it's a good piece of cinema.
It's a fucking good movie.
It deserves to be seen
by a lot more people.
But I think a lot of
people hear stories
and of course the
animal torture stuff,
the animal killings,
it's a tough movie,
but it deserves to
be on that list.
It's one that deserved
to be on that list
as far as being making sure
that young kids don't see it.
The rape and all that
it's a tough movie.
- Yeah, I gotta
admit there are films
on the list of video nasties
that I really
couldn't watch today.
- Oh good Lord!
It's unbelievable,
it's horrible.
I can't understand the
reason for such cruelty.
- Cannibal films I have no
interest in watching those.
I don't like the idea of
innocent people being tortured
and ripped apart
and eaten alive.
It's just not something
that appeals to me.
- I wouldn't say that there's
any films I couldn't stomach,
but perhaps there's
scenes I can't stomach.
I've noticed as I get older
it's just getting
increasingly harder
for me to be able to keep
my eyes on the screen
during the excessive gore.
In particular, the scene
in Cannibal Holocaust
where it shows
the woman impaled.
That's pretty hard to look at.
Obviously being a
guy, the scene in
I Spit On Your Grave where
she takes the guy's manhood.
It doesn't actually
show anything,
but that's definitely something
that is very hard
as a guy to watch.
And also in Zombie
Flesh Eaters of course
the notorious scene
with the eyeball,
this split in the eyeball.
I don't know how anybody
can watch that scene
without covering their eyes,
because it's just it's torture
as her eye gets closer
and closer and closer
to that splinter,
it's like oh my God,
turn your head
what are you doing?
It's very hard to watch.
And then it pierces
and it's disgusting
and in typical
Lucio Fulci fashion,
it doesn't cut away right away.
So it's very hard to watch,
but it's still an
enjoyable movie.
All of these movies
are really enjoyable,
even if I have to cover my
eyes through parts of them.
- No, I wish there was.
I mentioned Cannibal Holocaust,
but I mean like I said I
got desensitized to it.
But there's really nothing
that does it to me anymore.
So no, I wish there was though.
I wish I was and I say it a lot
because I know some of
these films I could mention
like having friends seeing I
would envy that feeling again.
But I just don't get it anymore.
- I think a film I
couldn't stand like
it has to be Faces of Death
is one I couldn't stand,
but Cannibal Holocaust watching
that film turned my stomach.
It's such a good horror film.
It's a great video nasty
and a great horror film,
but it actually
turns my stomach.
There's a scene in there
where they're killing a turtle
and it just makes me even
now I'll put that on,
I will retch, my
stomach will turn
when it comes to that scene.
So yeah I think Cannibal
Holocaust and Faces of Death
even now they make me feel
queasy even thinking about them.
Both really amazing films,
but really, really sick.
- I think Cannibal Holocaust,
a friend of mine had
a re-release on DVD
and he put it on
and I was like okay,
we'll go back there,
we'll have a look.
But I really just felt sick.
I was kind of not
really probably now
being a grown man,
it wasn't scary.
It was a bit more sadistic.
I think that was a movie that
was a little more disturbing.
It just didn't really have
much of a clear narrative
that I like I mean for me
film is definitely an escape.
I love fiction, so I think
that one was almost
sort of borderline real
and it just kind of
made me feel sick.
- So yeah, The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre is one of
my all-time favorite
video nasties.
The strange thing
about that film was
I remember watching that
and another bootleg version
for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
and it was really fuzzy.
Before I watched that
film, I felt scared
because I knew something
really bad was gonna happen.
Everyone was talking
about this film.
But the crazy thing
is in the actual film,
there's hardly any blood,
hardly any gore at all.
In fact, there's basically none.
Everything we see
happens off screen.
All right, you see him grab Pam
and stick her up on the hook
but you don't see anything else.
You don't see any
incisions of hooks
and bloody heads coming off
and guts or anything like that.
A lot of that film
is what you don't see
that is actually
scarier in that film.
And for me The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre
is one of the all-time best
not just video nasties,
but one of the best
horror films of all time.
So for me, you get
that kind of film
and you think why would
you ban a piece of art?
Because that's
what you're doing.
You're banning pieces
of art with these films.
- So the The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre,
two siblings and three
of their friends,
on route to visit their
grandfather's grave in Texas
end up falling victim to
a family of cannibalistic
Yeah, when I saw Texas it was
by a company called Film Waves
and I think the whole
thing about it was that
it was based on a true story.
That was the
biggest fear factor.
It's interesting now
seeing film makers like
Nicolas Rining Refin he thinks
it's his favorite film as well.
I was very lucky and
obviously McGunner
and also received a copy of
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
signed by Tobe Hooper
himself for my 30th birthday.
So the movie really
resonated with me.
That was one of the films that
was almost slash doco style.
It was very raw, very gritty
and kind of changed
the face of cinema
as far as horror goes.
So definitely a big
thumbs up for me.
It would be in my
top four for sure.
- I think I've got this is
the German copy this one.
So this is the German
copy of the video nasty.
I actually really
like this cover art.
You've got a chainsaw massacre
going through this woman,
it's bloody brilliant.
