In the early 80's the United Kingdom created the Video Nasty. Like the PMRC, that came out a couple of years later, the BBFC believed that there was too much sex and violence in films and they didn't want these tapes falling into children's hands. The first Video Nasties list appeared in 1983 and after the Video Recordings Act was passed in 1984, all videos needed to be submitted for ratings classification. If the film didn't meet the standard, it needed to be cut to comply or it would be banned!
These low budget horrors became gold to cine files everywhere and the search for these titles became a passion. In total, 72 films were put on the list and most of the films were low budget horror films from Europe and the United States that contained graphic violence, real life animal abuse or excessive abuse of women. 39 of the films were successfully prosecuted by the Obscene Publications Act and the others were either unsuccessful or not prosecuted. However, people still got these films and became prizes to most.
Here are 5 Nasty Video Nasties:
5. Cannibal Man (1973) - Marco and Paula are getting randy in the backseat of a cab. The cab driver tells them to get out and get a room. They leave cab but the driver still wants to be paid and starts attacking Paula. Marco knocks out the cab driver and they walk home. The next day, they read that the cab driver is dead! Paula begs Marco to go to the police and turn himself in. She gives him an ultimatum, either he turns himself in or their relationship is over and she'll turn him in. With a tear in his eye and a heavy heart, Marco decides to kill Paula and stuffs her under his bed. Where else would you put a body? It's a good thing Marco's brother/roomate is at work trucking for the next couple days, oh wait, he's home early and wants to know what that smell is? Now, we have another body under the bed. Luckily, Marco realizes he is a butcher at a processing plant for a soup company, so he can bring parts of their bodies into work and dispose of them nice easily. That soup tastes feety. Unfortunately, more people are coming over looking for the his brother and Paula, and Marco's solution for putting nosy people under the bed isn't working, what is he gonna do? From Spain, this movie has some terrific bludgeoning scenes and the gore is done really well. The pacing is slow but the story is good and it's a interesting film. However, I don't understand why it's called Cannibal Man when he isn't a cannibal. Outside him dumping pieces of people into the soup, nobody in the film is a cannibal. That is disappointing but the rest of the film is fine.
4. Night of the Demon (1980) - While in the hospital, Professor Nugent tells the story of what happened on his class trip to find Bigfoot. While out in the woods, he and his students discover a Satanic cult and mute woman, who has been raped by Bigfoot and has given birth to another Sasquatch! I was excited to watch this because of the Bigfoot element but as the movie progressed there were tons of other things to be excited for. Most of the violent scenes are told in flashbacks and are from stories that have been told about the encounters with this creature. Ranging from Girls Scouts, couples, old men and the best scene in the film, the motorcyclist. The Professor and his students are bullies, who camp on people's property, disturb religious ceremonies, interrogate emotionally crippled women and even dig up dead babies, just to prove their point. By the end of the film, I wanted to kill them too. Again, short on story, the camera work and editing are questionable and the acting is blah. The blood shed is amusing and the when the creature is revealed, I'm sure you'll have a good chuckle. Watch with a grain of salt.
3. Bloodeaters (aka Toxic Zombies) (1980) - A group of hippies are growing weed in the mountains and the government needs to stop them! The government agents decide to use a crop dusting plane to spray untested toxic chemicals on the crop to kill the weed. Unfortunately, it also covers the hippies and turns them into blood thirsty zombies! Fuckin hippies! A little ways away a family of four are vacationing and further down the creek, a forest agent is fishing with his wife and brother. The parents are attacked by the zombies leaving the daughter and her mentally handicapped brother to fend for themselves until the find the forest agent and his party. Now they must escape the woods and warn civilization about the toxic zombies! This is a bad looking movie at first, but as it goes on it does have it's charm. It reminds me of the old 50's B-films with locked camera, panel wall scenes and how are we gonna wrap this kind of story. What it lacks in story, acting, dialogue, set... anyway, it has in gore. Lots of blood and inventive kills. It's fun and it doesn't take itself seriously.
2. Horrible (aka Absurd) (1981) - The film opens with a man being chased by a priest and ends up being impaled on the gate of a wealthy family. The man is brought to the hospital and to the doctors surprise, the patient's blood coagulates very quickly and is alive again. To everyone's disappointment, the man goes on a killing spree and escapes the hospital to return to the wealthy families house, for some reason? Anyway, the wealthy parents are going to watch the American football championship game at their neighbours, while the their crippled daughter and obnoxious son are left with the babysitter. However, there is a new babysitter coming, who happens to be the nurse at the hospital, times are tough and she must need the money? No one believes the child when he tells them he's seen the boogeyman but they find out quickly as they discover bodies and are put on the oven irons. The priest is working with the most incompetent cops in the history of cinema and eventually they stumble upon the plot but can they get there before it's too late. This was confused to be the sequel to Antropophagus but they only things that are the same are the director, Joe D'Amato and the villain, George Eastman. There are some good scenes, but the plotting is slow and they cut to the parents watching the game in some key areas, where they really should stay on the killer. You want Eastman to catch this kid because he is soooooo unlikeable and annoying. The police are chauffeured around and they aren't even trying to conceal that the other detective is in the back seat. Again, there are some good kill scenes and nice work on the special effects and worth it if you want to finish your nasties list.
1. Evil Dead (1981) -You should know this but, 5 college kids go on vacation in a cabin in the woods. They discover a creepy looking book, a sacrificial knife and a tape machine. They bring the stuff upstairs and play the tape. They hear a professor talk about the discovery of the book and it being the "Naturan Demanto", a Sumerian variation of the Book of the Dead. The professor begins to read incantations and unfortunately for the group, his words release some evil demons upon them. The rest of the evening is hell, as one by one the they all succumb to the demons until Ash is the only one left and must fight these demons to save himself and his friends. Love Evil Dead, perfect example for film makers of what you can do with a lot imagination and a shoestring budget. What's great about it can be smart and funny at times, terrifying and goretastic at others. If you haven't seen, then you must! Go watch, I'll wait...
There are still 10 films that are still banned in the UK, even thought the BBFC have become a little more lenient over the years, allowing film series such as Hostel and Saw to come through uncut. I think a lot of these nasty films would have been over looked if the BBFC wouldn't have brought so much attention to them. So, thank you British government for giving us a list of movies to watch!
Here is a list of other Video Nasties from Wikipedia, if your interested in crazy Horror movies.