8 user 60 critic

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

Not Rated | | Documentary | 3 June 2014 (USA)
4:08 | Trailer
A documentary analyzing the furore which so-called "video nasties" caused in Britain during the 1980s.


Jake West



Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Prepare to be corrupted and depraved once more by the sequel to the definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon - the most extraordinary and scandalous era in the history of British ... See full summary »

Director: Jake West
Stars: Sian Barber, Martin Barker, Graham Bright
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary capturing the modern day VHS culture and VHS collectors.

Directors: Dan M. Kinem, Levi Peretic
Stars: Lloyd Kaufman, Anthony Timpone, Keith J. Crocker
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fast moving odyssey into the subterranean world of the rarely explored province of Filipino genre filmmaking.

Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Roger Corman, John Landis, Pete Tombs
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

Every Video Nasty from the DPP list of 39, and the DPP list of dropped 33 titles is critiqued and explored, followed by the original trailers.

Director: Jake West
Stars: Emily Booth, Allan Bryce, Alan Jones
Rewind This! (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.

Director: Josh Johnson
Stars: Ben Jousan, David Gregory, Micah Matthews
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

From 1970-1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch films.

Director: Stuart Samuels
Stars: John Waters, Ben Barenholtz, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Documentary | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about the history of exploitation movies, from the silent movie era to the 1970s.

Director: Elijah Drenner
Stars: Robert Forster, Eric Schaefer, Eddie Muller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of the Australian exploitation genre cinema of 1970s and 80s.

Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Phillip Adams, Glory Annen, Christine Amor
Ban the Sadist Videos! (Video 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An in-depth analysis of the "Video Nasty" scandal of the early 1980s in Britain.

Director: David Gregory
Stars: Chris Theobald, Norman Abbott, Barrie Gold
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The history of the independent film company, The Cannon Film Group, Inc..

Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Sam Firstenberg, David Paulsen, Luigi Cozzi
VHS Massacre (2016)
Documentary | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This lively documentary explores the rise and fall of physical media and its effect on Independent and cult films. Ranging from the origin of home movies through the video store era, it's ... See full summary »

Directors: Kenneth Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour
Stars: Mike Aransky, Alan Bagh, Troy Bernier
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.

Director: Alex Stapleton
Stars: Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino


Cast overview, first billed only:
Julian Petley ... Himself
Marc Morris ... Himself
Andy Nyman ... Himself
Xavier Mendik ... Himself
Christopher Smith ... Himself
Neil Marshall ... Himself
Kim Newman ... Himself
John Hayward John Hayward ... Himself
John McVicar John McVicar ... Himself (archive footage)
Geoffrey Robertson Geoffrey Robertson ... Himself
Martin Barker ... Himself
Fredric Wertham Fredric Wertham ... Himself (archive footage)
Patricia MacCormack ... Herself
Mary Whitehouse ... Herself
Graham Bright Graham Bright ... Himself


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) See more »

Also Known As:

Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nucleus Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 ...
See more »


References The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) See more »


Performed by The Damned
Under license from Universal Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great Memories In An Informative Documentary
5 May 2015 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Young people nowadays don't know they're born . They want to watch a newly released Hollywood movie ? All they have to do is log on to their parents computer , search around for certain pirate sites and they'll be able to find the latest Hollywood blockbusters . Not so in my day where Rothesay didn't have a cinema from 1976-91 . If you wanted to watch a movie you'd need to take a ferry trip to Wemyss Bay and then a bus to Greenock . Thank goodness for a thing called a video recorder where not only could you record TV shows on to very expensive video tape but could go to a retailer - usually a corner shop that also sold alcohol - and hire a movie to watch . Strangely enough major studios weren't too keen on bringing out major releases . That said no one I knew was interested in major studio pictures , what me and my peers wanted was gore , gore and more gore and the video market was born for this era . If you're middle aged you're still able to name off the top of your head all these legendary "video nasties" you remember from your youth . This documentary featuring film makers , critics , academics and law enforcers take us back to the good old bad days where every film you watched was both stomach churning and laughable at the same time

The documentary wastes no time in showing the audience what the films that gained so much notoriety were and we see an alphabetical countdown of the 72 films that made the banned list . I was somewhat surprised as to how many of these films I saw back in the day . Perhaps even more surprisingly is how many such as ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS , THE EVIL DEAD and DRILLER KILLER actually turned up on satellite or network television years later . There's also a great nod to nostalgia and director Jake West shows the audience by tweaking he picture just how bad these videos looked on a visual level , many of which were third or fourth generation copies with the video heads clogged up with dust and the picture and sound constantly breaking up . Of course it didn't seem so bad at the time , but it's a good nostalgia trip for those who remember these days before DVDs came on the market with their cinematic picture quality and shows the youngsters today that what they were missing wasn't much

People are quick to look for scapegoats . Usually it's Jews who get the blame for everything but in Britain in the early 1980s it was video nasties . There never seemed to be a criminal case appearing in a daily tabloid involving a violent murder that wasn't solely blamed on a video nasty . Very soon the usual suspects of Mary Whitehouse and her acolytes backed up by right wing Tory MPs and the Daily Mail were running around the countryside with pitchforks and flaming torches looking for not only videotapes to burn but the obscene , subhuman degenerates who were selling them . If you're wondering why the police weren't bothered about arresting paedophile BBC personalities or members of parliament in the early 1980s that's because they were down the station getting overtime to slurp coffee while watching a video to see if it matched the criteria as an obscene film . Not only were those films on the banned list being confiscated from video stores but also any title that had a dodgy title like THE BIG RED ONE and APOCALYPSE NOW . Stop laughing at the back because in those days video retailers were being jailed or heavily fined for hiring out films on the banned list . As it turned out due to an oversight the video recordings act of 1983 wasn't actually enshrined in law so it turned out the retailers were jailed or fined illegally

This is a really interesting documentary and a warning what happens when politicians get caught up in hysteria being driven the small but noisy clique in pressure groups and the media . It also gives a window on to the world of the early 1980s . It's also probably the only documentary you will see where QUATERMASS AND THE PIT and video nasty gets mentioned in the same breath !

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed