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The Video Nasty Era: Gory, Controversial Horror Movies That Shocked the UK


by Horror Stock on December 20, 2022

I Spit On Your Grave Poster

Are you ready to take a trip back to the wild and wacky world of the "Video Nasty" era? Buckle up, because we're about to dive into the seedy underworld of low-budget horror movies that took the United Kingdom by storm in the 1980s.

For those unfamiliar with the term, "Video Nasties" were a series of outrageously gory and controversial horror movies that were distributed on home video in the UK during this time. These movies, which ranged from the merely sleazy to the downright depraved, caused a moral panic among parents and politicians alike, and many of them were heavily censored or banned outright.

But what made these "Video Nasties" so nasty, you might ask? Well, it's a combination of things. For starters, many of these movies were shot on a shoestring budget, with little regard for quality or taste. As a result, they were often filled with gratuitous violence, gore, and sexual content that would make even the most hardened horror fan blanche.

Some of the most infamous "Video Nasties" include "Cannibal Holocaust," "The Evil Dead," "The Driller Killer," and "I Spit on Your Grave." These movies are known for their graphic violence, sexual content, and overall depravity, and they pushed the boundaries of good taste to the breaking point.

But it wasn't just the movies themselves that caused outrage; it was also the way they were marketed. Many of the "Video Nasty" movies were sold in sleazy, unmarked VHS packaging, with lurid cover art that promised all sorts of depravity within. It was this combination of shocking content and lowbrow marketing that led to the term "Video Nasty" being coined, as parents and politicians alike were outraged by the proliferation of these movies.

As the outrage grew, the British government began to take action. In 1984, the Video Recordings Act was passed, which required all movies released on home video to be classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). This meant that all "Video Nasty" movies had to be submitted for classification, and many of them were either heavily censored or banned outright.

But despite the controversy surrounding them, the "Video Nasty" movies have achieved a cult following over the years, with many fans appreciating their transgressive nature and over-the-top gore. Today, they stand as a testament to a bygone era of filmmaking, when pushing the envelope was the name of the game and the line between good taste and bad was a little blurrier than it is today.

So if you're a fan of outrageous, gory horror movies and you have a strong stomach, you might want to check out some of the "Video Nasty" classics. Just be prepared for some tongue-in-cheek humour, plenty of unique nuances, and maybe even a chainsaw-wielding maniac or two. Just remember to always watch your "Video Nasties" with a buddy, because you never know when one of those depraved maniacs is going to burst through the screen and start wreaking havoc.


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