The section 3 video nasties couldn’t be prosecuted for obscenity but were liable to be seized and confiscated under a less obscene charge. Any video tapes seized on the Section 3 list could be destroyed after distributors or merchants forfeited them. Ah the UK, where rights be damned, right?
Here are the 82 video nasties that make up the section 3 films:
1. Schoolgirls in Chains: A mother encourages two sons to kidnap young women and chain them up in the basement, where they are subject to games that grow more and more depraved in this film directed by Don Jones (Who Killed Cock Robin?, Sweater Girls) and shot by Ron Garcia, who would go on to work on films like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and direct The Toy Box. You can grab this from Ronin Flix.
2. The Aftermath: A post-apocalyptic film starring its director, producer and writer, Steve Barkett, as well as his son Charles, this film is all about astornauts who return to Earth just in time to discover the end of the world. Look for Forrest J. Ackerman, Sid Haig and Lynne Margulies — yes, the girlfriend of Andy Kaufman — in this one. You can get the VCI blu ray from Diabolik DVD.
3. The Black Room: This Norman Thaddeus Vane and Elly Kenner co-directed film has Linnea Quigley in a small role. The Alamo Drafthouse noted that the film “eerily occupies the brief period in American genre films following the close of the swinging 1970s but predating the AIDS and crack/cocaine epidemics of the ’80s. From its lingering shots of hypodermic needles and blood coursing through transfusion tubes into track-scarred arms to its fascination with voyeurism, promiscuity and gratification, it’s definitely a film ahead of its time.”
4. Bloodlust: This 1977 Eurohorror film — by way of Switzerland — is based on the macabre true story of Kuno Hofmann, the “Vampire of Nuremberg.” I’d compare it to Martin, as it aspires to be a grown up version of a fairytale. You can grab it from Mondo Macabro.
5. Blood Song: A crippled young woman — played by Donna Wilkes (Angel!) living in a coastal Oregon town is stalked by a hatchet-wielding psychopath from whom she once received a blood transfusion. Sound scary? What if I told you that that maniac was played by Frankie Avalon?
6. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll: A Paul Naschy starred and co-written affair, this movie may be better known as House of Psychotic Women. This giallo affair is packed with the requisite blood and mayhem, as is befitting of the genre, as well as the song “Frere Jacques” played ala free jazz, which is perhaps less expected. It’s available as part of Shout! Factory’s The Paul Naschy Collection set.
7. Brutes and Savages: It’s shocking how few mondo movies made it on the video nasty lists. This one mixes authentic footage with incredibly exploitive re-enactments, including animal sacrifices, mating rituals, bizarre tribal ceremonies and even brain surgery. If that’s not enough, Riz Ortolani did the soundtrack. You can get this from Diabolik DVD.
8. Cannibal: When it comes to cannibal cinema, Ruggero Deodato pretty much cemented the genre with his 1980 release Cannibal Holocaust. This is where he cut his teeth on the human flesh eating film, bringing along Me Me Lai, Ivan Rassimov and Massimo Foschi, the Italian voice of Darth Vader. You can get the Jungle Holocaust version of this film from Ronin Flix.
9. Cannibals: Jess Franco, nearly the patron saint of video nasties, is back on the list with this cannibal grossout also known as Mondo Cannibale, Cannibal World, The Cannibals, White Cannibal Queen, A Woman for the Cannibals and Barbarian Goddess. It stars Al Cliver (The Beyond) and Sabrina Siani, who would go on to be in Conquest and The Throne of Fire. Franco said that he did this movie and Devil Hunter for the money and had no idea why anyone would enjoy these films, going further to say that Siani was the worst actress that he ever worked with and that her only good quality was her “delectable derrière.” You can get it from Blue Underground.
10. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith: This critically acclaimed Australian film about an aborigine man pushed to the brink somehow ended up on a list packed with slashers and cannibals. Life’s funny like that. You can get this from Kino Lorber.
11. The Child: Part of Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Volume 2, this is one of the stranger films you’ll ever come across. It’s about a young girl who communicates with the dead in a cemetery near her home and gets them to do things for her. This is an incredibly simplistic explanation of a movie that is pure insanity. My words can’t do it justice. You must see it for yourself.
