Video Nasties - Hip or Hype ?

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Anonymous

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Were you ever one of those terrified of the dodgy videos lurking behind the bulgy black cases in your video store ? Did you think DRILLER KILLER was real ? Or did you collect these gore-fests, and what was your favourite ? Do you remember all the hype on t.v. in the '80s about them ?
Only 26 films were listed as 'nasties', many of them very poor thrillers either withdrawn due to confusion, banned for their covers and were any nasty at all ?
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, DRILLER KILLER, ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, ANTHROPOPHAGOUS THE BEAST (which clips were shown on the news), TOOLBOX MURDERS etc. Any memories ?
 
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Anonymous

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ive seen a few supposid video nasties. although entertaining and very real i dont think any have any real gore/pain/deaths in them its all urban legend , i recently aquired cannibal holocaust which is supposedly banned in over 300 country's because it has scene's of cannibalism and a hint of real snuff. so for me video nasties in this content are all hype.

for me the real video nasties are the documentries showing drug addicts and pedo's. as these are the true threat to society and not fiction.
 
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Anonymous

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There are some very grim 'mondo' style movies which are extrememly depressing and can't really be considered 'nasties' which for me just meant dodgy Italian gore movies full of axe-wielding maniacs and gut-munching zombies. Some are actually good fun, others quite good films, i.e. Henry, Angel Of Vengeance, but most are downright awful. The cannibal films are quite grim, funky music but Cannibal HOLOCAUST was quite shocking with its realism. However, nowadays they are all released with cuts.
 

ogopogo3

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The thing that sucks about those movies being banned or cut over there is the fact that people are curious about them simply because they have been banned or edited. DRILLER KILLER, TOOLBOX MURDERS, and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST are all atrociously bad films. Do movies like this command a high price in the UK? The video store across the street from me has a huge collection of obscure bad horror flicks. Stuff like WIDOWS NEST, BUG, DEVIL TIMES FIVE, THE KILLING KIND, etc. And I think if I offered three or four bucks to buy any of them outright, they'd take me up on it. No one watches them anymore.
 

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Ogopogo said:
The thing that sucks about those movies being banned or cut over there is the fact that people are curious about them simply because they have been banned or edited. DRILLER KILLER, TOOLBOX MURDERS, and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST are all atrociously bad films. Do movies like this command a high price in the UK?
Not any more. They did when they were banned, in the early eighties (particularly Driller Killer and I Spit on your Grave) and every video store had at least two copies safely hidden under the counter, available for rent at double price so long as you were a regular, and pirates cost loads, for exactly the reasons you just highlighted. I watched both the above named at the time and TBH, wish I hadn't bothered. As you said, Ogo, they're just bloody awful.

They're both legally available now, as they are nowhere near as nasty as some mainstream stuff made in the twenty years since. Besides, film-makers have finally realised that less is more - good demonstration being that the remake of "The Haunting" is nowhere near as frightening as the original for the simple reason that you get to see everything rather than having to imagine it. "Seven" is far more difficult to watch than any early eighties video nasty.

Outright gore is just boring now.
 

ogopogo3

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Stu Neville said:
Not any more. They did when they were banned, in the early eighties (particularly Driller Killer and I Spit on your Grave) and every video store had at least two copies safely hidden under the counter, available for rent at double price so long as you were a regular, and pirates cost loads, for exactly the reasons you just highlighted.
Interesting. I swear to God that in the early days of American video stores (circa 1983) I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE was in every single one of them. I've even known children of video store owners who remember this movie. All stores carried it. Yet it was such an obscure, worthless movie in the scheme of things, when you really think about it. It must have been brilliant marketing at the producers' end at the time, because you never see it in the horror library when new video stores pop up.

And I doubt it's all due to the retro pubic haircare of the leading lady.
 

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See No Evil by David Kerekes and David Slater goes into the whole video nasty controversy in the 80s, as well as putting it into context with the whole way the "video revolution" was handled in the UK.

Basically, the major film studios weren't at all interested in video back then, and very few major movies got a release in the early 80s. There was a large number of small distributers, who would buy the rights of films as cheaply as possible and market them, mostly through rental (even a blank tape cost a stupid amount of money back then!).

as they didn't have a lot of money to spend, a lot of grade Z horror movies were snapped up relatively early for next to nothing. The BBFC had not at that time deemed videos worthy of a classification system, though some distributers did put self-imposed certificates and warnings on their tapes.

