Video Nasties - Hip or Hype ?

Mighty_Emperor

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Anchor Bay are releasing an interesting video nasties boxset - The Box of the Banned:

Synopsis...

For the first time ever together - six of the most shocking, depraved and corrupt movies which were banned under the Obscene Publications Act during 1983/4 - Along with an all-new feature length documentary Ban The Sadist Videos which was a headline for the Daily Mail at the height of the frenzy. Films include:

# I Spit on Your Grave
# Zombie Flesh-Eaters
# The Driller Killer
# The Evil Dead
# Last House on the Left
# Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

DVD Extras...

# Ban the Sadist Videos: A new documentary on the video nasties
# Fear, Panic and Censorshp
www.anchorbay.co.uk/perl/search.pl?CO=ABD4437

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000A ... ntmagaz-21

---------------
Good overview:

Who's nasty now?

They were the films that would corrupt a generation with their depravity - or so said Mary Whitehouse. But were the video nasties, with their comedy cannibals and terrible effects, really that bad? Steve Rose reports

Friday September 9, 2005
The Guardian


Along with attempting to breakdance, sharing an illicit John Player Special, and drenching yourself in Kouros, a common rite of passage for teenage boys in early-1980s Britain involved sitting in a bedroom watching, and rewatching, gruesome low-grade horror movies. A generation of young males (it was almost exclusively a male thing) thrilled to the sight of bright red blood spurting out of freshly created orifices, psychos on the rampage with domestic hardware and undead monsters feasting on human sashimi. Their parents, meanwhile, were likely to be downstairs reading newspaper stories with titles like "Rape of Our Children's Minds" that listed in prurient detail the exact same scenes their offspring were playing back in slow motion upstairs.

As a cultural phenomenon, video nasties followed a similar pattern to moral panics over new media. Just like computer games or the internet, the explosion in popularity of the video format in the late 1970s outpaced government measures to regulate it. And back in the days when you had to pay a substantial fee to join a mainstream video club, hundreds of independent companies sprang up, producing and distributing cheap video movies to which cinema's rules of censorship didn't yet apply. Under these conditions, grisly horror movies thrived like maggots on a severed limb.

Between the bouffant-haired pincer movement of Mary Whitehouse and Margaret Thatcher, the golden age of disgusting filmic gore was destined to be brief, though the increasingly conspicuous and rapacious video companies could have hastened the end themselves. In 1982, Vipco put out a full page colour ad for Abel Ferrara's Driller Killer - the notorious drill-bit-entering-forehead shot that would become the defining image of the video nasty era. Shortly after, the distributors of Cannibal Holocaust allegedly wrote a bogus complaint letter to Whitehouse hoping to generate some free publicity.

One of the most remarkable aspects, looking back, is the way the meaning of the term "video nasty" started off vague but was forced to become preposterously precise. It was first used by a Sunday Times journalist in 1982, and as the media frenzy gained momentum, Whitehouse and the other moral custodians each put forward their own definition of what a video nasty was. The then-termed British Board of Film Censors defined obscenity as that which may "tend to corrupt and deprave", which hardly clarified matters. So when the police took action, and started conducting raids on video shops, not only were different titles seized in different parts of the country, comical errors were committed by film-illiterate coppers. Some confiscated the innocuous Dolly Parton musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; others saw pornographic connotations in the title of Sam Fuller's second world war drama, The Big Red One. Finally, an official list of 39 titles was settled on, so prosecutors and collectors knew what to look for.

To be fair, "video nasty" is a fairly accurate description of most of the titles on the list. Of course, they were on video, but most of them really were pretty nasty - in terms of quality as much as content. Italian horror movies, especially, are wearyingly derivative, as the interchangeable titles suggest (pick any combination of the words "zombie", "cannibal", "apocalypse", "blood" and "dead" and it's probably been made). You can imagine Mrs Whitehouse (who admitted she'd never actually watched a video nasty) being shocked out of her pop sox by descriptions of a cannibal beast eating its own entrails, or a woman's eye being impaled by a shard of glass - but had she seen the real thing, she would more likely have laughed. The acts were unspeakable, but the special effects were even worse. They're the sort of thing that could only be have been appreciated by an audience of excitable adolescents.

