Have you ever heard of the Video Nasties? Ever wondered if they were worth watching? The answer is yes, definitely... but not all of them!
Video Nasties represent a list of 39 films containing extreme violence and/or explicit content that were released in the UK in between the 60s and early 80s (see list of 39 movies on Wikipedia). Because of holes in the rating system, these 39 films were released without rating, something that quickly generated a high number of critics by the media as well as by a number of religious organizations, ultimately leading to the UK Parliament passing the Video Recordings Act 1984. As a direct consequence of this act, 72 movies were actually prosecuted, but half of these prosecutions were not successful.
There were, however, 39 successful prosecutions which resulted in the immediate removal of these movies from the UK shops and/or the films being butchered and released as heavily censored version.
Today, and with the rising popularity of gore and controversial films, these Video Nasties have became quite popular. Unfortunately, most of these films are mediocre, and more than half of these 39 films are poorly realized, low-budget crap. But there are among them a few gems, and horror fans would be really unlucky to miss them out. For this reason, we have compiled here a list of Top Video Nasties films, in order of preference, so that you know which ones not to miss. .
10. Cannibal Ferox (1981)
A classic of the cannibal genre, very similar to Cannibal Holocaust in all aspects.
Shocking scenes = Dismemberment, animal killings, gruesome murders, etc.
9. The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Lucio Fulci’s films are always extremely gore, and this one is no exception. A little slow paced, but a brilliant finish for this early splatter.
Shocking scenes = Nasty graphic murders
8. The Burning (1981)
A classic slasher with a very ugly killer that was burned by kids in a prank gone wrong, and who is now seeking revenge.
Shocking scenes = An avalanche of brutal kills with a pair of shears, including fingers slicing and throat piercing
7. The House on the Edge of the Park (1980)
A totally overlooked revenge film by Ruggero Deodato (director of Cannibal Holocaust), very violent, very shocking, and an unforgettable opening scene.
Shocking scenes = A viscous rape and intense violence
6. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
One of the best revenge films ever made, this one is a classic!! The lead character, a woman who seek revenge on her rapists, is brilliantly played by Camille Keaton, making this film a blast.
Shocking scenes = A rape scene and lots of nasty revenge murders
5. The Last House on the Left (1972)
Maybe the most disturbing film of the all list, this film, directed by Wes Craven is one of the early ancestor of the home invasion genre. The three villains are so odious that it makes them unforgettable.
Shocking scenes = A vicious rape, lots of humiliating scenes and a gruesome final
4. Tenebrae (1982)
Very suspenseful, Tenebrae is a typical giallo/crime film and is probably Dario Argento’s goriest film!
Shocking scenes = Multiple murders including a cult scene in which the killer uses an axe to chop his victim’s arm
3. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Notoriously the first film to be presented as a found footage, Cannibal Holocaust is maybe the most popular of the video nasties (along with Zombie). The film special effects were so well-made that Ruggero Deodato was arrested for obscenity charges because people believed that the film was a genuine snuff film. He then had to prove to the courts that the four actors were still alive and that the impalement scene was not real. Also noticeable is the superb music by Riz Ortolani.
Shocking scenes = Sex, rape and animal killing scenes, as well as mass murdering and genital cutting…
2. Zombie (1979)
Zombie is, far ahead, the most notorious of all the Italian zombie flicks, and easily one of the best of the Video Nasties. The film is so gory that it brought Fulci the nickname of “Godfather of Gore”.
Shocking scenes = Lots of gory zombie scenes, including a memorable one in which a character has her eye pierced by a splinter.
1. A Bay of Blood (1971)
Mario Bava’s crime/splatter is considered as the one film that jump-started the giallo subgenre. Out of the all 39 video nasties, this one is certainly the one that best combines excellent gore and a brilliant story, a must watch!
Shocking scenes = A unbelievable number of gruesome murders.
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