The upshot of this was that a huge number of gory films were suddenly available, and with no control on who saw them, the likes of Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Evil Dead soon became regular playground discussion topics. As an early teenager at the time, I can remember it was almost like a dare to see these things, and then brag about it afterwards.

Of course, once the tabloids and various MPs got in on the act, the DPP list of banned films was drawn up, and all these tapes were techically removed from circulation, though for a while they remained pretty easy to hunt down.

The book lists all the initially banned films, and they would for the most part seem fairly tame today, though all those trashy "SS Experiment Camp"-type films seem more than a little unsavoury, as do the glut of Italian Cannibal films, at least one of which was banned because of the real-life slaughter of animals on screen (though it's never stopped Apocalypse Now getting shown).

As for what got banned, it seems entirely down to the personal tastes of whoever the head of the censors is. It can't be a coincidence that as soon as James Ferman retired, a lot of these films got recertified uncut as soon as possible. Now its easy enough to walk into your local HMV shop and buy I Spit On Your Grave and The Toolbox Murders on shiny new DVDs! Driller Killer even got shown on Channel 4 a few years ago, and a right load of pretentious rubbish it was too. As far as horror goes, I'm still a Hammer / Amicus man...
 
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Anonymous

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I think there were a few spooky gems within the quagmire of atrcocities when the 'nasty' explosion occured. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE was awful, especially as it was only notorious for one scene, but most of the Euorpean films were very dodgy effects wise with bright red blood etc and terrible close-up shots of disembowellment etc. However, some movies, i.e. MANIAC, were very dark and I don't think todays' horror movies can hold a candle to many of the '60s, '70's or early '80s films, especially with all these irritating teens running around to a backdrop of commercial 'nu-metal' blasting away. None of the banned films have been released uncut as far as I know, but the effect they had at the time was startling.
 

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For those in the UK FilmFour seem to showing more and more of these movies on their "extreme" channel.

They get away with as the new european bill of human rights states that an artist has the right for his work to be seen (or some words to that effect) so it basically bypasses the BBFC. However they tend to show slightly cut versions, just to please the BBFC, as they would like to renew their broadcasting licence one day :p

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Le Bete and i think the first UK showing of Ring, have all come up in the past 6 months or so.
IMHO worth the £6 a month.
 
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This thread brings back some memories. Our local video hire shop had all the so-called nasties but i only ever saw 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'The Living Dead' which was a damn good film for a schockly horror. They also had lots of Italian cannibal gore-fests, it was as if the whole medium of video was so new they were raiding every film archive going.

They also had several hard-core porn videos for hire which us hormanally challenged teenagers soon heard of and hired out in our dozens until the owner got wise. Lets face it the whole video hire scene in the early 80's was a bit seedy and grubby, our local owner also had the 'special interest' under the counter films he only lent to certain clients................are there any of those kind of shops left?? Blockbusters seems so sterile..........
 

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Blueswidow said:
Lets face it the whole video hire scene in the early 80's was a bit seedy and grubby, our local owner also had the 'special interest' under the counter films he only lent to certain clients................are there any of those kind of shops left?? Blockbusters seems so sterile..........
They're growing more and more sparse. As most stores now are franchises of BLOCKBUSTER or HOLLYWOOD or another conglomerate, they don't carry porn at the risk of upsetting "family" customers. The few stores that do charge blood for them. Bastards.
 
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Good God! I never realised how bad things had gotten over there! There's nothing but porn at my local Blockbuster.
 

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Inverurie Jones said:
Good God! I never realised how bad things had gotten over there! There's nothing but porn at my local Blockbuster.

<prepares to move next door to IJ>
 
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Anonymous

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Lucky me

Where I live (Japan) you can get every nasty you could ever want. I went through a phase of watching the movies that are banned back home and I have to say that, you're not missing much by not being able to see the likes of Cannibal Holocaust for example (don't watch it if you can avoid it, there are six or seven scenes of despicable animal killing to crown this tastless garbage).
And adult stuff? There is just no end to it, but none of it is very interesting; it's formulaic and unimaginative to say the least (unless you like vomit and bestiality, there's a lot of that). That reminds me: ludicrously, the only thing censored here is genitalia. They don't make cuts in the movies though, oh no. What you see is a hovering fuzzy blob over the offending area. In explicitly adult movies the bits and pieces are covered by a mosaic effect (enlarged pixels). Bizarrely perhaps, there is equipment on open sale here to (so they say) cancel it; don't know if it works though.
Just a last word, what is it about British law and censorship? Why can't you guys get a result on this issue?
You: "So Mr Censor, do you believe every German, Dutchman, Frenchman, American is a raving pervert and rapist?"
BBFC "No, of course not."
You "But their countries don't require censorship, why does the UK?"
BBFC "patronising rhetoric, no solid credibility blah blah blah."