12. Christmas Evil: John Waters said of this film, “I wish I had kids. I’d make them watch it every year and if they didn’t like it, they’d be punished.” I can see why this movie ended up on this list. I’m completely in love with this strange little movie, which has one of the best endings ever. You can get it from Vinegar Syndrome, complete with a commentary track by director Lewis Jackson and Waters.
13. Communion: Better known as Alice, Sweet Alice, this is one of my favorite films of all time. I watched it absolutely destroy an entire movie theater earlier this year, which is proof that this movie has not mellowed with age. Even better, Arrow Video has finally released this on blu ray, so a whole new generation can be upset by it. I’d compare it favorably to giallo, but it’s really it’s own unique and uncategorizable movie.
14. Dawn of the Dead: George Romero’s 1978 zombie opus is quite literally the zombie film. For my money, there’s never been a better one before or since. Perhaps I’m biased, as it takes place miles from my house. But it’s combination of Tom Savini effects, Goblin synths and the input of Dario Argento — as well as equal parts social commentary and slapstick humor — make this one of my favorite films of all time. Diabolik DVD has the Umbrella Ultimate Edition and a 4K Italian box set of the film.
15. Dawn of the Mummy: Frank Agrama directed this film, The Godfather’s Friend and Queen Kong before starting Harmony Gold. Yes, the people who brought Macross, Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeda to the US and turned them into Robotech. He’d later be convicted of buying and selling film rights at inflated prices and would have gone to jail if he wasn’t 82 years old. That said, he was exonerated in a 2016 appeal.
In this one, the mummies are much closer to zombies and there’s plenty of gore — nearly 90 seconds worth was cut in the UK — but I can’t find a copy of this for sale. However, it was remade as Prisoners of the Sun in 2013.
16. Strange Behavior: While this film is set in Galesburg, Illinois, it was really shot in Auckland, New Zealand. Packed with multiple killers, a Tor Johnson mask and plenty of programmed murder, it was finally released with around 27 seconds of offending footage removed. You can still grab it under its alternate title at Vinegar Syndrome, who have the out of print Severin blu ray. Or watch it on Shudder.
17. Death Weekend: Also known as The House by the Lake, the only place I’ve seen sell this for sale on DVD is the Swedish media book that came out in 2017, which Diabolik DVD had, but they’re fresh out. This American-International Pictures film caused quite the stir with how intense its violence is, but it still played UK cinemas uncut.
18. Deep Red: This Argento giallo classic never played UK theaters but was released in 1993 by Redemption with 11 seconds cut, which was footage of two dogs fighting and a live lizard impaled on a pin. Curiously, the original Italian version is 126 minutes long, but the version we got in the US removed 22 minutes’ worth of footage, including most of the graphic violence, all of the humor and romance, and a subplot about the screaming child. It has since been released uncut, with Arrow Video recently putting out an absolutely perfect edition of the film. You can also get it from Blue Underground.
19. Demented: Although never classed as an official UK video nasty — hence it being on this list — the film was one of the many movies Mary Whitehouse showed to the Conservative Party during their 1984 conference. Apex released it in 1987 with more than one minute of BBFC cuts. Perhaps even more puritanically, 20th Century Fox refused to distribute this movie because porn star Harry Reems is the male lead. It was written by Alex Rebar, who was also the star of The Incredible Melting Man and the writer of the David Hess-directed To All a Goodnight. You can grab it from Shout! Factory‘s Scream Factory collection.
20. Les Demons: Jess Franco, welcome back to the video nasty list. I mean, did you expect a movie about nuns becoming possessed by Satan and then being tortured in a dungeon to not make the cut? And hey, if it’s also totally a ripoff of Ken Russell’s The Devils, why not? You can get the Nucleus UK import of this at DIabolik DVD.
21. Don’t Answer the Phone: A Vietnam vet bodybuilding porn photographer is loose in LA, strangling young women and then using their dead bodies for his pleasure. Leonard Maltin hated this movie so much that he asked his viewers, “Don’t see this movie!” Screw him — how can you not love a film that ends with the heroine basically snarling, “Adios, creep!” You can get this from Vinegar Syndrome.
