In 1984, the Video Recordings Act came into force, requiring all home video titles released in the UK to have a certificate from the British Board Of Film Classification. This also had the very much intended effect of more or less outlawing a number of films that had been released prior to the VRA to a wave of public unease. Some of these were obvious candidates for 'banned' status. Others - and there were over seventy of them - were more puzzling, and it was hard to see why Leon Brittan and company felt they posed such a threat to the moral fabric of society. Here, then, are ten of the least likely inclusions on the bafflingly snowballing list of 'Video Nasties,' all of them long since re-released uncut to little public concern or indeed interest...
Tobe Hooper-helmed conventional-as-they-come scarefest about a group of teenagers trapped inside a low-rent carnival attraction with a carny-conscious madman. Trailered prior to cinema showings of E.T. shortly before elevation to 'Nasty' status.
Lake District-set eco-parable in which zombies run up against characters called George and Edna. Resultant 'Hammer House Of Horror' vibe distinctly at odds with the concept of Depraving & Corrupting.
I Miss You, Hugs & Kisses (1978)
Elke Sommer in Canadian-sourced loosely 'true-life crime'-inspired melodrama with dubious honour of being The Video Nasty Everyone Always Forgets. Barely out of TV Movie territory to be honest.
Visiting Hours (1982)
William Shatner heads a Twentieth Century Fox-bankrolled cast in search of a serial killer targeting a hospital-bound intended victim. Shown uncut by ITV only a few years after the 'Nasties' furore.
Italian 'in space, nobody can hear you plagiarise' rip-off of Alien, only with the cunning twist of taking place on Earth; nobody would ever suspect a thing. Now reclassified as a '15'.
Campy schlock-pioneering Herschell Gordon Lewis silliness about a caterer possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian goddess with a 'thing' for ridiculously over-the-top gore. Even the notorious tongue-pulling scene isn't that convincing.
Glossy Lorimar-esque 'Hollywood Does Zombies' blandness with requisite quota of big name stars (including stars of the likes of Dynasty, Blue Thunder and St Elsewhere) and screenwriters. Surprising anyone actually noticed it.
The Burning (1981)
Miramax, Thorn EMI, Rick Wakeman, Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, Handmade Films, virtual carbon copy of Friday The 13th. Not exactly what you'd call cheap and nasty, but 'Nasty' it was, due to the accidental release of a hastily-withdrawn uncut version.
Society For Cutting Up Men-friendly genre-free strangeness about a woman who mutilates brutal males, with the aid of solarised flare lenses and some clown make-up. Possibly too eye-hurting to have caused much distress.