The 80’s video boom has become a time of sweet nostalgia for movie fans of a certain age but in the UK it was also a time of moral panic perpetuated by ill-informed politicians and a sensationalist media. ‘The Video Nasties’ witchhunts which led to Britain becoming the most highly censored nation in the western world targeted distributors, store owners and a list of horror movies which were prosecuted as obscene and subsequently banned.
Ban the Sadist Videos, David Gregory’s (Plague Town, Theatre Bizarre) two-part documentary from 2006, tells the full shocking story. It will receive its first official US release as a Limited Edition Bonus DVD in the first 3,000 units of Severin Films’ upcoming release of House on Straw Hill. House on Straw Hill, known in the UK as Expose, was one of the final 39 condemned Video Nasties and remains banned in its uncut form in the UK to this day.
Severin Films partners Gregory and Carl Daft developed their passion for exploitation cinema while growing up in the ‘Nasty’ era in Britain. “There are a couple of really good VHS era documentaries doing the rounds in the US right now but growing up in England we had a very different experience of serious censorial oppression. We thought it might be time to bring out our doc on the period in the US,” says Gregory.