22. Eaten Alive!: Umberto Lenzi was made for the video nasty list. Never mind that this film is a remix of Jungle Holocaust, The Man from Deep River and Mountain of the Cannibal God. It demanded to be on this list just from its title. Then when you add scenes of monkeys being devoured and plenty of Jonestown influence and well, won’t someone think of the children? You know who does? Severin, who of course have released a pristine and extras filled blu ray of this.
23. Enter the Devil: No, not the amazing Italian possession film. This low budget regional thriller is also known by the title Disciples of Death and outside of the Satanic rituals and downbeat feel of the movie, I have no idea why it make it on the list. That said, it’s available from Diabolik DVD.
24. The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein: Oh Jess Franco. You just can’t stay off the video nasty list. And this messy film, one of a dozen Franco made in 1972, is filled with Frankenstein’s Monster lost between two new masters and rooms full of nude men and women who are just begging to be whipped and tortured. There’s also a blind bird woman. You can get this from Diabolik DVD.
25. The Evil: Directed by Gus Trikonis, who also brought the world Nashville Girl, this film about a potential rehab center being built by Richard Crenna that’s beset by ghosts and even Satan himself — played by Victor Buono! — was never rereleased in the UK. You can get it from Shout! Factory.
26. The Executioner: Also known as Massacre Mafia Style, this Duke Mitchell auteur effort combines The Godfather with the inordinately bloody Italian poliziotteschi genre to create a movie that is very uniquely all its own film. The real story of Duke Mitchell is even crazier, as he was the singing voice of Fred Flintstone and was in a copycat Martin and Lewis tandem with Sammy Petrillo. Together, the duo made Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. A new blu ray is due soon of this movie from Grindhouse Releasing.
27. Final Exam: Imagine a movie with a score and scenes pretty much straight out of Halloween, along with a kid named Radish who is so fated to get killed, he should have a target on his back. Oh Lanier College — never change your rituals of tying people to trees and filling their underpants with shaving cream. You can grab this from Shout! Factory.
28. Foxy Brown: That’s right — not just horror movies end up on the video nasty list. While this Pam Grier film played UK cinemas uncut, nearly 3 minutes were cut out of it in 1987, but those bits of offending material were added back for later release. Until this movie, the women of blaxploitation were just there to support or be abused by men. Maybe that was the problem, huh? You can get this from Olive Films.
29. Friday the 13th: The poster child for slasher movies played UK cinemas uncut, but ended up on this list, as did…
30. Friday the 13th Part 2: Maybe UK censors were mad about how much this movie rips off Bava’s A Bay of Blood. I kid, I kid…by 2008, this movie was given a 15 certificate, so morals have certainly changed.
31. GBH, aka G.B.H, aka Grievous Body Harm: This British crime drama — in full bloody color — found itself a quick entry on the video nasty list with it’s tale concerning a bouncer is called in to help fight off a mob boss who is trying to take over local night clubs. The World Video 2000 imprint on the sleeve was an attempt by noted porn producer David Grant to get in on the home video horror market.
32. Graduation Day: Another slasher, another entry on the video nasty list. But this one has Michael Pataki, Christopher Geroge, Linnea Quigley and just enough creativity and style to stand out from the pack. Vinegar Syndrome spent the time and energy to fully restore this movie to a glory it probably didn’t even have when it came out in 1981!
33. Happy Birthday to Me: I think by this point, UK censors were just looking at a list of slasher movies and saying, “Check. Check. Check. Let’s get a spot of tea.” This Canadian shocker is pretty darn great, to be perfectly honest. The brutal box art probably had something to do with this one getting checked off. You can grab it — completely with awesome retro VHS packaging — from Mill Creek.
