10 Infamous Video Nasties

Films so controversial they were outlawed.


In a time when films lived or died at the hands of the censors, home video offered a loophole. VHS releases gave certain movies a second life. This was particularly true in the United Kingdom, where the BBFC was infamously rigid with its code of conduct. If a film was refused a cinema certificate even after rigorous edits, it was never to see the light of day.

With the advent of home video a marketplace boomed. UK retailers found access to a wealth of less censored cuts of notoriously gruesome films. Thus, video nasties were born. For a brief spell in the United Kingdom, video prints were not policed as rigidly as their cinematic counterparts. This led to films previously denied a cinema release, or heavily censored, being readily available via importing.

Movies were beamed into people's living rooms in all their uncut glory. Outrage soon followed with a rise in crime being blamed on the "sadist videos." Equally rigid legislation was introduced in 1984 which led to the recall, re-editing and outright banning of films considered "obscene." Distributors of such films faced up to 5 years in jail.

So, with that history lesson out of the way, here are 10 Infamous Video Nasties that caused moral outrage.


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