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Release Date:
3 June 2014 (USA) See more »
To avoid moral panic keep repeating: "They were only movies, only movies, only movies, only movies...". See more »
A documentary analyzing the furore which so-called "video nasties" caused in Britain during the 1980s. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Fun and informative film documentary See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)
Julian Petley ... Himself

Marc Morris ... Himself

Andy Nyman ... Himself
Xavier Mendik ... Himself

Christopher Smith ... Himself

Neil Marshall ... Himself
Kim Newman ... Himself
John Hayward ... Himself
John McVicar ... Himself (archive footage)
Geoffrey Robertson ... Himself
Martin Barker ... Himself
Fredric Wertham ... Himself (archive footage)
Patricia MacCormack ... Herself
Mary Whitehouse ... Herself
Graham Bright ... Himself
Stephen Thrower ... Himself
Allan Bryce ... Himself
Alan Jones ... Himself
Peter Kruger ... Himself
Brad Stevens ... Himself
Clifford Hill ... Himself
Craig Lapper ... Himself
Barrie Gold ... Himself

Margaret Thatcher ... Herself
John Beyer ... Himself

Emily Booth ... Girl in Video Nasties Are Evil clip
Derek Malcolm ... Himself
James Ferman ... Himself
David Grant ... Himself (archive footage) (as David Hamilton-Grant)
Malcolm Fancey ... Himself (archive footage)
Nik Powell ... Himself
Beth Johnson ... Herself
Donald Coggan ... Himself
Jerry Hayes ... Himself
Guy Cumberbatch ... Himself
Geoffrey Finsberg ... Himself
Neville Hunnings ... Himself
Carl Gabriel Yorke ... Himself (archive footage)
Francesca Ciardi ... Herself (archive footage)
Perry Pirkanen ... Himself (archive footage)

Luca Barbareschi ... Himself (archive footage)

Robert Kerman ... Himself (archive footage)
Christopher Ryan ... Himself (archive footage)

Adrian Edmondson ... Himself (archive footage)

Rik Mayall ... Himself (archive footage)

Nigel Planer ... Himself (archive footage)
David Vanian ... Himself (archive footage)

Bernice Stegers ... Herself (archive footage)
Roberto Posse ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles McCrann ... Himself (archive footage)
Beverly Shapiro ... Herself (archive footage)
Kevin Hanlon ... Himself (archive footage)
Judith Brown ... Herself (archive footage)
Dennis Helfend ... Himself (archive footage)

Camille Keaton ... Herself (archive footage)
Eron Tabor ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Pace ... Himself (archive footage)
Anthony Nichols ... Himself (archive footage)
Gunter Kleemann ... Himself (archive footage)

Abel Ferrara ... Himself (archive footage)
Carolyn Marz ... Herself (archive footage)
Macha Magall ... Herself (archive footage)
Salvatore Baccaro ... Himself (archive footage)

Mirella D'Angelo ... Herself (archive footage)
Mirella Banti ... Herself (archive footage)
Veronica Lario ... Herself (archive footage)
Dan Grimaldi ... Himself (archive footage)
Ruth Dardick ... Herself (archive footage)
Johanna Brushay ... Herself (archive footage)
Olga Karlatos ... Herself (archive footage)
Giannetto De Rossi ... Himself (archive footage)
Ramón Bravo ... Himself (archive footage)
Ottaviano Dell'Acqua ... Himself (archive footage)
Laurel Munson ... Herself (archive footage)
Sara Ansley ... Herself (archive footage)
Barbara Lusch ... Herself (archive footage)
Janet Penner ... Herself (archive footage)
Virginia Settle ... Herself (archive footage)
Zora Kerova ... Herself (archive footage)
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ... Himself (archive footage)
Walter Lucchini ... Himself (archive footage)

Neville Brand ... Himself (archive footage)
Crystin Sinclaire ... Herself (archive footage)

Janus Blythe ... Herself (archive footage)

Robert Englund ... Himself (archive footage)

Marilyn Burns ... Herself (archive footage)

Gunnar Hansen ... Himself (archive footage)

Burt Reynolds ... Himself (archive footage)

