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Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide: Part 2

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    Ian Jane
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  • Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide: Part 2



    Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide: Part 2
    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: February 10th, 2015.
    Director: Jake West
    Cast: Various
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    This recent follow up to Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide does more than just shine a light on the eighty-two films that made the 'Section 3' list in the UK during the boom years of the home video explosion. That first film covered the films that were successfully prosecuted under the arcane statues of the Obscene Publications. England went into a media driven 'moral panic' (such a great marketing tag!) and the good people of the United Kingdom were gripped in fear thanks to the words and deeds of some dicey politicians. After all, never before had such mind warping films of gore and perversion been readily available to view in the privacy of your own home.

    This second film deals with some of those same issues, but expands things a bit in its ninety-seven minute running time. Entitled Draconian Days (and after watching it you'll have no trouble understanding why!), here we learn about how the 'video nasties' craze hit not only the horror film industry but even branched out to afflict mainstream pictures like The Last Temptation Of Christ. Input from a fantastic selection of film historians and people who were personally affected by all of this censorial insanity provide the bulk of the narrative here as we learn about the different political types involved in the crusading as well as those who were there having to deal with it.

    The feature also delves into the fanzine explosion that occurred in England at the same time, as those with an interest in these films took to making their own homemade magazines to not only discuss and write about these movies (which would have been tough to come by during this time in British history) but also to connect with likeminded fans.

    Some of the most interesting interview clips are with James Ferman, the top dog at the BBFC from the mid-seventies through to the end of the nineties. He was the guy who had final say over the classification of the films in question and that classification was all it took to make or break a film's release. No classification? No placement on the shelves of video stores or rental shops and therefore no money being made on that particular picture! The extent to which the government sanctioned overreach was extended under his rule is, in one word, frightening, as we learn of the Gestapo-esque crackdown on not only convention dealers offering up these movies but on private collectors as well.

    It's a fascinating look back one a time that most North American viewers will be only casually familiar with, if that, and a documentary that does a fine job of shedding some light on the right's and wrong's of all of this. It's all quite interesting and the assembly of critics, fans, collectors and experts on hand to chime in with their two cents on the topics helps to give it all the right context needed for this to work.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The documentary is presented in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and while it's interlaced the video quality is otherwise perfectly fine. In the first feature, the interviewees discuss how the deficiencies in VHS added to the 'taboo' factor of watching certain movies and in these moments, and there is some truth to that preserved through the presentation here. The archival footage used throughout the documentary is, understandably, varying in quality based on whatever source was available - the same can be said of some of the movie clips used. Overall though, the newly shot footage assembled specifically for this piece looks really good.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks on the three discs in this collection are fine. Dialogue is always easy to understand and the various commentators come through clearly without any problems. Levels are well balanced and while there's some hiss here and there during some of the archival clips, you can't really fault anyone for that - all in all this set sounds just fine.

    So if the feature documentary wasn't enough, this set is filled with a load of bonus content. One disc one, accompanying the feature documentary, is a great little section called Fanzine Flashback where you can skim through a bunch of scans of vintage UK cult movie fanzines like Atrocity, The Back Side, Bleeder's Digest, Blood and Black Lace, Bloody Hell!, Bomba Movies, Bubblegum, Book Of The Dead, Cold Sweat, Creeping Unknown, Delirium, Divinity, Down By Law, Eyeball, Flesh And Blood and loads more. Anyone with an interest in fanzine culture should get a serious rise out of this.

    DPP 72 (the films successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act) and DPP 82 (the titles not judged obscene but still plenty dicey to get caught with!) are still galleries of cover art for home video releases of the various 'nasty' titles that caused such uproar. You'll see everything here from UK tape releases of Italian Cannibal films to slashers to nazisploitation and zombie movies as well as pretty much everything in between.

    Disc Two contains trailers for each and every one of the 'Section 3' movies in alphabetical order from A through L, available with or without optional introductions from the different commentators that appear in the feature: Craig Lapper, Stephen Thrower, Doctor Karen Oughton, Kim Newman, Justin Kerwswell and Alan Jones among others. Each intro offers some insight and trivia about the movie - these are pretty interesting and worth watching, don't just skip straight to the trailers or you'll miss out.

    So yeah, here you get trailers for Abducted (aka Schoolgirls In Chains), The Aftermath (aka Zombie Aftermath), The Black Room, Blood Lust, Blood Song, The Blue Eyes Of The Broken Doll, Brutes And Savages, Cannibal (aka Last Cannibal World), Cannibals, The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, The Child, Christmas Evil, Communion, Dawn Of The Mummy, Death Weekend, Deep Red, Demented, The Demons, Don't Answer The Phone, Eaten Alive, Enter The Devil, The Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein, The Evil, The Executioner (aka Massacre Mafia Style), Final Exam, Foxy Brown, Friday The 13th and Friday The 13th Part 2, GBH: Grievous Bodily Harm, Graduation Day, Happy Birthday To Me, Headless Eyes, Hell Prison, The Hills Have Eyes, Home Sweet Home, Honeymoon Horror, Inseminoid, Invasion Of The Blood Farmers, The Killing Hour, The Last Horror Film, The Last Hunger and The Love Butcher.

    Not to be outdone, disc three finishes off the run with entries M through Z, so be on the lookout for trailers (again with optional intros, most of which are quite interesting) for Mad Foxes, Mark Of The Devil, Martin, Massacre Mansion, Mausoleum, Midnight, Naked Fist, The Nesting, The New Adventures Of Snow White, Night Of The Living Dead, Night Beast, Nightmare City, Oasis Of The Zombies, Parasite, Phantasm, Pigs, Prey, Prom Night, Rabid, Rosemary's Killer (aka The Prowler), Savage Terror, Scanners, Scream For Vengeance, Shogun Assassin, Street Killers, Suicide Cult, Superstition, Suspiria, Terror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Tomb Of The Living Dead, The Toy Box, Werewolf Woman, Wrong Way, XTRO, Zombie Holocaust, Zombies (Dawn Of The Dead) and last but not least… the mighty Zombie Lake!

    The Final Word:

    This three disc release of Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide: Part 2 not only offers fans a fascinating feature length documentary but wraps that documentary up together with the gift that keeps on giving - two discs worth of fantastic trailers! Just as educational as it is entertaining, this set is just as strong a release as the first set and if enjoyed that one, consider this follow up essential.












































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