34. Headless Eyes: The director of this film, Kent Bateman, would go on to produce Teen Wolf Too, which is a fact that may some day when you obscure horror movie trivia. If you’re wondering why his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the father of Jason Bateman, who replaced Michael J. Fox as the lead in that sequel. This one’s all about a thief who gets misidenitifed as a rapist, gets his eyeball scooped out with a tea spoon and then starts killing women and taking out their eyes in retaliation. I wonder if Umberto Lenzi shook his fist in rage at finally being ripped off instead of the opposite happening? You can get the Code Red blu ray at Diabolik DVD. PS – this was produced by Ron Sullivan, who you may know better as adult film director Henri Pachard.
35. Hell Prison (AKA Escape From Hell): Edoardo Mulargia may mainly be known for the spaghetti westerns he directed, but he was also behind this women in prison film. It stars Anthony Steffen, who was Django in Django the Bastard, which is, of course, a rip off of the original but supernatural and weird. Diabolik DVD has Hell Prison for those that want it.
36. The Hills Have Eyes: There were literally 2 seconds cut from this film that were restored, but it’s still on the category 3 list. This paean to mutants against RV vacationers and their dog still holds up today and is probably my favorite Wes Craven movie. Arrow Video put out what is probably going to be the best version ever released of this movie until they figure out a way to directly implant horror movies into our brainstems.
37. Home Sweet Home: The guy from Body By Jake as a slasher? It’s also one of the few Thanksgiving based horror movies ever — trust me, I researched a list of ten of them — which had to be utterly baffling to UK audiences, who don’t celebrate the holiday.
38. Honeymoon Horror: Harry Preston has written many things, including Everything a Teenager Wants to Know About Sex and Should and fourteen romance novels as Vanessa Cartwright, but here and now, we’re remembering him for this movie about a jilted killer with a burned face menacing the newlyweds of Honeymoon Island. PS — I shared the American versus UK box art because it’s a billion times cooler.
39. Inseminoid: If you’re going to make a movie called Inseminoid and a bunch of censors don’t get upset, you’ve really failed at your job. This was one of the first UK movies to quickly be released on CHS after its appearance in cinemas, which led to it reaching seventh place on the British video sales charts in November 1981. One of the reasons why this movie was so controversial — I mean, other than the fact that it’s a movie for people who want to see an alien impregnate a human female — is that the producers did a direct mail campaign that featured lead actress Judy Geeson screaming alongside a headline that screamed “Warning! An Horrific Alien Birth! A Violent Nightmare in Blood! Inseminoid at a Cinema Near You Soon!” Director Norman J. Warren came to regret this, saying “The problem with mail-drops is that you have no way of knowing who lives in the house, or who will see it first. It could be a pregnant woman, and old lady, or even worse, a young child. So it was not such a good idea.” Indicator/Powerhouse has just released Bloody Terror, a box set of Warren’s films, including Satan’s Slave, Prey, Bloody New Year, Terror and this film. Yet another reason to own a region-free blu ray player.
40. Invasion of the Blood Farmers: A group of druids in New York decide that the only way to bring back their queen is by enacting a blood sacrifice and putting the blood of tourists into her body. The cast and crew were paid in beer. If these two sentences don’t make you want to buy this, what are you doing on our site? Luckily, Severin has you covered.
41. The Killing Hour: Perry King, from TV’s Riptide, stars as a talk show host that teams with a New York City detective and a clairvoyant artist — who can draw the murders that she sees in her head — to track down the Handcuff Killer. Just from that box art alone, you can see how this ended up on this list. Director Armand Mastroianni went from doing movies like this and He Knows You’re Alone to directing several movies for the Hallmark Channel, which delights me to no end. You can get this from Blue Underground.
42. The Last Horror Film: This Caroline Munro/Joe Spinell film — yes, they were both in Maniac — this movie was shot at the Cannes Film Festival. Director David Winters had the kind of life that I need to write an entire article about, starting his career in New York TV and radio before acting in several musicals including West Side Story, being a choreographer for several Elvis films — including Viva Las Vegas — and shows like Shindig! and the T.A.M.I. Show, directing several TV specials including ones for Raquel Welch and The 5th Dimension, then going into theatrical films with Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare (he hired Alice’s wife Sheryl) and Linda Lovelace for President (he dated Linda after she broke up with Chuck Traynor) before helming such disparate fare as Thashin’ and Space Mutiny (to be fair, he was sick while it was being made). He also produced a movie called Deadly Dancer with Breakin’ star Shabba-Doo that I must track down. Anyways, back to The Last Horror Film. It’s yet another movie that Troma has the rights to, which upsets me to no end. Diabolik DVD has it on DVD from Troma and an all-region blu ray release from 88 Films.
