The 1984 Video Recordings Act, an act of legislation enforced by the Conservative Parliament on the selling of home video tapes, was revolutionary on enforcing restrictions on the burgeoning industry of Home Video in the 1980s. It was so revolutionary that some laws and restrictions that were implemented are still active to this day (ever wonder why DVDs in high-streets are always certificated by the BBFC?) However, it's only in recent times that we’ve seen a lot of the more controversial movies that were targeted as part of this legislation being re-released on DVD in Britain.
Along with the restrictions came a list of 72 violent movies that were banned by the BBFC, seized by law-enforcement, and slandered as "Video Nasties" by the press, earning them a reputation all of their own. Some of these movies have never found a re-release in Britain; either because they’ve been completely forgotten, or because the content within is still too nasty for the BBFC to stomach. Whilst some movies definitely earned their place on the list such as Cannibal Holocaust, Fight For Your Life and I Spit On Your Grave, the BBFC weren’t completely infallible. In this article, we present to you 10 of the 72 movies banned via the 1984 Video Recordings Act that either really weren’t as bad as everybody thought, or the reasons behind their inclusion were ridiculously stupid.
10. The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue
Spanish made English zombie film The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue is one of the lesser known of the 72. Whilst it mainly stands out on paper because of its wacky name, there’s very little about this movie that’s actually wacky. Heavily inspired by George A. Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, 1974’s The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue is a slow, atmospheric zombie movie that may actually be one of the best zombie films of the 1970s. It’s not as frantic as other 70s zombie movies such as Dawn Of The Dead or Zombie Flesh Eaters, as it pays more attention to intense character drama than blood or gore. Yet, it was banned like many others in 1984.
It’s a real shame, because this partly-British movie should have shone in the 70s. It was a prime example of how Britain can be a perfect landscape for horror movies, something that was perfectly captured in 1981’s An American Werewolf In London. Even saying that, The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue was nowhere near as violent as An American Werewolf In London, yet it was banned in 1984 and John Landis’ opus was not. It’s a very unfair affront to all horror fans.