Tuesday, 29 July 2014


The Amazon review.
Well, here we are again horror fans and enemies of censorship for anyone over 18. And it does indeed seem like we've been here before. Of course it's a good place to be, no doubt about that, but the fact remains that it's a familiar place.

I may be wrong but this feels very much like the material, the content, was compiled at the same time as this DVD's predecessor and omitted simply for space reasons. The locations of the guest reviewers are the same and, though I haven't checked, I wouldn't be surprised if they were wearing the same clothes. The story does, of course, continue with the films that the powers that be thought were video nasties but probably couldn't get a jury to convict them so, fuzz, confiscate any you think you can get away with. It also highlights idiots like David Alton MP instead of Mary Whitehouse and the stupid fuss over Child's Play 3.

The best parts are the critics' perceptive and witty introductions to the films themselves and they usually contain so much footage it's hardly worth watching the actual trailers.

I loved the original documentary, this one I just liked quite a bit. But then we all know about sequels, don't we?
Further comments.
If find issues of censorship to be fascinating because censors are almost always invariably wrong, particularly in the case of the so-called video nasties. The original furore was superbly analysed in the first documentary which is essential viewing for anyone interested in censorship, not just in film. This sequel takes the story on a little further which looks at the films which the authorities couldn't ban because they'd already been passed by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification/Censorship) albeit often with cuts, but which the authorities had decidedly uneasy feelings about so encouraged the fuzz to confiscate stock from video stores. Films like John Carpenter's The Thing. The reaction of anyone who has seen this film is -you what? Yes, it is scary and gruesome but it's fantasy violence. There is no way on earth that it could deprave or corrupt anyone. There are no women in it so no sexual violence. Quite often, as the reviewers point out, a film was nicked because they either didn't like the title, the way the distributors publicised it (emphasising horror that just wasn't there) or without even watching it all the way through. 

It's worth noting that most of the original video nasties have now been released uncut in the UK. One, Contamination (contains mild unsadistic disembowelling) with a 15 rating. The few that remain either banned or noticeably cut involve either animal cruelty or hard sexual violence (or both). And yet civilisation hasn't crumbled. How strange.

Now I should come clean here and state that I haven't seen most of the original nasties or those included in this second volume and that despite being an avid lover of horror movies. The reason for this is that the type of horror I prefer contains elements of science fiction, fantasy, the supernatural, but, most importantly, monsters. While I've seen a few slasher movies, most of them didn't do much for me. I certainly don't like films which have explicit sexual violence or violence against women (like many of the cannibal movies do).
Glancing at a couple of shelves of DVDs near me, all I can see in the horror genre are The Evil Dead Trilogy and a couple of movies by cult Italian director Mario Bava including his superb and still scary as heck 60s anthology film Black Sunday (not to be confused with his Black Sabbath his 1960 b/w scary almost as heck vampire movie).

What gets me about would be censors, such as David Alton MP and James Ferman of the BBFC, is their arrogance and elitism. Their attitude is: I have seen these films and while they have not affected me (superior middle/upper class person that I am) they could clearly affect lower class and lesser intelligent adults who lack my ability to discriminate between fiction and reality, therefore I must protect these inferior beings (not that I'd ever admit to thinking of them as such) in order to prevent their baser natures becoming inflamed by the violence and sexuality as seen in these films. An attitude to which I can only respond by saying, "Fuck you, asshole!"

Sorry about that, just my baser nature coming out.

Another reason to get this DVD is because of the informed, perceptive and often witty and lengthy introductions to the trailers by critic, writers, and academics such as Alan Jones (who seems to have known everyone in Brit Horror for the last forty years) and the always congenial Kim Newman, though there are several more and all very good too.

Oh all right, let me lay my position on the line in case I haven't been clear enough: FUCK THE CENSORS! (As painfully as possible.)

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