Two or Three Things I Know About ‘Video Nasties’

Julian Petley

in Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780748625383
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670871 | DOI:
Two or Three Things I Know About ‘Video Nasties’

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The horror film has always had precious few friends among the British critical fraternity, and so the unwillingness of most critics even to look at so-called ‘video nasties’ is hardly surprising. The two most serious misconceptions about ‘video nasties’ have nothing to do with aesthetic quality. They represent some kind of homogeneous category or self-contained genre. The second misconception has to do with seeing ‘video nasties’ as something ‘new’ or ‘different’. The New Censoriousness has tumbled to a fictional mode which is capable of carrying a hefty subversive charge. When one bears in mind that the Video Recordings Act covers all videos and not simply horror films, these stipulations show censorship to be going so far beyond the usual concern with the content of individual scenes.

Keywords: horror film; video nasties; New Censoriousness; Video Recordings Act; censorship

Chapter.  2273 words. 

Subjects: Film

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