It seems like the UK is the only developed country in the world that still goes for this censorship foolishness - you gotta do something about it.
 

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Re: Lucky me

Sinica said:
Where I live (Japan) you can get every nasty you could ever want. I went through a phase of watching the movies that are banned back home and I have to say that, you're not missing much by not being able to see the likes of Cannibal Holocaust for example (don't watch it if you can avoid it, there are six or seven scenes of despicable animal killing to crown this tastless garbage).
On my CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST video box, it says that it's the second highest-grossing film in Japanese history, right after E.T.
 
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Re: Re: Lucky me

Ogopogo said:
On my CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST video box, it says that it's the second highest-grossing film in Japanese history, right after E.T.
if i was going to sell you a car, id tell you it was the best car money can buy. its just stupid propaganda type marketing, on my box is says the film is banned in over 300 countrys, but i know for a fact it isnt. these type of films are huge in japan i deal with lots of japanese film companies with part of my work, and some of the stuff is unbeleivable. i think its the japanese way.
 

johnnyboy1968

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If we think censorship in the UK's bad now, the early years of the BBFC were ludicrous; most of the censors in the 20s and 30s were retired colonels, dotty spinsters and relatives of the Head of the Board, who mostly didn't even like films (they all seemed to think that they were a bit vulgar)! They al brought their personal tastes and prejudices to the job, and some of that has probably filtered down to the present day. To paraphrase the Lady Chatterley trial, there was always that "would you want your wife or servants to see this film" mentality about it all. One old dear was worried about passing films that criticised the Nazis and might offend German sensibilities right into WWII!

James Ferman's particular obsession was nunchucks, or chainsticks; he even went so far as to edit a shot from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film where a string of sausages was swung in a similar manner, and another film where a character had a poster of Bruce Lee brandishing a pair of them was also cut! One of the junior censors even took some nunchucks into a meeting, to demonstrate that anyone who didn't know how to handle them properly was far more likely to do themselves an injury than anyone else, but it had no effect.

(most of the above cribbed from yet another book called Censored - no author though, as I can't remember who wrote it or find my copy anywhere:( )

Some of the censorship in the US was quite amusing too; look at all those films from the 50s where married couple have to sleep in separate single beds, placed a regulation six feet apart. In kissing scenes the man had to keep one foot on the floor at all times, and definitely no tongues!

On a similar topic, anyone been watching Sex On TV on Channel 4? Quite fascinating stuff (and not just forthose reasons either!)
 
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Anonymous

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There was a time too when many collector's of video nasties were getting raided all over the country, their entire video collections were being taken even though films like BRANDEAD and FULL METAL JACKET were in there!!
Mind you, I would rather have those days back then sit through the American junk like SCREAM (Good costume - crap teens!), I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, URBAN LEGEND etc. I still think BLAIR WITCH captured some of the old feel, much of which was obscured in the '80s yet tacky little films like MADMAN and the excellent LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK are still far more atmospheric. Horror lost its way mid-'80s although HENRY was a good film, but now it is quite shocking if a good, genuine horror turns up. Everyone gets heated up about trash like JEEPERS CREEPERS...but I would rather stick to THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE...sure, the acting was bad but the gore was great and the film incredibly atmospheric.
 

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I thought Jeepers Creepers had a few effective moments in the opening 20 mins or so, but rapidly degenerated into a bog-standard cliche-ridden and extremely unscary chase movie. Shame. Even Ring (shown on C4 last wek), although far superior and genuinely chilling at times, failed (IMHO) to live up to the hype. Where exactly are the scary movies these days?
 
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Anonymous

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It's not just the UK that's experiencing a resurgence of censorship, Johnnyboy, out here in Oz the authorities have just withdrawn "Baise Moi" from cinemas on the grounds of excessive portrayal of real sex and (simulated) violence.

