Saturday, May 31, 2014

DVD Review: VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE (Severin Films)

VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE (2010)  3-Disc DVD Set 

Label: Severin Films
Duration: 13 Hours, 58 Minutes
Refion Code: 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English Dolby Didital Mono
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Jake West
Cast: Neil Marshall, Christopher Smith, Graham Bright, Emily Booth

It's great to see Jake West's documentary about the Video Nasties era when a few gore-soaked shockers threatened to corrupt the youth in the UK.  A threat so imminent that the Parliament brought about censorship that made it a damn crime to distribute a list of 72 movies deemed so repugnant that they might potentially endanger the moral fiber of children... and dogs! The documentary runs just 72 minutes and is quite a good watch, having read quite a bit about the Video Nasties and the films in question I didn't find a lot of new ground covered but it's damn decent watch just the same with some great vintage clips of stuffy Brits declaring war on the evils of horror cinema following the advent of VHS and the possibility of home viewing. Some of these twats had never even watched the films!

Disc one contains the documentary with an  extended menu screen with an extended Video Nasty inspired clip starring the seductive and dark Emily Booth. Bonus features include a nearly hour long video ident compilation which is sure to inspire a bit of VHS nostalgia in UK viewers. The Park Avenue ident is a particularly smutty and wonderful bit of video. The last feature on disc one one is gallery of vintage Video Nasty VHS sleeves, all salacious and wonderful and I'm sure these videos are worth a pretty penny in today's retro-VHS market. . 

The doc is a great watch but for my money the real value here is contained on disc two and three of the set. We have the trailers for the complete 72 films that were declared depraved Video Nasties. Split into two discs we have t
he thirty-nine titles that were successfully prosecuted in UK courts and deemed liable to deprave and corrupt and then we have the thirty-three titles that were initially banned, but subsequently removed from infamous list.  Each trailer receives a brief introduction from many of the talking heads from the doc who are a bit more animated and  interesting when speaking about the specific films, each espouse their love and admiration for each of the titles as well as pointing out how ridiculous and absurd many of them truly are. You have the option to watch with introduction or without as a straight-up trailer reel, don't skip the intros. 

Very pleased to see Jake west's doc get a North American release from Severin Films - it's a damn decent doc and turns out to be one of my favorite trailer reels sets of the year - of which there have been quite a few. A fantastic collection of depraved and gore-soaked trailers with the bonus of a decent doc about the Video Nasties and some great intros for every depraved slice of Video Nastiness. Nearly fourteen hours of classic Video Nasty hysteria spread out over three discs, this is a fantastic watch. 
4 Outta 5

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