Dolly Parton ... Herself (archive footage)
Jack McClelland ... Himself (archive footage)
Mary Gail Artz ... Herself (archive footage)
Angie Brown ... Herself (archive footage)
Tom Drury ... Himself (archive footage)
Baird Stafford ... Himself (archive footage)
Scott Praetorius ... Himself (archive footage)
Christina Keefe ... Herself (archive footage)
William Kirksey ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Milling ... Himself (archive footage)
Danny Ronan ... Herself (archive footage)
Tommy Bouvier ... Himself (archive footage)
Lou David ... Himself (archive footage)

Fisher Stevens ... Himself (archive footage)
Carrick Glenn ... Herself (archive footage)

Bruce Campbell ... Himself (archive footage)

Ellen Sandweiss ... Herself (archive footage)
Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury ... Himself (archive footage)
Alex Mann ... Himself (archive footage)
George Eastman ... Himself (archive footage)
Katya Berger ... Herself (archive footage)
Goffredo Unger ... Himself (archive footage)

Tisa Farrow ... Herself (archive footage)
Margaret Mazzantini ... Herself (archive footage)
Leslie Lee ... Herself (archive footage)
Cinzia Monreale ... Herself (archive footage)
Catriona MacColl ... Herself (archive footage)
David Warbeck ... Himself (archive footage)
Giovanni Nuvoletti ... Himself (archive footage)
Brigitte Skay ... Herself (archive footage)
Mal Arnold ... Himself (archive footage)
Astrid Olson ... Herself (archive footage)
Carol Vogel ... Herself (archive footage)
Eileen Hayes ... Herself (archive footage)
Anne Linden ... Herself (archive footage)
Maggie Rogers ... Herself (archive footage)
Don Williams ... Himself (archive footage)
Olivia Pascal ... Herself (archive footage)
Jasmin Losensky ... Herself (archive footage)
Suzanna Love ... Herself (archive footage)
Ron James ... Himself (archive footage)
Llewelyn Thomas ... Himself (archive footage)

John Saxon ... Himself (archive footage)
Don Ruffin ... Himself (archive footage)
Vicente Parra ... Himself (archive footage)
Charly Bravo ... Himself (archive footage)
Fernando Sánchez Polack ... Himself (archive footage)
Martin Sorrentino ... Himself (archive footage)
Angelo Ragusa ... Himself (archive footage)

Christopher Allport ... Himself (archive footage)
Ed Bakey ... Himself (archive footage)

Melody Anderson ... Herself (archive footage)
Ivan Rassimov ... Himself (archive footage)
Nick Panouzis ... Himself (archive footage)
Debi Chaney ... Herself (archive footage)
Barron Winchester ... Himself (archive footage)
Pat Knapko ... Herself (archive footage)
Al Cliver ... Himself (archive footage)
Ursula Buchfellner ... Herself (archive footage)
Werner Pochath ... Himself (archive footage)
Bertrand Altmann ... Himself (archive footage) (as Burt Altman)
Cecilia Fannon ... Herself (archive footage)

Robert Gribbin ... Himself (archive footage)

Barbara Bain ... Herself (archive footage)
Tamara Taylor ... Herself (archive footage)
Rosie Holotik ... Herself (archive footage)
Harryette Warren ... Herself (archive footage)

Clint Howard ... Himself (archive footage)
Fiona Richmond ... Herself (archive footage)

Udo Kier ... Himself (archive footage)

William Sanderson ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Judd ... Himself (archive footage)
Yvonne Ross ... Herself (archive footage)
Richard A. Rubin ... Himself (archive footage)
Srdjan Zelenovic ... Himself (archive footage)
Dalila Di Lazzaro ... Herself (archive footage)
Arno Juerging ... Himself (archive footage)
Lynne Kocol ... Herself (archive footage)

Elizabeth Berridge ... Herself (archive footage)

Cooper Huckabee ... Himself (archive footage)
Largo Woodruff ... Herself (archive footage)
Miles Chapin ... Himself (archive footage)
Wayne Doba ... Himself (archive footage)
Daniela Poggi ... Herself (archive footage)
Adriano Micantoni ... Himself (archive footage)
Antiniska Nemour ... Herself (archive footage)
Daniela Doria ... Herself (archive footage)
Giovanni Frezza ... Himself (archive footage)
Giovanni De Nava ... Himself (archive footage)
Annie Belle ... Herself (archive footage)

David Hess ... Himself (archive footage)
Brigitte Petronio ... Herself (archive footage)
Lorraine De Selle ... Herself (archive footage)