- Great film from
that list to me
is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
and the hellish time
Tobe Hooper had trying
to get that film made in one
of the hottest summers ever
in the US with stinking,
rotting meat on set.
I mean I'm sure the
experience of making that film
was a video nasty in itself.
Because a lot of them
are throwing up in
the heat of the day
with the smell of the interiors
and all the rotting flesh
that they had to keep filming.
In those days they
weren't using digital.
They were actually
shooting on 16 mil.
So they knew that if
they wasted any film
or wasted any time,
then they may not get
to finish their film.
The funders they
leaned on them strongly
that they got the film
made in time and on budget
and hopefully ended
up with something
that they could sell or that
they could exploit in cinemas.
And as we know it
became a massive hit.
- [Announcer] After
you stop screaming,
you'll start talking about it.
[droning music]
- I'm not sure it
was ever considered
a video nasty in the USA,
but of course when it came
out in Britain and Ireland,
it quickly became
part of that list.
Which is more amusing about
it, that film contains more
psychological violence
than physical violence.
Even though there is
physical violence in it,
a lot of it off screen and
that is very interesting to me.
It goes to show that
you don't need to show
the really nasty stuff,
you just need to suggest it
and then the audience
were deeply disturbed.
Because there's nothing,
nothing, nothing more
powerful than the human mind
and the human imagination.
If you pull away
from what's happening
and then leave it up
the audience member
to decide what it is that
happened in that moment
and how it came about, then
you find that they walk away
with their own idea of the
worst possible scenario.
That's an example I
think of cinema today,
where you don't need
to show everything
in order to have
that great effect.
- Another fairly
obscure release of
a not-so obscure movie would
be the Wizard Video release
of the The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre.
This was the first version
of the movie I got.
This is the way
that I saw the film
when it first came out.
It's a very murky
dark grain print,
but a lot of people would argue
that's the only way
to see this movie.
I know now that this tape
is worth quite a bit.
It goes on eBay
for a lot of money.
It's fully intact, you can
see all the flaps there.
It's in really good
condition still,
but it's definitely not
something I'm gonna let go of.
I mean it's the
very first release
of probably my all-time
favorite movie,
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
so it's definitely one
that I cherish and will
always have in my collection
of awesome VHS movies.
- Stop, stop.
[chainsaw rattling]
- Craziest memory
would have to be
I think I was like grade
six, form one in school
I was quite young and
I loved horror so much.
At school they used to
call me the gore freak
because I had a fascination
with the gore and the effects.
It was probably not so much the
fear factor of these movies,
but I was really interested
in how the makeup worked,
so I was really trying to find
really gross makeup effects
like in your Xtro and
a lot of these movies.
Sort of push it
to the next limit,
I had a mate of mine at school,
we used to watch a lot
of these horror films
and we'd got into
the video store.
He knew because I
was the gore freak
that I'd probably
pick a good film.
So I introduced him
to the Evil Dead
so I said to him if you really
want to test your stamina
for this sort of stuff,
we're gonna drink milk.
He said to me why am I
drinking milk during this film?
I said just have a
glass of milk there.
Then when the demon
started to spurt blood,
which is white, I was
trying to make him vomit,
so that was the
test drinking milk
whilst watching Evil
Dead trying to make
my friend vomit so it was
a tough one we used to go.
[chainsaw buzzes]
- Stop it, help!
- Well it definitely
affected me.
It's the core inspiration for my
Cinema Therapy Video Nasties Mix
Forbidden Horrors
and Dirty Sin Scores.
It was me going down
this rabbit hole
of finding these films
that made me realize
the core connection
was all this gore.
The music the tie-in
was the music.
The 30 cents and the funky
disco and the prog rock.
When I was looking for
a new project to compile
for a VJ mix, it was perfect
because I didn't really
know about the controversy
until I started putting together
the pieces of these films
and what they meant to be.
Which was basically the music,
it was the music that drove
me to find these films.
- Now I Spit On Your
Grave definitely
had a high impact on me.
It was brutal.
It was a feared movie
when it came out.
Highly inspired
my movie Tomboys,
my film Tomboys, which
is really five girls
that kidnap a serial
rapist to seek revenge,
again loosely based
on a true story.
The funny thing I
found out afterwards
was that the director
actually married
the lead in that movie,
her name was Jennifer Hill,
which was also my mother's name.
So that was also kind of creepy
and I had an affinity to it.
But definitely right up
there in my top four.
- I think the video
nasties had affected
a lot of my work down to
Gransportation, VHS Lives,
Dance of Toxic Shlock,
The Crazy Corny Horror.
It's really influenced
a lot of my work.
- As far as censorship,
I don't really agree
with censorship per say.
I'm more of a believer in
having a good disclaimer
which lists come of the
content that the viewer
will be watching when
they put that film on.
Some nights for
dinner you may be okay
with necrophilia but
others you may not.
So sometimes the subject
matter may not be what
even the most
hardened horror fan
is ready for at that
particular time.
So just having a good disclaimer
is really all that you need
so that the viewer is
making the decision.
It's in our hands how
far we want to watch,
how far we want to take it
and then there's no
creative expression
that's taken away from the
artist behind the film.
