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Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010)

Not Rated  |  Video  |   |  Documentary  |  3 June 2014 (USA)
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A documentary analyzing the furore which so-called "video nasties" caused in Britain during the 1980s.


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Title: Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (Video 2010)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julian Petley ...
Xavier Mendik ...
Kim Newman ...
John Hayward ...
John McVicar ...
Himself (archive footage)
Geoffrey Robertson ...
Martin Barker ...
Fredric Wertham ...
Himself (archive footage)
Patricia MacCormack ...
Mary Whitehouse ...
Graham Bright ...


A documentary features interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall ('The Descent', 'Doomsday'), Christopher Smith ('Severance', 'Black Death') and MP Graham Bright as well as rare archive footage featuring James Ferman (director of the BBFC 1975-1999) & Mary Whitehouse. Taking in the explosion of home video, the erosion of civil liberties, the introduction of draconian censorship measures, hysterical press campaigns and the birth of many careers born in blood and videotape, West's documentary also reflects on the influence this peculiar era still exerts on us today. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


72 films that changed Britain forever. See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 June 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Available as part of Nucleus Films 3 disc DVD set "Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide". See more »


Martin Barker: And I think... the most interesting thing to me is just how little historical memory we have. The next time there's a panic, we won't remember just how stupid the last one was and how people get away with things. And that to me is the most important lesson about this campaign. The evangelicals got away with murder. They got away with fraud. They got away with deceiving people. They now laugh it off and the fact that all these films, almost all these films are now available uncut in the public ...
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References The Initiation (1984) See more »


Performed by The Damned
Under license from Universal Music
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User Reviews

An excellent and highly informative documentary
26 October 2010 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Video Nasties, eh?

Anyone here remember the luridly awesome looking covers at your local fleapit video shop, the type of shop where you just knew the owner was kinda dodgy? They were gonna corrupt us, deprave us, and turn us all into thrill killing time bombs. Or so the powers that be apparently thought at the time, and decided that enough was enough as they certainly knew what was best for us all.

This documentary explores this mindset, its consequences, how it affected people and its possible effects in regards to today.

Jake West lets each camp equally give their opinion, and is more than happy to give advocates of the Video Recording Act enough rope to hang themselves by coming out with patently ludicrous views. West also highlights the unscrupulous and fraudulent methods used by advocates of the ban and Video Recordings Act, in regards to statistical data to back their claims of films being able to morally corrupt, and how said data was gotten.

The doc also features insightful comments from the likes of Neil Marshall, Christopher Smith, Kim Newman, Alan Jones and Stephen Thrower and is well worth checking out for any self respecting horror fan, particularly UK fans and particularly fans who were around at the time of the era.

It's nothing especially new- the topic has been covered in the also excellent Ban The Sadist Videos documentaries- but it's a cracking and often amusing documentary all the same.

Not much else to say really, except that it's great and is well recommended for any horror fan. 9/10, an absolute treat.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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