Linda Haynes ... Herself (archive footage)

Geoffrey Lewis ... Himself (archive footage)

Elke Sommer ... Herself (archive footage)

Irene Miracle ... Herself (archive footage)
Robert Behling ... Himself (archive footage)
Jane Lyle ... Herself (archive footage)

Anita Ekberg ... Herself (archive footage)
Paola Morra ... Herself (archive footage)
Sofia Lusy ... Herself (archive footage)

Alida Valli ... Herself (archive footage)
Sandra Peabody ... Herself (archive footage)
Lucy Grantham ... Herself (archive footage)
Fred J. Lincoln ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Towers ... Himself (archive footage)
Cynthia Carr ... Herself (archive footage)
Laura D'Angelo ... Herself (archive footage)
Macha Méril ... Herself (archive footage)

Flavio Bucci ... Himself (archive footage)
Gianfranco De Grassi ... Himself (archive footage)
Cristina Galbó ... Herself (archive footage)
Fernando Hilbeck ... Himself (archive footage)
Gengher Gatti ... Himself (archive footage)
José Lifante ... Himself (archive footage) (as Jose Ruiz Lifante)
Vera Drudi ... Herself (archive footage)
Maria Lease ... Herself (archive footage)
Kathy Williams ... Herself (archive footage)
Bruce Kimball ... Himself (archive footage) (as Bruce Kemp)
Rodger Steel ... Himself (archive footage)
Allison Biggers ... Herself (archive footage)

Jerry Fujikawa ... Himself (archive footage)

Morgan Most ... Herself (archive footage) (as Morgan Hart)
Dennis Robertson ... Himself (archive footage)
William Metzo ... Himself (archive footage)
Gwen Arment ... Herself (archive footage)
Norma Lazareno ... Herself (archive footage)
Agustín Martínez Solares ... Himself (archive footage)
Shane Dixon ... Himself (archive footage)

Susan Tyrrell ... Herself (archive footage)
Kay Kimler ... Herself (archive footage)
Gary Baxley ... Himself (archive footage)

Isabelle Adjani ... Herself (archive footage)

Sam Neill ... Himself (archive footage)
Laurie Lapinski ... Herself (archive footage)

Ursula Andress ... Herself (archive footage)
Carol Kottenbrook ... Herself (archive footage)
Sarah Kendall ... Herself (archive footage)
Carl Kraines ... Himself (archive footage)
Giorgio Cerioni ... Himself (archive footage)

Rachel Ward ... Herself (archive footage)
Elizabeth Barnitz ... Herself (archive footage)
Faith McSwain ... Herself (archive footage)
Kelly Nichols ... Herself (archive footage)

Cameron Mitchell ... Himself (archive footage)

Michael Ironside ... Himself (archive footage)

Lee Grant ... Herself (archive footage)

Lenore Zann ... Herself (archive footage)
Paul Naschy ... Himself (archive footage)
Josep Castillo Escalona ... Himself (archive footage)
Luis Induni ... Himself (archive footage)

Millie Perkins ... Herself (archive footage)
Stafford Morgan ... Himself (archive footage)

Lina Romay ... Herself (archive footage)
Margit Evelyn Newton ... Herself (archive footage)
Gabriel Renom ... Himself (archive footage)
Selan Karay ... Himself (archive footage)
Josep Lluís Fonoll ... Himself (archive footage)

Terence Hill ... Himself (archive footage)

Bud Spencer ... Himself (archive footage)

Christopher Lee ... Himself (archive footage)

Serena Grandi ... Herself (archive footage)

Rupert Everett ... Himself (archive footage)

Cristina Raines ... Herself (archive footage)
Catherine Rabett ... Herself (archive footage)

Kelly Ward ... Himself (archive footage)

Mark Hamill ... Himself (archive footage)

