3 items from 2010
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide
The UK in the early 1980’s. The birth of the video age and the birth of one of the most notorious periods in British movie history – the era of the Video Nasty!
As the proliferation of home video grew, independent video distributors filled the gap left by a Hollywood system too afraid to release films on video with a mind-boggling selection of movies – in fact almost anything they could lay their hands on! From obscure horror films, to sex films, kung-fu, cult classics, obscurities and outright trash, all these and more could be found in local video rental stores located on almost every high street in the country. That was until 1984 when the tabloid newspaper moral panic whipped up by clean-up campaigner leader Mary Whitehouse and fanned by newspapers like the Daily Mail and their infamous “Ban the Sadist Videos” headline finally brought about the Video Recordings Act… »
In the early 1980s, fearing that the morality of British youth was being corrupted by the explosion of ultraviolent film on home video, British authorities passed a sweeping new law on video content. It outright banned a total of seventy two films - though some would later be allowed on appeal - creating what ironically became the definitive list of extreme cinema for many collectors. These were the so-called Video Nasties.
In an age where everything you could possibly imagine is available for free on the internet the idea of controlling access to these titles seems sort of quaint but back in the day, if you were in the UK and wanted to see Cannibal Holocaust or I Spit On Your Grave the only way to do it was via illicit tape trading and an underground network of collectors.
I can see Gus Van Sant making a Twilight movie if he's allowed to do it in his minimalist "death trilogy" style. And maybe if Sofia Coppola made Breaking Dawn she could use the money she makes on a more interesting film later. But Bill Condon? He's the one director in Summit's wish list that I can't see doing the thing. Sure, he did a Candyman movie so he can do horror -- which the Oscars told us Twilight is. And he also got spooky and paranormal more than 20 years ago with his directorial debut, Sister, Sister, as well as with his early scripts for Strange Behavior and Strange Invaders. But otherwise he's mainly a biopic guy these days. And this is why I hope he at least takes a meeting regarding this Twilight offer and turns his gathered research into a film about the series' creator, Stephanie Meyer.
- Christopher Campbell
3 items from 2010
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