VHS Nasty: The Video Nasties by Tony Newton & David Bond
Trade Paperback – HellBound Books – Dec 2020 – 496 pages
VHS Nasty: The Video Nasties is the definitive, full-colour guide to the halcyon days of the 1980s, when the British government and its nanny state, headed by the self-proclaimed and totally unelected “Protector of Public Morals,” Mary Whitehouse, decided it would dictate what the viewing public could-and, more specifically, couldn’t-watch in the privacy of their own homes.
The fight to control the voracious, countrywide spread of video players brought about the much-maligned Video Recordings Act 1984, which came complete with a list of “video nasties,” horror movies deemed much too disturbing for the delicate sensitivities of the British public, and which were not to be viewed on home VCRs. And, not only were those films banned, producers and directors were prosecuted, video stores were raided by the police, and video cassettes were burned (Fahrenheit 451 anyone?).
Naturally, the act not only blighted the whole video/home entertainment revolution but it also inadvertently created the cult underground movement and a huge collector’s market for the iconic films, many of which still change hands for phenomenal sums of money!
I Spit on Your Grave, The Driller Killer, Cannibal Holocaust, Xtro, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Evil Dead were just a handful of the initial 72 titles that made the “must-see” list of the 1980’s horror aficionados, all of whom moved heaven and hell to get their hands on a copy!
Tony Newton and David Bond lead us through the history of those dark, draconian days with an engaging, conversational style that makes for simply terrific reading. They also provide a comprehensive, title-by-title list of each and every one of the banned and prosecuted films, along with comments and memories of some of the producers, directors, writers, and actors responsible for creating the whole video nasty phenomenon.
With insightful contributions from: Lloyd Kaufman, Taylor Sprow, Ramsey Campbell, Graham Masterton, Barbie Wilde, Nicholas Vince, John Thomson, Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust), Steve Wright, Terry M. West, Richard Stanley, James Cullen Bressack (Blood Lake), Mark Miller (Seraphim Films), Colin McCracken, Eric Weston (Evilspeak), Glenn Criddle, Max Weinstein, John Penney (The Return of the Living Dead 3, Hellgate), and many, many more.