There's no watering
down of the message
that they intended
to put out there,
which was their
reasoning for behind
making the film in
the first place.
- Italy had a tradition
of extreme movies,
especially in the 70s and 80s.
Most of them are
big part of the list
of the video nasties,
so titles like
100 Bottoms, Cannibal
Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox
or How Many Cemetery
just for some type of.
Those are some of the
masterpiece that gets banned
and forbidden for
many countries.
Also surprise me to find amazing
titles like Driller Killer
or Flesh For Frankenstein.
I think censorship
is something really
that doesn't have
reason to exist
because yes it's good
to protect child,
protect people that
is not ready or able
to see and watch
this kind of movies,
but people must have the freedom
to choose what they watch
to enjoy what they want to enjoy
and discovery what
needs to discovery.
Especially thinking
that some titles now
are considered masterpiece,
we are able to watch
in TV and internet
every kind of murder and
accident and disaster.
But there is someone
that believe that a movie
can be much more
dangerous than watching
these kind of programs
and news and TV.
- I mean the real
question is how do you
actually legislate morality?
Where is there a
line in the sand
that you can draw for a
massive group of people
that applies to
every single's person
own personal line
where they decide
something is decent and
something is not decent.
You can't do it, it's
a subjective thing.
So to unnaturally
enforce this line
where you say this
is appropriate
you can watch The Crying Game,
but you can't watch The Hills
Have Eyes, right I don't know.
It's a fallacy you can't do it
because everyone has
their own tastes.
Everyone has to
decide on their own
what is appropriate,
what is over the line.
That's our right as people.
That's our right as consumers.
That's our right as patrons
of whatever art form
we want to patronize.
To arbitrarily
put this line here
where you're saying everything
on this side of this
is forbidden from
you, it doesn't work.
[droning music]
- Just wanted to talk.
- [Lloyd] Nothing
should be censored
other than for children and
that's up to the parents
to keep the children away.
- Censorship.
- The time of the video
nasties is a weird time.
It's almost like if you
had like what we thought
was a really cool
cover to your movie
would instantly get
put on this list.
So basically you had
movies that were basically
art house films
like Driller Killer,
which see that cover,
that cover is awesome.
We think that's awesome.
But there's little of
that actually in the film.
What you get is
a character piece
of a man slowly going insane
for various reasons and
all justifiable reasons.
They way he vents is kind
of a little questionable.
Like he buys a drill
with its own power pack
and just goes in the streets
and starts taking out
homeless people with it.
But that's well into the movie.
Before that, you
see fantastic scenes
like when he and his
lesbian roommates
they order pizza, a large pizza,
you get to see him
played by director
Abel Ferrara consume
this entire pizza,
this entire large
pizza by himself.
And you see many
art house moments
like that in Driller Killer,
which was clearly
labeled a video nasty
just for the cover alone.
- I think censorship will be
moving in a good direction
in the future, which
means it will be more lax.
There's going to be more avenues
just every day for the artist
to get their art out there
to the fans directly
going hand in hand
and having that
connection and cutting out
the bigger companies and
some of the other sources
that get in the middle and
meddle in our entertainment
where they don't belong.
I think also the calling
for having the ability
to watch a video nasty,
take your aggression out
on entertainment,
throw up, cry, scream,
but it's all at your screen.
We have the message,
we know it's happening
in our neighborhoods
or our towns.
But the ability to
press pause and stop
and just come back
to it, revisit,
you can still handle it as an
entertainment level type thing
instead of just
watching the news
and having that
reality in your face.
It's having more
control as a viewer.
It's having more control as
a human being in general.
There's gonna be
more calling for it
as we move forward
and the mindset
that people are in these days.
We need those outlets and
as long as we need them,
they're gonna get stronger
and they're gonna
flow in the direction
of the voice of the people.
- I was watching those movies
before I even knew what
video nasties even were,
like Friday the 13th, The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
all those types of movies
that were banned on that list.
They were banned over there,
censored so you couldn't
even get them over there.
We had a luckily we
over here at the States,
we watched them over
here and over there
you'd have to get them on
bootleg and that kind of thing.
I'm not really sure I
think it was over there,
possibly try to order them
through a merchandise
video catalog probably.
Video nasties man, there's
some probably good ones
like Cannibal Holocaust, I
remember watching it way later
I was like 13 watching that.
I didn't even know it was
a video nasty at the time.
I found out through
research on Fangoria
what video nasties were.
I would see the
term video nasties,
but I didn't really know
what that term really was.
I did some research on them.
It was like this
list of these movies
that were banned, but
a pretty cool list.
Because it had movies on
there that I would use
for research to find at
video stores over here also,
like Don't Drip Blood
and things like that
that were on that list.
Evil Speak and
that kind of stuff,
I would use that as
a list as a guideline
so I could find these
movies at video shops.
But the ones I remember
the most getting
was Cannibal
Holocaust, crazy movie,
Xtro which is really
weird, especially the part
where the dude's getting born.
He's kind of coming out
of this weird alien birth.
It's really strange, it's
all slimy coming out of there
it's like ew, but
it's really cool.