Documentary Review – Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, part 2

Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, part 2
Directed by Jake West
Courtesy of Severin Films and CAV Distributing Corporation
Release Date: February 10, 2015


I have to confess, to my shame, that I didn’t know what Video Nasties were until I watched this documentary. I had heard the term over the years but always assumed it was related to porn or something of that nature. Imagine my surprise to learn the truth behind this term. I had no idea the lengths to which the British government went to try and stamp out indecency in film. Which is one major reason the VIDEO NASTIES series from Severin Films and CAV Distribution is a must-have for film buffs of any country. VIDEO NASTIES, PART 2 continues this in-depth excursion into one of the world’s most notorious cases of censorship.

If you are not familiar with VIDEO NASTIES, PART 2, here is the synopsis courtesy of Severin Films:

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 film. For the first time ever on DVD, all 82 films that fell foul of the Director of Public Prosecutions “Section 3” list are trailer-featured with specially filmed intros for each title, alongside director Jake West’s brand new documentary – VIDEO NASTIES: DRACONIAN DAYS.

DISC 1: Video Nasties: Draconian Days

The critically acclaimed follow-up documentary to VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE from director Jake West and producer Marc Morris who continue to uncover the shocking story of home entertainment following the introduction of the 1984 Video Recordings Act. The UK was plunged into a new Dark Age of the most restrictive censorship, where the horror movie became the bloody eviscerated victim of continuing dread created by self-aggrandizing moral guardians, and the film charts the consequences of this, including subversive social culture that sprung up around it. With fascinating interviews and more jaw dropping archive footage, get ready to reflect and rejoice on the passing of a turbulent time.

DISC 2/3: The Section 3 List

Original trailers for all 82 titles that were designated under “Section 3” of the Obscene Publications Act by the Director of Public Prosecutions. These titles were liable for seizure and forfeiture by the police, removed from sale or hire and then destroyed; although they were not ultimately prosecuted. This amazing list was discovered whilst researching legal paperwork for the original VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE and finally clears up why so many additional titles were historically considered to be “Video Nasties”. Titles include: Blood Lust, Brutes and Savages, Cannibals, Dead Kids, Deep Red, Death Weekend, Demented, Eaten Alive, Headless Eyes, Hell Prison, Love Butcher, Mark of the Devil, Massacre Mansion, Savage Terror, Scream for Vengeance, Suicide Cult, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Xtro and Zombie Holocaust.

I love the fact this documentary series is the brainchild of director Jake West. In addition to many successful documentaries, West is responsible for some top notch horror films as well, including EVIL ALIENS and DOGHOUSE. West is a talented filmmaker, and I hope he has a long career in the industry.

VIDEO NASTIES, PART 2 is shot well and looks great onscreen. It is filmed in a standard documentary style, with most of the information presented via interviews. I love this aspect of the documentary, as it makes the data more personal. Too many times, documentaries are bogged down with too much narration. Thankfully, that is not the case here.

Probably my favorite part of the VIDEO NASTIES series is the trailers for the Video Nasties are included on a separate disc, and each title has an analysis along with it. This lets you see a little bit about why the title was put on the list in the first place. It also gives you a nice trip down nostalgia-lane.

The VIDEO NASTIES series is a major win for me, and I highly recommend giving it a look. Informative and entertaining, this documentary will open your eyes to place in history you might not have known existed. And if you were already aware, I’ll bet there is info in here you might have missed. Regardless, add this series to your library today. It is available now.


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