In the quest to break new taboos, though, many go beyond simple gore. Violence against women seems to be an overriding theme. Some depicted rape, torture, racial murder, bestiality and beyond - with no apparent objective beyond simply putting it on the screen. It's hard to imagine there was a substantial market for the most extreme titles, but as a result of their inclusion on the list, movies such as Don't Go in the Woods or The Gestapo's Last Orgy, have endured far longer than they would have otherwise.

But for every negligible exploitationer on the list, there was a classic. Dario Argento's Tenebrae and Inferno, for example, display a visual finesse and operatic bravery that lift them above the other Italian entries. One of the most notorious titles on the list, Cannibal Holocaust, combines its gruesome imagery with an intelligent, politically motivated plot in which sensation-seeking film-makers enter the Amazon jungle, and slide from ethnographic inquiry to colonialist oppression before ending up as lunch. The theme, and the way the movie is constructed from the explorers' "found" footage, were directly borrowed by The Blair Witch Project.

Many of the superior blacklisted US horrors took pains to put their horror into some sort of social context. Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left, for example, which inspired a slew of similar rape-revenge movies, transposed Bergman's Virgin Spring to post-hippie, post-Manson American suburbia. Sam Raimi's comically gory The Evil Dead is still regarded as one of the finest horror movies in existence, and even Ferrara's Driller Killer, for all its notoriety, mapped out some plausible triggers for its protagonist's pathology: artistic impotence, sexual frustration, punk rock. Who could have foreseen that 20-odd years on, Craven would have a mainstream thriller raking it in at the box office (Red Eye), or that Raimi would go on to direct Spider-Man and its sequel, two of the highest-grossing movies of all time?

-----------------
· The Box of the Banned DVD collection (Anchor Bay, £29.99) is released on September 26
www.guardian.co.uk/arts/fridayreview/st ... 74,00.html

============
I alos hear Grindhouse are going to be releasing new fancy versions of The Beyond and Cannibal Holocaust which should be interesting:

www.houseofhorrors.com/grindhouse.htm
 

AsamiYamazaki

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The box set is a really fun idea, but I really don't think the world needs any more copies of I Spit on Your Grave. That's one crappy movie. I ended up having to watch the dvd on 4x speed so I could still tick it off my banned movies to watch list.

Driller Killer looks its age so profoundly that it's looking fairly cool once again. Last House on the Left is horribly lame (although slightly more acceptable than Deodato's House on the Edge of the Park which is plain wrong) and although the scene with the girls walking down to the water is pretty charged I hate the comedic bungling cops etc.

From a very nasty point of view, New York Ripper is utterly unforgiveable, Fulci at his worst. Weren't all prints of the movie police-escorted out of England? Fulci's Cat in the Brain film is absolutely splendid though, particularly as he plays himself (ish). One of my all time faves, especially as he manages to recycle so many bits from others of his movies including the gem When Alice Broke the Mirror starring the affable Brett Halsey who eats his ugly girlfriends and feeds the remains of them to pigs in a most amiable fashion.

And I'm actually rather partial to Cannibal Holocaust. It generates a genuine reaction rather than a tedious gross-out cheap shot. Yep the animal scenes are vile, as are the real life killings slipped into the 'documentary', but it still honestly shocks.

I can't believe Tenebre was classed as a nasty though. It looks incredibly tame (if lovely) now.
 

MaxMolyneux

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Some of them are good movies but alot of them are trashy too so I'll go with there over hyped. Not many cases of them influncing people to kill.