43. The Last Hunter: Antonio Margheriti was the first Italian director to move away from World War II and create a movie about Vietnam. Sure, he was ripping off The Deer Hunter, but you have to start somewhere. David Warbeck (Twins of Evil), Tisa Farrow (Zombi), Tony King (who was in Cannibal Apocalypse and The Atlantis Interceptors, but now heads security for Public Enemy), Margit Newton (Zombie Creeping Flesh), John Steiner (tons of great Italian films, but of course Yor Hunter from the Future), Massimo Vanni (also known as Alex McBride, he played Big Little Man in Escape from the Bronx, Taurus in Rats: The Night of Terror and Mako in The New Barbarians) and Luciano Pigozzi (Blood and Black Lace) are all in this, an all-star Italian exploitation cast if there ever was one. Originally billed as a sequel and entitled Cacciatore 2, the only thing this movie has in common with its inspiration is Vietnam. It was also shot on the same locations as Apocalypse Now. You can get a copy from Kino Lorber.
44. The Love Butcher: Caleb and Lester are two sides of one maniac in a movie that’s just as much slasher as it is a strange 1970’s movie — you know the kind, the movies where you just throw your hands up and say, “Yeah, the 70’s.” The original director, Mike Angel, went on to write the batshit Linda Blair movie Grotesque as well as act in Werewolves On Wheels and The Black Six. His initial film was unplayable, so Don Jones (The Forest, Schoolgirls In Chains) came in to finish it off and add plenty of misogyny. Again, the 70’s. You can get this from Ronin Flix.
45. The Mad Foxes: This Spanish revenge movie is all about a man getting back at the bikers who killed his wife. Sounds simple? Well, there are tons of scenes that upset UK censors, including rape, gore, castration and nunchakus. Yes, that’s right.
According to the BBFC website: “The success of Enter the Dragon, and the kung-fu genre in general, saw public concerns arise at the concurrent spread of the use of chainsticks (or nunchakus) and other martial arts weaponry among London youths. Media coverage of the issue caught the eye of Murphy’s successor as BBFC Secretary, James Ferman. In December 1979, Ferman recalled Enter The Dragon for another look in the light of these anxieties. Ferman asked the film’s distributor to remove the sight of chainsticks in the fight sequence between Bruce Lee and his attackers. The images nunchakus were also requested to be removed from the film’s trailer and its promotional posters.”
The removal of martial arts weaponry soon became standard BBFC practice with the advent of VHS bringing violent kung-fu films into the home in the early 1980s. When Enter The Dragon came out on VHS, some cuts were restored but the weaponry remained cut out, which has lasted way into the DVD and streaming eras.
That’s right — you can show guns in UK films, but not martial arts weapons. Sounds legit to me.
46. Mark of the Devil: I mean, this movie had a vomit bag giveaway when it played in the US. That’s what you get when you have a film packed with nuns being raped, Herbert Lom and Udo Keir beating on townspeople, as well as a woman’s tongue being forcibly ripped out of her mouth. Arrow Video has a great version of it.
47. Martin: After playing UK cinemas uncut, this still ended up on the video nasty list. I doubt any kids that rented it were all that jazzed about what they found. Unlike a simple slasher, this mediation on the death of Pittsburgh and the lack of real magic in the world is just plain shades of gray. It’s also one of my favorite movies of all time. It looks like a blu ray is coming soon, which is good news, as it deserves a wider audience.
48. Mansion of the Doomed: Richard Basehart slices up eyeballs to try and save the sight of his young daughter (Trish Stewart from Salvage 1) in a movie produced by Charles Band and directed by Michael Pataki. Holy shit — why am I writing this article and not watching this movie? You can get it from Full Moon.
