The 72 Films That Made The Video Nasty List.

As a youth (god, how old does that make me sound?) I loved nothing more than to spend my time tirelessly exploring charity shops, car boot sales (for non-UK folks, It’s like going to see eBay live) and horror festival stalls hoping to lay my hands on precious Nasties. What do you mean by Nasties, I hear you ask? For those born after 1990 or new to the genre, allow me to explain…

Video Nasty is a colloquial term popularised by the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association (NVALA) in the United Kingdom to refer to a number of films, typically low-budget horror and exploitation films, distributed on video cassette that were criticised for their violent content by the press, social commentators and various religious organisations in the early 1980s.

The Video Nasty campaign was basically a war between moral superiority vs independent gore flicks, spearheaded by the likes of Mary Whitehouse, a conservative activist who you just know, had to have been fucking boring in bed. Whitehouse, being the puritanical lunatic that she was, decided that she was utterly disgusted and offended by the obscene nature of a bunch of movies that she had never seen. And the British public, loving nothing more than to be angered by some nonsense that they read in the paper, jumped on board.

As a result of Whitehouse’s constant, morally outraged bitching, the Video recordings Act 1984 was launched (probably to shut the old crone up). The director of prosecutions swiftly released a list of 72 films that were to be pulled from the shelves and burned at the stake, hoping to send these movies straight back to Satan, from whence they came. Filmmakers and distribution companies were dragged into court for prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

What Whitehouse and her equally repellent cronies didn’t factor in was that the moment you ban something, you instantly make people want to acquire it, and this was precisely what happened with the films that made the Nasties list. People sought out these films. Myself included.

Today, most of the films that found themselves on the naughty step have been cleared and released Uncut. You can easily find these titles either online or on the shelves at HMV. It’s a good thing in terms of how censorship laws have relaxed, but it’s also rather shitty. I personally loved the hunt. I loved to track down these obscure, gritty movies, feeling I was somehow sticking two fingers up to the man. Fuck the man. I was a rebel, and no musty old bag in a floral dress and national health specs was going to tell me what I could and couldn’t watch. Being able to find them at the touch of a button is kinda soulless.

For those who missed out on the outrage, who were born too late, or who aren’t familiar with the titles that caused an old lady to piss her knickers in god-fearing indignation, I figured I’d compile a complete list of those 72 troublesome titles. If you use this list to track them down, please keep in mind that not all the movies on this list are a recommendation from yours truly. Some of the films that made the cut were banned because of their video sleeve alone. Some of these movies are incredibly shit. You have been warned.

1 – Absurd (1981)

Director – Joe D’amato

2 – Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

Director – Paul Morissey

3 - Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980)

Director – Joe D’Amato

4 – Blood Feast (1963)

Director - Herschell Gordon Lewis

5 - The Ghastly Ones (1968)

Director - Andy Milligan

6 – Bloody Moon (1981)

Director - Jesús Franco

7 – The Burning (1981)

Director - Tony Maylam

8 – Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

Director – Antonio Margheriti

9 – Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Director – Umberto Lenzi

10 – Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Director – Ruggero Deodato

11 – The Cannibal Man (1972)

Director – Eloy De La Iglesai

12 – Devil Hunter (1980)

Director - Jesús Franco

13 - Don't Go in the Woods (1981)

Director - James Bryan

14 - The Driller Killer (1979)

Director - Abel Ferrara

15 - Evilspeak (1981)

Director - Eric Weston

16 - Trauma (AKA Exposé) (1976)

Director - James Kenelm Clarke

17 - Faces of Death (1978)

Director - John Alan Schwartz

18 - Fight for Your Life (1977)

Director - Robert A. Endelson

19 - The House by the Cemetery (1981)

Director – Lucio Fulci

20 - House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Director – Ruggero Deodato

21 - I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Director - Meir Zarchi

22 - Island of Death (1976)

Director - Nico Mastorakis

23 - The Beast in Heat (1977)

Director - Luigi Batzella

24 - The Werewolf and the Yeti (1975)

Director - Miguel Iglesias

25 - The Last House on the Left (1972)