The Burning, I don't care what Craven says this film was the inspiration for Freddy Krueger.
Most likely right since both got badly burned, came back for revenge and killed mostly kids or teenagers inthe film. Difference is in Nightmare in Elm street, Freddy gets burned by an angry mob of Adults and the guy in the Burning wasn't playing a peadophile, just a burn victum out for revenge.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Mighty_Emperor said:
I also hear Grindhouse are going to be releasing new fancy versions of The Beyond and Cannibal Holocaust which should be interesting:

www.houseofhorrors.com/grindhouse.htm
They have a site up promoting CH:

Warning contains some still from the film that some may find offensive.

www.cannibalholocaust.net

Same site at Grind House's homepage (although I assume they'll have more stuff on there over time as they release more films):

www.grindhousereleasing.com

Seems the cover of their 25th anniversary release has been rejected by printers around the world - nice bit of extra publicity. ;)

They are also doing a limited cinema run:

August 17: Experience big-screen CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see the notorious cult shocker CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST on the big screen, you’ll have a chance in certain cities thanks to Grindhouse Releasing. The company, which is gearing up for HOLOCAUST’s DVD release (see item here), has secured the following theatrical playdates:

September 9-10, 16-17
Tivoli Theater
6350 Delmar Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 802-0127

October 1
Landmark’s Uptown Theater
2906 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408

October 14-15
Landmark's Sunshine Theater
143 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002

October 22
Esquire Theater
590 Downing Street
Denver, CO 80218

The theatrical dates can also be found on HOLOCAUST’s official website. Click on “Exhibition,” then “Screenings” to read regularly updated info. —Jennifer Morrow
www.fangoria.com/news_article.php?id=4567

Their own screening page has a bigger list

www.cannibalholocaust.net/screening.htm
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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AsamiYamazaki said:
... I ended up having to watch the dvd on 4x speed so I could still tick it off my banned movies to watch list.

...
That's exactly how I managed to get through Videodrome.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Box of the Banned 2 in March

Anchor Bay have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Box of the Banned 2 for 13th March 2006 priced at £24.99. Following on from Anchor Bay UK's Box Of The Banned DVD collection comes a second collection featuring five more of the most shocking and notorious "video nasties" ever to see the light of day, plus a bonus disc featuring the second part of David Gregory's brand new documentary Ban the Sadist Videos.

This specially priced (£24.99) six-disc collection brings together, for the first time ever, five of the movies which were originally banned in the UK under the Obscene Publications Act during the years 1983-84 – Matt Cimber's The Witch Who Came From The Sea, Dario Argento's Tenebrae, Eric Weston's Evilspeak, Lawrence D. Foldes' Don’t Go Near The Park and Luigi Cozzi's Contamination.
www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=60206

Pre-order:
www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E ... ntmagaz-21

The films:

 

sherbetbizarre

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http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3257530.ece

From The Sunday Times

January 27, 2008

MPs press for ban on SS camp ‘video nasty’

FILMS with graphic violence, including one simulating the rape, torture and incineration of concentration camp victims, are being freely sold on the high street, prompting demands by MPs for a reform of the censorship laws.

SS Experiment Camp is one of a clutch of violent films banned 20 years ago by the director of public prosecutions that have been approved for general release by Britain’s film censors and are on sale in shops.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) said there was no evidence that the film causes harm to viewers, adding that “there is nothing in this film that anybody should have any concerns about”. The board claims that sensibilities toward on-screen violence have changed since the film was banned.

However, MPs have questioned the censors’ judgment and their greater tolerance of films and video games containing graphic violence. They want Gordon Brown to give the public more power to appeal against the board’s decisions. The prime minister is set to meet a cross-party coalition of MPs to discuss toughening the laws on “video nasties”.

MPs are concerned that films previously considered so shocking that they were banned have been approved for general sale and are desensitising the public to extreme violence.

They are particularly worried by the decision of censors to grant a general release certificate to SS Experiment Camp, a 1970s low-budget movie that is sold alongside family films at high-street shops and online.

Jewish groups fear such films trivialise the suffering of Holocaust victims, who in the film are forced to have sex with Nazi commandants and are boiled alive if they refuse to “collaborate”. The blonde camp commandant forces a Jewish doctor to perform sadistic experiments on women prisoners, including live ovary transplants.

