ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

If you're a fairly committed, hard-to-shock horror fan, you may have seen some of the classic 'video nasties' - the horror movies that were banned and heavily censored during the moral panic of the early 1980s.

The Burning, Driller Killer, I Spit on your Grave, Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust; these goresploitation icons have become more famous than their small-budget directors ever dreamed of... but have you seen some of the more obscure, freaky bloodfests the genre has to offer?

Check out 10 gory, revolting banned horror movies you may have missed... and watch the video footage if you dare!

1. The Incredible Torture Show

Year of Release: 1976

Alternative Titles: Blood Sucking Freaks, Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins

Utterly demented and never at pains to hide its shameless exploitation values, the ghoulish Dr. Sardu unleashes a torrent of torture upon his hapless victims, often for public amusement. Memorable incidents include gambling with human fingers, a spanking that ends with the guillotine, and a brain sucked through a straw.

Witness the Sickness:

2. Blood Feast

Year of Release: 1963

Alternative Titles: Egyptian Blood Feast

A drive-in standard, Herschell Gordon Lewis' low-budget splat-gore nasty was released with much gimmickry, including the gift of free vomit bags at every screening. Incredibly, many of H.G. Lewis' other deranged pictures, such as The Wizard of Gore and 2,000 Maniacs escaped being banned...

Witness the Sickness:

3. The Ghastly Ones

Year of Release: 1968

Alternative Titles: Blood Rites

Shockingly gory for the late '60s - or any decade, really - this zero-budget slice of madness makes up for the lack of convincing period costumes with a blitzkrieg of guts and a satisfying twist ending, surpassing expectations at every turn.

Witness the Sickness:

4. Dead and Buried

Year of Release: 1981

The quaint little town of Potter's Bluff is hiding a terrible secret... a secret that drips blood and plays with dead things... Shamefully overlooked, this necromantic early-'80s voodoo slasher is all kinds of sickly fun.

Witness the Sickness:

5. Don't Go in the House

Year of Release: 1980

Alternative Titles: The Burning

Abused child Donny attempts to cope with his Mommy issues by luring a bunch of girls to his creepy old house and blasting them with a flamethrower. Still fairly shocking by today's standards, Don't Go in the House manages to be better than the much more famous Maniac (1980).

Witness the Sickness:

6. Don't Look in the Basement

Year of Release: 1973

Alternative Titles: The Forgotten

This grotty horror version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest audaciously rips off the tagline from much more famous video nasty Last House on the Left, "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'it's only a movie, it's only a movie..." The voice-over game is strong with this one!

Witness the Sickness:

Don't Look in the Basement was part of the 'DON'T' series of slashers - Don't Go in the House, Don't Go into the Woods... Alone, Don't Go Near the Park etc. - that sparked off the hilarious fake grindhouse parody trailer aired before Planet Terror / Death Proof. Guaranteed to make any horror nut smile.

7. A Bay of Blood

Year of Release: 1971

Alternative Titles: Bloodbath : Bay of Death, Reazione A Catena, Ecologia Del Delitto, Antefatto, Twitch of Death Nerve, Carnage, Last House on the Left Part II, The New House on the Left.

Nearly a decade before Friday 13th, Mario Bava sent a group of lovely young things to their shrieking, blood-soaked lakeside deaths. Stepping away from the period setting of his famous Black Sunday and Kill, Baby... Kill! Bava skillfully anticipated the style of the '80s slasher to come.

Witness the Sickness:

8. Zombie Flesh Eaters

Year of Release: 1979

Alternative Titles: Zombie, Zombie 2, Zombies 2, Island of the Living Dead, Island of the Flesh-Eaters, Gli Ultimi Zombie, L'enfer Des Zombies, Woodoo, Sanguelia.

Featuring the most famous eye-gouging scene in history, Zombie Flesh Eaters delivers a ravenous band of jungle-lurching undead joy, replete with gore aplenty. You will not regret watching this one (unless you can't stand the sight of blood, of course).

Witness the Sickness:

9. Tenebrae

Year of Release: 1982

Alternative Titles: Tenebre, Unsane, Shadow, Sotto Gli Occhi del Assassino.

Possibly - and this is a big 'possibly' - my favorite Dario Argento movie, Tenebrae follows a crime writer who discovers a string of vicious murders based on deaths in the books he's written. Stylish and visionary, it seems incredible now that Tenebrae and Argento's other masterpiece, Inferno, were ever banned.

Witness the Sickness:

10. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue

Year of Release: 1974

Alternative Titles: The Living Dead, Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Don't Open the Window, Zombie 3

With more than 15 different international titles, you'd expect this clever little zombie movie to have more of an identity crisis, but the gorgeous English locations and gleeful blood-slurping offer a single-minded, blackly comic portrayal of the undead rising. Highly recommended.

Witness the Sickness:

Sources: IMDB, Realm of Horror, Youtube


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