49. Mausoleum: Playboy Playmate Bobbie Bresee plays Susan Nomed and if you don’t get that name, this movie is going to be lost on you. She’s married to Marjoe Gortner, but as she grows closer to her inheritance, she gets more unhinged and more willing to have nasty European porn sex with the disgusting gardener. Plus, LaWanda Page of TV’s Sanford and Son shows up. Maybe I haven’t sold this movie well enough. Perhaps I need to be plain: it’s fucking awesome sleaze. You can get it from Vinegar Syndrome.
50. Midnight: Written and directed by one of the creators of Night of the Living Dead, John Russo, this film is also set in Western Pennsylvania. Let me tell you something about my home state. On one side is Philly. On the other is Pittsburgh. In the middle is Pennsyltucky, a place that has more rebel flags than the Deep South. Real life maniac Lawrence Tierney and Martin star John Amplas are in this, along with effects by Tom Savini. Trust me, I wasn’t surprised by one thing in this film about Satanic cults abducting young women.
51. Naked Fist (Firecracker): This Cirio Santiago Philippines martial arts adventure has Jillian Kesner (Gary Graver’s wife, as well as the girlfriend of Fonzie on Happy Days and Cookie from Raw Force) teaming up with Darby Hinton (Malibu Express) to kick a lot of people. If you don’t think this is going to be on this site in a few days, you don’t know me.
52. The Nesting: A novelist suffers from agoraphobia and moves to a house to deal with it, except that she feels like she’s been there before and even drew pictures of it in her book, The Nesting. John Carradine, Gloria Grahame in her last role and Robin Groves, who is in both Sliver and Silver Bullet appear in this gory haunted house effort that you can get from Blue Underground.
53. The New Adventures of Snow White: Also known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales for Adults, this sex farce is part of the career downward trajectory of Rolf Thiele, who had once been a mainstream director, but increasingly found himself making lower-budget sex comedies. It’s all about Snow White (Marie Liljedahl, who was Eugenie in Eugenie…The Story of Her Journey into Perversion), Cinderella (Eva Rueber-Staier, who was General Gogol’s assistant Rublevitch in the films The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy) and Sleeping Beauty. The evil queen is played by Ingrid van Bergen, who famously shot her lover dead in 1977 and was released five years later to continue being a star. Obviously, sex and kid stories would be upsetting to anyone on the BBFC.
54. Nightbeast: This Don Dohler film is pretty much a remake of his first film, The Alien Factor. Shot for just $14,000, it has an alien on the prowl and a score by a 16-year-old J.J. Abrams. Vinegar Syndrome, which has recently re-released this film, said that it’s “a frenzy of wildly colorful and stunning animation techniques, homemade gore effects, and awkward sexual encounters.” Sounds pretty much perfect for this list. If you watch closely in Mandy, this movie is playing on the TV in a scene. And is Dohler’s The Galaxy Invader from 1985 also similar? Yep.
55. Night of the Living Dead: Even twenty-some years after its release, this Pittsburgh-shot black and white father of the modern zombie — hell, modern horror — film still had the capacity to upset the BBFC. Hail Romero forever.
56. Nightmare City: About three minutes of this movie had to be cut out in order for it to be released in the UK. I’m shocked it wasn’t more, as this movie feels like it never stops piling on the mayhem. Obviously an influence on 28 Days Later, this Umberto Lenzi-directed splatter classic is available on Shudder and an all-region UK DVD/blu ray combo from Arrow Video that you can get from Diabolik DVD. Raro Video has also released this film. Literally, every time Becca asks me what we should watch, this is the first movie I bring up.
57. Oasis of the Zombies: If that swastika at the top of the box art wasn’t enough to just dare the BBFC to ban this movie, I don’t know what else this movie had to do. Some people love this movie. Some say that it’s pure boredom, a trance-inducing piece of Jess Franco directed junk. Someday soon, I’ll review it here and tell you what I think.
58. Parasite: This Alien-influenced film is the first major role for Demi Moore. I’m not sure she has this Charles Band film on her resume, to be honest. Cherie Currie from The Runaways is in it, so at least there’s that.