Women dressed in striped prison uniforms are forced to become prostitutes, tortured, hung upside down and electrocuted. They are injected and incinerated after refusing to declare allegiance “to the supreme Führer”.

The film’s cover prominently displays the Nazi SS emblem and the words “Previously banned! Legally available for the first time”. Because it has an 18 certificate, it can be sold on the same shelves as U and PG certificate films.

SS Experiment Camp was approved for release by David Cooke, director of the BBFC, Sir Quentin Thomas, the president, and two vice-presidents, Janet Lewis-Jones and Lord Taylor of Warwick. Thomas is a former senior civil servant; Lewis-Jones and Taylor are lawyers. Though it went on sale in October 2006, it has only just come to the attention of MPs, who are shocked by its contents.

A spokeswoman for the BBFC said SS Experiment Camp had been given a certificate with no cuts because “we have no concerns about it”. Although she accepted it contained sexual violence, she said the board did not believe it was harmful to viewers. “It is tasteless – but then I find most Mel Gibson films tasteless,” she said. “We do not believe that anyone watching this title is going to become antisemitic as a result. It is not going to create an attitude towards Jewish women that is harmful.”

A private member’s bill to be introduced by Julian Brazier, the Conservative MP for Canterbury, with support from senior MPs of all parties, would make it easier to challenge the release of “video nasties”.

Brazier strongly disputed the board’s claims and said the release of SS Experiment Camp was a clear case of the BBFC failing to protect the public.

“We live in a country where half of all males think forced sex is justified under some circumstances and it’s this kind of film that glamorises the torture of women,” Brazier said. “This film may have an 18 certificate but in practice, whatever its classification, it will rapidly find its way into the hands of under18s.”

A motion by 50 MPs asking for a film’s release to be reconsidered would trigger an instant appeal, under the plans to be debated by parliament next month. Other video nasties previously banned but recently released include Snuff, based on the Manson murders, and The Driller Killer, which was the Hollywood director Abel Ferrara’s first movie.

The move is backed by Keith Vaz, the former Labour minister, who heads the powerful Commons home affairs committee.

Commemorations around the country today will mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Yesterday the Holocaust Educational Trust called on the film censors to think again about their decision to release SS Experiment Camp, which was made in Italy by Sergio Garrone in 1976.
And the Melon Farmers response: http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/parl.htm#Experimental_Nonsense
 

OneWingedBird

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ss experiment camp was a bit shit too, and nasty with it :shock:
 

stu neville

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sherbetbizarre said:
From The Sunday Times

....A private member’s bill to be introduced by Julian Brazier, the Conservative MP for Canterbury, with support from senior MPs of all parties, would make it easier to challenge the release of “video nasties”. ...

“We live in a country where half of all males think forced sex is justified under some circumstances...
Hang on a minute.. since when did a full 50% of the male population think it acceptable to ever force someone into sex?

OK, so he's on a bit of a crusade to prevent corruptible youth from being exposed to frankly rubbish exploitative tripe, and just maybe get himself noticed while he's about it, but throwing in hysterical and totally un-verifiable "statistics" such as that aren't going to earn him any points.
 

taras

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From The Sunday Times“We live in a country where half of all males think forced sex is justified under some circumstances...
Huh, I must have missed that question on the last census....
 
A

Anonymous

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quote. to disregard the effect of films, television and video games is to ignore a substantial amount of evidence – especially as this is something we actually can do something about.quote

im sorry but ther is no evidence on the effect of films television and video games just more bs from an mp.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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megadeth16 said:
quote. to disregard the effect of films, television and video games is to ignore a substantial amount of evidence – especially as this is something we actually can do something about.quote

im sorry but ther is no evidence on the effect of films television and video games just more bs from an mp.
:? Are you sure?
NO evidence at all?
 

GNC

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Of course films and TV influence people, otherwise nobody would laugh at comedies, get scared at horrors, cry at melodramas, get thrilled at thrillers, tap their feet at musicals and no DVDs would ever be sold. Whether they influence people to break the law is far more doubtful.
 
