Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Video Nasties: Bibliography and Useful Sources

I have finally managed to escape the bloodthirsty cannibals with my life and my penis intact, and have left the jungle landscape of the Video Nasties far behind me. The zombies were unsociable, the madmen with drills were poor company, and the avenging females made for disastrous dates. It has been a challenging trawl through the cinematic sewer and the reviews that appeared this month on The Celluloid Highway represent only a fraction of the films I tortured myself with. Some of those films might emerge on these pages in later months…so beware. Those that did make it on the highway did so because they impressed me in some way. Either for being surprisingly well made, a catalogue of absurdity or downright offensive. In conclusion I will provide here a guide to some of the books and websites that are useful aids to picking apart the complex arguments and histories that make up this fascinating period in British film history.


Barker, Martin - The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Media (Pluto Publishing, 1984)

Barker, Martin & Petley Julian (eds.) - Ill Effects: The Media Violence Debate (Routledge; 2nd Edition, 2001)

Brewster, Morris & Fenton - Shock! Horror! Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era (FAB Press, 2005)

Bryce, Allan - Video Nasties (Stray Cat Publishing, 2000)

Bryce, Allan - Video Nasties Volume 2: A Pictorial Guide to the Movies that Bite! (Stray Cat Publishing Ltd, 2001)

Egan, Kate - Trash or Treasure?: Censorship and the Changing Meanings of the Video Nasties (Manchester University Press, 2007)

Kerekes, David & Slater, David - See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (Headpress, 2000)

Martin, John - The Seduction of the Gullible: The Truth Behind the Video Nasty Scandal (Stray Cat Publishing Ltd, 2007)

Morris Marc & Wingrove, Nigel - The Art of the Nasty (FAB Press; - 2nd edition, 200)


Fenton, Castaldi & Grainger - Cannibal Holocaust: And the Savage Cinema of Ruggero Deodato (FAB Press, 1999)

Szulkin, David - Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left”: The Making of a Cult Classic (FAB Press, 2nd Revised Edition, 2000)

Thrower, Stephen - Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of Exploitation Independents (FAB Press, 2007)

Thrower, Stephen - Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci (FAB Press, 2001)

Warren, Bill - The Evil Dead Companion (Titan Books Ltd, 2000)



© Shaun Anderson 2010


  1. The Driller Killer was pretty insane! It has that Abel Ferrara ferociousness, his movies are always like sledgehammers, relentless.

    Ive seen many of the Cannibal movies, but Ive yet to see a couple of Eaten Alive, Jungle Holocaust and Mountain of the Cannibal God. But Cannibal Holocaust gave me nightmares! Chills!

  2. I've always seen THE DRILLER KILLER as the horror geners extension of Martin Scorcese's TAXI DRIVER. Both are concerned with urban disintegration and the alienated individuals that are trapped within. Its grungy, its dirty and its nightmarish. It's a film that I rarely revist because it is so unremittingly grim.

    I think the only Cannibal film I have seen that I have admired on some level is CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Animal cruelty aside, its a very well made exploration of notions of truth and reality, and one of the first horror films to employ a film within a film structure. Of the others you have mentioned I have seen MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD - which plays more like a tradtional action adventure film, but with some really nasty moments included it to give it horror legitimacy.

  3. Yeah, Driller Killer has that gritty nature to it. Its got that edge and raw quality that you sometimes get with first films, directors tend to be more raw with their films when they start out. That scene where the guy starts to chop up that animal with a knife...crazy!

    Best part of the Driller Killer dvd is the audio commentary with Abel Ferrara spaced out of his mind.


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