59. Phantasm: Although this film now has a 15 certificate, at one point, it was upsetting enough to make it on to this list. Maybe it was the box art, which has nothing to do with the film at all. Then again, this movie is so all over the place, it totally could have something to do with it.
60. Pigs: This movie* wasn’t re-released in the UK until 2017 when 88 Films put it out. It’s a film from my favorite genre — 1970’s odd. Vinegar Syndrome has recently re-released this film, packed with extras like the alternate openings for the alternate — and perhaps even stranger — versions of this movie, Daddy’s Girl and The Strange Love Exorcist.
*Thanks to Lee Real on Facebook for pointing out that 88 Films did re-release this!
61. Prey: Somehow a remix of D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox but with a carnivorous male alien hungering after lesbians, this Norman J. Warren film is all over the map. This is one of those films where arthouse and grindhouse fight it out for dominance and then a hungry alien monster eats the results. It’s also available on the new Indicator/Powerhouse Bloody Terror, box set.
62. Prom Night: Canada has the Queen Mother on their money, which was used to tax shelter this Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis-starring slasher. I’ve always been a fan of this one, but then again, I have a soft spot for disco. You can get it on blu ray from Synapse.
63. Rabid: Speaking of Canada, one wonders exactly what UK censors thought when this mean-spirited piece of Canuck madness crossed their desks. Even Christmas isn’t safe from David Cronenberg’s insane vision. You can get this on blu ray from Shout! Factory.
64. Rosemary’s Killer: You may know this movie better as The Prowler and if you’ve seen it, you know exactly why it ended up on this list. It’s a non-stop assault of some of Tom Savini’s best effects. It’s also one of my favorite slashers. You can watch it on Shudder or get it on blu ray from Blue Underground.
65. Savage Terror: This Indonesian film isn’t afraid to rip off Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust while also having Kraftwerk and the theme from Star Wars on its soundtrack. I doubt they cared about asking for forgiveness or permission. You can get this from Cult Action under its alternate title Primitif.
66. Scanners: Cronenberg makes the list again with this head bursting explosion of mental powers and corporate warfare. It’s also probably the only movie on this list — make that all the video nasty lists — to make it into the Criterion Collection. You can grab their blu ray release of this movie on Amazon.
67. Scream for Vengeance!: Even the scuzziest rape revenge films ends up on this list. It’s also the only movie of that genre that features Bob Elliot, the father of Chris Elliot. Somehow, that makes me want to suffer through this one.
68. Shogun Assassin: Taking the first twelve minutes of Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance and most of Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx, director Robert Houston (Bobby from The Hills Have Eyes) and producer David Weisman (an Andy Warhol protege who went on to be involved with Kiss of the Spider Woman) created a remix that drew the extreme ire of the BBFC, leading to this movie being banned from 1983-2000. If you ever listened to the GZA album Liquid Swords, you’ve heard the dialogue from this movie.
69. Street Killers: Helmut Berger stars in this Sergio Grieco poliziottesco, which is also known as Mad Dog Killer. Marisa Mell from Danger: Diabolik and Perversion Story is abused by a gang, which leads to a cop getting bloody revenge. You can grab this from Blue Underground.
70. Suicide Cult: Any time someone asks me to recommend something strange, this is always the movie that I bring up. That said, I have no idea why this movie made the video nasty list. And even worse, I have no clue why no label hasn’t released this on blu ray, because it’s packed with Antichrist themed biorhythm strangeness. I need something better than the bootleg that I keep loaning out.
71. Superstition: This possession film stands out from the rest of the post-Poltergeist imitators by virtue of its sheer meanness and overwhelming gore. For years, this was only available on bootlegs — I must confess to having a burned DVD-R of it in my collection — but is now available from Shout! Factory.
72. Suspiria: This played UK cinemas uncut and was eventually re-released in 1998 totally uncut. One imagines the faces going through glass and massive amounts of day glo blood were enough for this movie to gain entry on to this list, despite it being a classic. For the best version of this film, choose the Synapse blu ray release. I would not, however, describe this movie as Psycho meets The Exorcist with no holds barred.