A

Anonymous

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thats what i meen but it seems there are some mps who wont to control what we can or cannot watch or what games can or cannot we play.
 

Heckler

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I don't think anyone in parliament seriously believes that games/movies or whatever influence people to act illegaly, but putting in place meaningless knee jerk legislation shows they care about today's hot issue (whatever that may be). Hence Asbos to tackle youth crime for example or in this case stronger media certification to tackle everything that's wrong in the world today (or unwed mothers or terrorism or something).

Ultimately it's just noise.
 

GNC

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At least we're not as bad as China:

http://www.reuters.com/article/oddl...0080214?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews

Regulators now spooked by ghost stories
Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:11pm EST

Learn to Trade with a FREE Guide.BEIJING (Reuters) - China has added ghosts, monsters and other things that go bump in the night to its list of banned video and audio content in an intensified crackdown ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Producers have around three weeks to look through their tapes for "horror" and report it to authorities, the General Administration of Press and Publications said in a statement posted on the government Web site.

Offending content included "wronged spirits and violent ghosts, monsters, demons, and other inhuman portrayals, strange and supernatural storytelling for the sole purpose of seeking terror and horror," the administration said.

The new guidelines aim to "control and cleanse the negative effect these items have on society, and to prevent horror, violent, cruel publications from entering the market through official channels and to protect adolescents' psychological health."

The regulations suggest China, where graphic, pirated sex and horror movies are available on most street corners, is keen to step up its control of the cultural arena ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August, which are widely seen as a coming-out party for the rising political and economic power.

They come just weeks after Beijing clamped down on "vulgar" video and audio content, slapped restrictions on Internet sites and handed down a two-year film-making ban to the team behind the steamy "Lost in Beijing."

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson)
This is a real shame, Chinese horror movies are some of the most imaginative around.

Edit: Url resized. P_M
 

sherbetbizarre

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gncxx said:
They come just weeks after Beijing clamped down on "vulgar" video and audio content, slapped restrictions on Internet sites and handed down a two-year film-making ban to the team behind the steamy "Lost in Beijing."
This is a real shame, Chinese horror movies are some of the most imaginative around.
It certainly is...

My copy of "Lost in Beijing" arrived last week, and can still be ordered here.
 
A

Anonymous

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Prime Ministers Question Time on the bbfc

Gordon Brown with his scissorsJulian Brazier returned to the stage in Prime Minister's Question Time and asked about reform of the BBFC and implicitly for support of his BBFC Accountability bill.

Julian Brazier (Canterbury, Conservative):

Following the Prime Minister's reply to the right hon. Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) a few weeks ago, does he now accept that there is an urgent need for reform of the British Board of Film Classification? What possible justification can there be for the board's decision to release into British high street outlets videos and DVDs such as SS Experiment Camp, which shows in voyeuristic detail women being tortured to death by SS camp guards?

Gordon Brown (Prime Minister):

I share the hon. Gentleman's concerns. I think it is true to say, as I have looked at it, that the British Board of Film Classification has put a higher category on many films in a different way from that recommended by the distributor, but it is also true to say that he expresses the concerns of many people among the general public. That is why I have agreed to meet him and my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) to talk about the issues, and why we set up the review headed by Dr. Tanya Byron. It will report very soon, and on the basis of that we can make recommendations for the future. As for the Conservatives who say it is wrong to review the issues, I say that the right thing to do is to review them and then make a decision.

I interpret Gordon Brown's reply as telling Brazier that he is jumping the gun and should wait on the Government commissioned Byron report.

But the Daily Mail interpreted this somewhat differently and present Brown's support for the Byron Review as if it were support for Braziers effort

See full article from the Daily Mail

Gordon Brown yesterday signalled his support for a crackdown on the sale of films, DVDs and video games containing appalling scenes of violence.

The Prime Minister said he shared the concern of MPs from all parties who want new controls on increasingly violent and sexual material.