The most laughable aspect of the case is that the film had already been showing for over a week right around the country.
 
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Anonymous

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For an intelligent discussion of censorship I recommend the site

http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk

which explores all aspects of censorship from violence, to swearing to explicit scenes. It looks at video nasties, books, television and even capitalist censorship.

Other subjects covered are Media Watchdogs, Print and Press witch-hunts and scares and customs and excise. Oh yeah...and the BBFC :D

The site itself is not exploitational and does not (in general) pass opinion on the subject matter itself, but does look at the political implications of censorship.

The title of the site itself derives from the UK tv cut of Lethal Weapon (I think) and the ludicrous dialogue they dubbed over a certain section of swearing.

Just for the other side of the argument, here is the BBFC's website:-

http://www.bbfc.co.uk
 
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Anonymous

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Self-censoring in American video rental places is incredibly narrow-minded. A few years ago, my sister and I suddenly became obsessed with finding a copy of either To the Limit or Skyscraper. I believe it was the latter, as I believed an Anna Nicole Smith pastiche of Die Hard had to be the absolute nadir of film-making; thus, it was a must-see. At any rate, I went to the local Movie Gallery to inquire about a copy, and the manager informed me they didn't "carry those kind of movies" there. What kind...poorly produced ones? They had a ton of Andy Sidaris films, so that couldn't be the case.

In the mid-80s, the Faces of Death films were very popular rentals; however, I couldn't watch them without either getting ill or laughing, depending on the particular event shown. Evil Dead disturbed me quite a bit, in that it just seemed to revel in perversity. Remember when that root or whatever rapes/impales the young woman? What the hell were the producers thinking? Did anyone read the script prior to filming? Now, we have Survivor and Fear Factor and such on primetime television; it makes me wonder how far we are from someone pitching The Running Man as an actual series. With such fare broadcast for free, the video industry's almost forced to up the ante.

One last story about 80s cinema: I recall a film being advertised that was supposedly so profane in it's gore, barf bags were handed out at the door upon entry to the theater. Of course, a group of us went, and it was the most boring waste of two hours I'd ever seen. Thankfully, we had some girls smuggle some beer in their purses for us. At any rate, I think those old flicks just relied on Dave Friedman-style self promotion, typically falling a good deal short of their promises, whether explicit or merely implied.
 
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Anonymous

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Originally posted by ballzack
I loved that movie but my all time favourite scary movie is Dawn of the Dead, you seen that one fly boy?

No, but I always meant to, although I hate horror. How anyone could be enthralled by the genre has always been anathema to me. It always struck me that horror drew the least talented people into the industry.
You guys where horrors!

Damn straight. Look, Zack, they had a policy against shooting up inside the building, so beer was our only recourse. Seriously, though, at age 16 I hadn't hit my drug phase yet, so beer was about the only enjoyment we had. You make do with what you got, mate.
 
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Anonymous

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Well, I'm off home to watch Baise-moi on video this evening so i'll give you my honest opinion of it on the morrow.

I'll also write a slightly more expansive note on the whole censorship issue.

Just quickly tho': the (fantastic) bbfc website has stats on which films have been cut, for how long and (the more recent films) why the cut has taken place.

2002 = 500 films (videos / dvd's are separate), 18 cut or, 3.6% of films. I used to think that loads of films got cut for video release but then found out (thants again BBFC), that there is a 4% reduction in running time for transferring film to other formats (number of frames per second or something). Nanny state; what nanny state?:)
 

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The whole Dead trilogy is worth seeing. The first two for their social commentary and the third one simply for the outstanding effects by Tom Savini.....Plus the line "Choke on 'em....."
Hellraiser 1 & 2 are cool, the third one is shite but the fourth one is surprisingly quite good.
The Burning, I don't care what Craven says this film was the inspiration for Freddy Krueger.
Zombie Flesh Eaters I found quite yawnsome apart from the zombe fighting the shark. I didn't make it to the end.
Demons 1 & 2, blood, blood, blood and very little else.

ALL HAIL DARIO ARGENTO AND MARIO BAVA!


A good website to check out for video nasties is
http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk
 
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Anonymous

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Warning - this post contains spoilers and profanity

Hmm, I thought about maybe starting a new thread for this subject, but I guess the Mods can do their stuff should anybody object too much. I for one feel that the following sits nicely in the whole "Video Nasty" continua.

