Saturday, July 5, 2014


Dir. Jake West
72 mins.

In the 1980's a wave an inquisition concerning graphic films erupted in British politics. The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) compiled a list of 72 films, labeled the "Video Nasties," and attempted to pass legislation banning the distribution, rental, ownership or sale of any of the entries on the list. Because of this, there was mass seizings of videos from collections and warehouses, as well as the legal prosecution of multiple distributors and store owners. The DPP constructed not only a mainline Nasty list, but a supplementary watchlist known as "Section 3", which included 80 more films, as well.


The concern was that Nasties, a relatively new phenomena at the time, would irrevocably corrupt the nation's youth and, over time, cause massive spikes in violent crime. Many violent crime and murder cases in this era were blamed on these movies, regardless if the perpetrators had seen them or not. The most famous example of this being the murder of two-year old James Bulger by two ten-year old boys. The press insinuated the Bulger's murderers had been inspired by the film Child's Play 3. This, of course, amounted to little more than propaganda, as there was no evidence to suggest the youths had even seen the offending movie.

Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me.
This documentary follows the nativity of the Nasties controversy three decades ago, up until the modern era, in which many of these celluloid pariahs are still censored or completely unavailable to British consumers. Director Jake West has compiled interviews hailing from both sides of the fence; he speaks with journalists and industry insiders who oppose the legislation, and with the politicians who were the architects of the public scare. Though it is clear that West sympathizes with the former camp, he grants the latter the opportunity to explain their views. This is a thoroughly entertaining and informative documentary begging to be seen by horror fan and sociologist alike. 8/10
View the trailer here:

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