A bid to impose new legal curbs is to be launched in the Commons next week amid concerns that they could trigger attacks by impressionable teenagers and adults.

A review ordered by Brown is expected to lead to reform of the BBFC, which is responsible for classifying films and games.

Critics say that in recent years, it has adopted a policy of allowing virtually anything to be shown to adults and increasingly offensive material to be shown to adults.

http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/bw.htm#Wait_On_Byron
 

drbastard

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megadeth16 said:
oi Gordon fatass Brown hands off the bbfc.
Be thankful Mega, if I had my way you wouldn't have access to a computer at all.
 

drbastard

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BE THANKFUL MEGA, IF I HAD MY WAY YOU WOULDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER AT ALL.
 

stu neville

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Now now, children. That will do.

Threads merged.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Here you go, Megadeth ;)

Bid to censor violent films fails

A Conservative MP has failed in his bid to increase censorship of video games and films containing extreme violence.
Julian Brazier's plan would have allowed more appeals against British Board of Film Classification rulings.

He argued standards had been "watered down" and explicit films and games were fuelling a "tide of violence".

He was supported by several Tory and Labour MPs, but both front benches opposed it. The Lib Dems said it gave MPs "undue influence" over censorship.

Mr Brazier's private member's bill failed when the debate ran out of time. Private member's bills allow individual MPs to introduce legislation on a subject of their choice.

Allowing appeals

He wanted MPs to have more of a say over the BBFC's membership and guidelines, which he argued had been "progressively liberalised" and standards reduced, particularly in regard to knife crime.

He also wanted a change to the system that currently only allows appeals against BBFC classifications, or decisions to cut footage, by the entertainment industry.

Mr Brazier's plan would have allowed an independent jury to reverse a ruling, if 50 MPs signed a Commons motion - even after the film or game was released.

During a Commons debate, he cited the example of a previously banned video - SS Experiment Camp - which was re-examined by the BBFC and released in 2005.

"The film shows in voyeuristic detail women being tortured to death by SS camp guards," he said.

'Glamorising rape'

Another film, Irreversible, featured a nine-minute rape scene he said, adding: "If this is not glamorising rape then it is difficult to imagine what would be."

He told MPs: "The growth in violent offences is linked to the growing availability in the media of extremely violent and explicitly sexual material."

His bill was supported by Labour MP Keith Vaz, who represents a seat in Leicester where the mother of murdered 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah blamed his killer's obsession with the Manhunt video game - a view not supported by the trial judge.

Mr Vaz said video games were different from films because they were "interactive".

"When they play with these things they are able to interact, they can shoot people, they can kill people, they can rape women and that's what is so wrong about the situation we have at the moment," he said.

Good job

Another Labour MP, Stephen Pound, said there was a danger that in extremely violent films "the sanctity of life becomes diluted", particularly when dealing with the young and impressionable. But Conservative MP John Whittingdale dismissed SS Experiment Camp as "pretty tasteless and offensive" but said scenes of sex and violence were mild compared to many mainstream films.

He said Mr Brazier's bill "could do damage to the film industry" and that the BBFC largely did "a reasonably good job"

Lib Dem spokesman Don Foster suggested if MPs were to start signing a motion to get a title banned "sales would absolutely rocket".

"I believe the proposals contained within this Bill would give politicians an undue and dangerous influence over these sorts of issues," he added.

Culture Minister Margaret Hodge said the BBFC, while not getting it right every time did an "extremely good job in incredibly difficult circumstances".

She said the government had responded to concerns by asking Dr Tanya Byron to review whether more regulation to protect children was needed - due to report back next month.

Urging MPs to await that report next month, she said legislation would not be effective on its own. Parents, internet service providers and others would also have to take responsibility. She was still speaking as time ran out at 1430 GMT and the bill now stands no chance of becoming law.

On Friday, the BBFC rejected the serial killer film Murder Set Pieces amid concerns about violent sexual scenes - the ruling means it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7270882.stm
 
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