Firstly, I must start out by saying that I enjoy "challenging" cinema, hence I have seen a number of movies banned by the BBFC, or cut almost out of recognition. I have had to commit what are, at least technically, illegal acts to obtain some of these movies in their native state. At other times I've been at parties / friends houses and have watched them there.

I'm a 28 year old professional adult, no convictions, and don't think I have any psychological disorders, nor do I feel in any way marginalized, or antipathetic towards society or other people specifically (apart from the usual disagreements i have with friends and colleagues). Nor, really, would I call myself a voyeur, other than in the most general sense.

However I have watched both of Lenzi's "Cannibal" movies, Passolini's "Salo" (amongst others of his), Mou's "Men Behind The Sun", Zarthi's "I Spit on Your Grave", Mcnaughton’s “Henry: Portrait of a serial killer”, and all the other usual -Driller Killer, Texas Chainsaw et al - Suspects.

Hence, when I heard about this French piece of cinematic shit that has been banned in Oz, another must see was added to the list. Duly acquiring the movie, I watched it on Wednesday night with my brother and his flat mate. So what did I think?

Firstly, I've got to say that this is pretty artlessly directed. All digitally filmed, you can tell that the budget is probably not that far into 6 figures USD. Little plot to speak of and some stilted dialogue adds to the feeling that the director – surprisingly enough (to me at least) a women - didn’t really have much of an idea about offering too deep a study of human reaction to intolerable situations. Thirdly, there's a shit load of hard-core sex. Not just in the penetrative rape scene that occurs 5-10 minutes into the picture, but scattered liberally throughout the piece.
Reviews on IMDB seem to say that the sex is pointless, not there as a device, or as an enhancement to the plot, but more like "a 4 year old who's discovered his first rude word" (i quoted that bit - thanks IMDB).

I don't know about that. Indeed I think the whole point of the movie (casual violence, casual drug abuse, casual sex) is; at least in the eyes of the two young women involved, there isn't much point to anything because by the time we get to meet our protagonists they're so fucked up and desensitised that nothing can bring them back from the brink. Indeed after the rape one of the women, reacting to her friend who is distraught at what has just happened, replies "there's nothing I keep in my $%£* that those guys have taken". Powerful stuff.

Some typically French dialogue can be found in this movie-lite (the whole thing coming in at a sylph like 70 Minutes), including such lines as “I see self-immolation as fittingly pretentious”??

On the plus side, there are some nice cinematic touches. A scene with a laser sight, the last resting place of one of our heroines, and a filler scene with a huge oil refinery / nuclear power station are all impressive looking.
More suprisingly than this, there are a couple of genuinely funny pieces of script.
The violence is in your face, but not excessive - more "Clockwork Orange" than "make them die slowly".
Finally, the acting skills of the leads are impressive, especially seeing as they are Euro Porn Queens. Indeed I have seen a lot of "straight” actresses ham and gurn on a much greater scale in “normal” movies.

Moving swiftly along onto the whole UK censorship issue, this film had only 7 seconds cut for UK theatrical release, relating to the rape. That surprised me, until I talked about it with some friends and realised that pretty much anything goes these days for films, it’s where video / DVD home release comes into play that the scissors are going to be wielded. Either that or give it a R-18 category, highly unlikely for this picture I would hazard. If you have any desire to watch this movie: Go to the cinema, forget the home market version.

In closing ElJubbo gives this film a solid 5.5 overall, with bonus points awarded for opening my somewhat jaded eyes to a movie that has porn in it, without being a porn flick per se, and realising that the term “actress” does apply to the two leads.

Only in France would this film be made. Can anyone imagine Michelle Thorn (or for our US cousins Jenna Jameson) or Adele Stephens in these roles?

Oh and carnaki - Wasn't it Cox's "Repo Man" where the director, incensed by the restrictions placed on the language, got Stanton and Esteves to redub the dialogue with those stupid "made up" swears??
 

river_styx

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This is Baise Moi we're talking about here ain't it?
 
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Drat - knew i'd left somethingout

Sorry Styx - yeah, see my thread a couple up for the provenance...
 
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Anonymous

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Human Pork Chop

Just bought this movie, will write a review when i've had a chance to watch it...
 
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