73. Terror: Two cousins fall to a curse from one of their ancestors who was a witch in this Norman J. Warren movie that was directly influenced by the movie directly above it on this list. The director even admits that the film “doesn’t make sense, because many of the people who get killed have nothing to do with the cursed family.” There was discussion of a sequel, which would have been “a fast-moving film that, along with the horror, also involves music and dancers.” No, that’s not inspired by Suspiria either. This is also available on the Indicator/Powerhouse Bloody Terror box set.
74. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: In theory, local councils in the UK have the power to allow any cinema to show any film. They mostly follow the rules of the BBFC, but in 1998 Camden Council granted a license to show this movie, despite it being later classified as 18. You can watch this on Shudder with and without commentary from Joe Bob Briggs. I’d advise watching the former.
75. The Thing: Despite high levels of goop and gore, this movie played UK cinemas and was released on VHS in 1987 uncut. I’m certain that any kid who watched this was probably scarred for life.
76. Tombs of the Living Dead: Also known as The Mad Doctor of Blood Island, this film — which was preceded by Terror Is a Man, Brides of Blood and was followed by Beast of Blood and Beast of the Yellow Night — amped up the gore and nudity of the first two films in the series. Toss in forty-plus seconds of real animal abuse and you’re on the BBFC list. Too bad they didn’t see what happened when it played in America. A prologue was added to the film inviting viewers to drink a free packet of green blood and undergo the oath of the green blood in order to safely watch “the unnatural green-blooded ones without fear of contamination.” Severin put out The Blood Island Collection, which is now sadly out of print.
77. The Toy Box: Oh Harry Novak. Only you could produce a film where aliens conduct orgies to collect human souls to do as drugs back on their home planet. Uschi Digart also shows up and if you instantly perked up at the mention of her name, hello pervert.
78. Werewolf Woman: Rino Di Silvestro claimed that he wanted to make a serious werewolf movie. We should take the director of Deported Women of the SS Special Section at his word, right? Right. Who knew that rape causes you to become a werewolf? Italian exploitation film watchers and makers, that’s who. You can get this from Raro Video.
79. Wrong Way: This movie was unreleased in the UK until 1980 and then passed with extensive BBFC cuts of over 15 minutes, reducing the running time to less than an hour. Two girls break down in the country and are kidnapped by a gang of drug-crazed hippies and repeatedly assaulted before they run into a Satanic cult that also wants to rape them, because this movie was made in the 1970’s. Then…the film cuts away, never to reveal their fate, and turns into a totally different movie. I’ve heard that this movie has no redeeming qualities at all, but that’s never stopped me from watching a movie.
80. Xtro: Now this is a movie! Actually, it’s a whole bunch of movies rolled on up into one, then covered in blood and chunks of vomit, then unspooled all grainy and scratched up right into your mind. It’s one of the weirdest films I’ve ever seen, one that’s just packed with twists and turns. In fact, I’m not even sure if Tony’s dad is taken by aliens from another planet or Lovecraftian gods. This is a movie that upsets almost everyone I’ve ever shown it to. You can imagine how much I love it. Diabolik DVD has an all region blu ray for sale.
81. Zombie Holocaust: Otherwise known as Doctor Butcher M.D., this Italian zombie/cannibal is everything that every authority figure ever warned you about. It’s vile, reprehensible trash, packed with gore, ridiculous synthesizers music and mayhem. That means that this film is entertaining as hell and you should go out of your way to watch it. Severin has made that simple, as they have a great blu ray release of this film, which features the original Zombie Holocaust version and the American Doctor Butcher M.D. cut, as well as more than two hours of extras.
82. Zombie Lake: If you’re going to pick a Nazi zombie movie, by all means, pick Shock Waves. This Jean Rollin movie has an entire town, including a female basketball team, battling the undead. Jess Franco left before it started filming, so just imagine the production bad enough that Franco leaves over artistic differences instead of collecting a paycheck. You can get it from Diabolik DVD.
Think we’re done with video nasties? Not yet. There’s one more article coming that will highlight other films that were seized and other movies that caused issues in England.
Did we miss something? Were we off on a fact or a film? Don’t be shy — tell us. We love getting feedback and you’ll be credited in any future edits to this article.