Robert Carradine ... Himself (archive footage)
Bobby Di Cicco ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Jake West 
Produced by
Marc Morris .... producer
Cinematography by
Jake West 
Film Editing by
Jake West 
Music Department
Rob Lord .... additional music
Other crew
Marc Morris .... researcher
Martin Barker .... special thanks
David Bloom .... additional thanks
Emily Booth .... additional thanks
Francis Brewster .... special thanks
Martin Brooks .... special thanks
Uggy Christ .... additional thanks (as Uggy)
Carl Daft .... additional thanks
Greg Day .... additional thanks
Harvey Fenton .... special thanks
David Gregory .... additional thanks
Almar Haflidison .... additional thanks
Graham Humphreys .... special thanks
David Hyman .... additional thanks
Neil Jenkins .... additional thanks
Alan Jones .... additional thanks
David Kenny .... additional thanks
David Kerekes .... additional thanks
Craig Lapper .... special thanks
Paul McEvoy .... additional thanks
Xavier Mendik .... additional thanks
Phelim O'Neill .... additional thanks
Max Peplow .... additional thanks
Ian Rattray .... additional thanks
Jonny Redman .... additional thanks (as Jonathan Redman)
Ian Richardson .... special thanks
Garwin Spencer-Davison .... additional thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
72 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »

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...See more »
Movie Connections:
References City of the Living Dead (1980)See more »
NastySee more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Fun and informative film documentary, 30 December 2013
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

I remember back in the early 80's when I was at school, in our lunch hour me and my friends would often visit the local video rental shop which adjoined a Texaco garage. This was so exciting and to think that all we actually ever did was *look* at the video covers! We were too young to actually rent anything out. It's probably very hard for younger people to understand the excitement caused by the video boom of the early 80's, especially the influx of horror titles that saturated the market back then. The covers of these videos were garish and unsettling. They promised so much excess. They were a forbidden fruit. Some ironically were given eternal fame by being banned. I genuinely think that back in those days the authorities were so naive that they didn't foresee this. I distinctly remember seeing the list of the banned titles for the first time in a magazine of the time called 'Halls of Horror'. The list contained all of the films that would achieve infamy as video nasties plus several others that were patently absurd such as the war movie The Big Red One. This latter film made the list because the authorities assumed it must be a pornographic film going by its title! Its details like this that shows how absurd the whole thing was in many ways and how amateurishly it was handled.

In the last few years or so, I have caught up with most of the infamous video nasties and on an alarmingly common basis wondered how in hell they were ever considered obscene in the first place. Of course, I don't refer to all of them when I say this; movies such as Cannibal Holocaust and The House on the Edge of the Park remain deeply troubling movies, while Faces of Death is guaranteed lasting infamy for its real death footage. But when viewing films such as Funhouse or Visiting Hours, amongst many others I just couldn't get to grips with how they could have fallen foul of the law to such a massive extent. As it turned out the 72 nasties were eventually whittled down to 39 'true' video nasties that were considered the extreme of the extreme Although when you consider that this final list included the innocuous The Werewolf and the Yeti you are still left wondering about the thought process that produced this final list.

This documentary looks at the thinking behind the panic and the way the authorities acted. It was driven by politicians, puritans and Mary Whitehouse. The tabloid press were possibly the most influential of all though, informing the public that the sadistic videos were not only pernicious but that some were even genuine snuff movies. All of this was eaten up of course and titles with tabloid friendly, memorable names such as The Driller Killer became poster boys for all that was wrong with the new home video entertainment. Although most of us never actually thought about it at the time but the reason the market was flooded with low budget horror titles in the first place was that when the home video format first emerged, the big American studios refused to release their movies onto it seeing it as a competitor to their cinematic offerings. Consequently, lots of small traders emerged and bought up packages of cheap films, often very obscure and with a large percentage being horror flicks. And with this historical context, the early 80's home video horror boom was born.

In fairness, it isn't very surprising that the Video Recording Act happened. It does seem insane that these films weren't age certificated in some way. It's also not hard to understand why a lot of folks were uncomfortable when they were presented with lurid promotional posters for the likes of S.S. Experiment Camp. We have been desensitised these days to film violence and you really have to take into account the historical context to understand the genuine shock that these films engendered. So the documentary looks at why the furore happened and it allows both sides of the argument fair air time to present their case. It would only be fair to say that the film is clearly on the side of the defenders but I did think that it allowed the other side of the argument a fair hearing and didn't make them look silly with cheap editing or anything. We get to see short clips of all the 72 films but in the final analysis, this is not about the films themselves. It's about what caused the Video Recordings Act of 1983 to come into place. If you have knowledge of the subject there probably won't be too much new here although I am certain you will learn a few new nuggets of information. If, on the other hand, you have no, or limited knowledge, of the whole video nasty phenomenon then this is as good a place to start as any.

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