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The A-Z of video nasties

The A-Z of video nasties

 

Any level-headed human with the capacity for reasoned thought would automatically see that this motley selection of shoddily-made US splatter, incomprehensible Italian hippy-crap monster movies, cheap-jack cannibal rubber-chomping gut-fests and nasty Nazi nork-flicks were as genuinely corrupting to public morals as Athena posters soaked in milk.  Hell, even the most emotionally immature Iron Maiden devotee would get real bored, real fast, once the thrill of patently fake innards and the odd badly-shaved foreign front bum had worn off.  But to a tabloid journalist or an uptight old harridan, these silly, ugly little shockers were the pre-AIDS harbinger of encroaching Armageddon – so come, let us journey back to the halcyon days of 1982, and have a butchers’ at…

THE A-Z OF VIDEO NASTIES
(This article isn't for kids. Seriously.)


ABSURD:  ANTHROPOPHAGOUS 2
1981 Italian video by Joe D'Amato
You bet your arse it’s absurd!  The anthropophagous beast goes on a killing spree including power tool murders, cannibalism and baking someone's head in an oven.  The beast itself suffers its guts unraveling on a set of railings, blinding by compasses and an axe in the head.  What do you mean, “what’s an anthropophagous beast?”   Damn fool!  Didn’t you see…

THE ANTHROPOPHAGOUS BEAST
1980 Italian video by Joe D'Amato
The movie that started the whole anthropophagousity thing, and no mistake!  Horrific murder & cannibalism including stamping on the bellies of pregnant women so as to snack on their fetuses.  As a finale, the beast dies after eating its own intestines - slick move, my anthropophagous chum!

AXE
1977 US video by Frederick R Friedel
Aka ‘Lisa Lisa’.  Murderous gangsters on the run descend on an isolated farm inhabited by a barefoot girl & her paralysed father.  The girl takes revenge for her inevitable rape with an axe and razor.  Whether popular recording artistes ‘Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam featuring Full Force’ took their inspiration from this movie is, frankly, a really stupid question.  Of course they didn’t.

THE BEAST IN HEAT
1977 Italian video by Luigi Batzella
Lady SS doctor fiendishly tortures POWs and feeds the female captives to a crazed midget troll kept on a diet of mega-aphrodisiacs.  Jesus.  That is some fucked-up shit…

THE BEYOND
1981 Italian video by Lucio Fulci
Fifty years after a warlock hunt in a hotel, inhabitants start to meet not-especially-warlocky-but-quite-cheap-and-rubbery deaths such as eye gouging, acid attacks, and face eaten by spiders.

BLOOD FEAST
1963 US video by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Mad Egyptian attempts to invoke the goddess Ishtar by building the perfect woman out of living victims’ body parts, like some necrophiliac Peter Stringfellow.

BLOOD RITES
1969 US video by Andy Milligan
Mysterious killer retard stalks family will reading.  Says it all, really…

BLOODBATH
1971 Italian video by Mario Bava
Regarded as the first Slasher flick, the film that created a whole genre.  Some people walk on the moon, some cure Polio, others get funky with rubber knives and offal – that’s just how it goes…

BLOODY MOON
1981 Spanish/German video by Jess Franco
Somebody’s killing staff and students at a language school!  ‘Bloody Moon’?  Bloody rubbish. 

THE BOGEY MAN
1980 US video by Ulli Lommel
A shattered mirror frees an evil spirit, who seeks revenge for his death - no doubt against a bunch of people who had precisely fuck all to do with it, but hey, that’s your evil spirits for you, innit…

THE BURNING
1981 US video by Tony Maylam
Camp caretaker gets horribly burnt as a result of a prank, then exacts shears-based revenge.  Written by Harvey Weinstein, features Holly Hunter and Jason Alexander.  Still balls though.

CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE
1980 Italian/Spanish video by Anthony M Dawson
Possibly the one and only cannibal film on the list not dealing with a cannibalistic jungle tribe.  No, in this one, cannibalism is in fact a disease being spread by Vietnam vets.  Huh?!?!?

CANNIBAL FEROX
1981 Italian video by Umberto Lenzi
Drug dealers vs cannibal tribe, with grim results – including eyeball gouging, animal slaughter, a woman hung up by her breasts and a man suffering various amputations before being choked on his own penis.  Banned outright in 31 countries.  Unlike most on the DPP list, genuinely nasty.

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
1979 Italian film by Ruggero Deodato
A film crew record some gruesome jungle customs and indulge in rape & murder themselves. The cannibal tribe strike back and the film crew are beaten, castrated and eaten.  This film suffered repeated snuff movie accusations by UK tabloids - which is testament to the quality of the film, as the TV crew's demise is presented solely from news footage that they have supposedly shot.  Highly regarded within the genre, cited as an inspiration for ‘The Blair Witch Project’.

THE CANNIBAL MAN
1972 Spanish video by Eloy de la Iglesia
Alienated slaughter house worker kills cabby on Monday, fiancée on Tuesday, brother on Wednesday, brother's wife on Thursday, Father on Friday, takes Saturday off.  Think Craig David with a grudge and a selection of kitchen knives.  But without that stupid gay beard.

CANNIBAL TERROR
1981 French video by Allan W Steeve
Criminals kidnap rich kid and unfortunately hole up in a (yep, you guessed it) cannibal infested jungle.  Rocket Science degree not required to figure out rest of plot…

CONTAMINATION
1980 Italian video by Luigi Cozzi
Alien pods infect humans, making their guts explode.  Think the ‘chestburster’ scene from ‘Alien’, but over and over again, lacking in any artistry or production value, or plot, or visual flair, or… 

DEAD AND BURIED
1981 US video by Gary A Sherman
Mainstream horror film with some inventive gore – memorably, yokels set a photographer alight, who survives but gets a hypodermic in the eye.  It’s widely held that this film really shouldn’t have been on the DPP list.

DEATH TRAP
1976 US video by Tobe Hooper
Deranged motel proprietor feeds people to his pet crocodile.  Supplied Tarantino with the ‘Kill Bill’ line: “my name is Buck and I came here to fuck…” 

DEEP RIVER SAVAGES
1972 Italian video by Umberto Lenzi
Puke-inducing forerunner of ‘Cannibal Ferox’ set in a South East Asian cannibal infested jungle, (aren’t they all, darling…?)  Tongue amputations and monkey brain consumption a-go-go.

DELIRIUM
1979 US video by Peter Maris
Right-wingers hires Vietnam vet to clean the scum off the streets… but he’s also an impotent psycho who executes nubile girls who remind him of his deficiency.  Bet he didn’t mention that at the interview…

THE DEVIL HUNTER
1980 Italian/Spanish/West German video by Jess Franco
Chained maidens are offered up by a jungle tribe to their Dark Lord, (in a rubber-tree’d jungle built on a gravel path).  What is it with these fucking jungle tribes anyway?  Just behave, would you…?

DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE
1979 US film by Joseph Ellison
Aka ’The Burning’.  A man tortured by his mum as a child, kills and roasts her.  He keeps her charred corpse around to witness further assorted woman-burnings.  Not to be confused with the other ‘The Burning’, (see above), but just as bleedin’ awful.

DON'T GO IN THE WOODS
1980 US video by James Bryan
Victims are garroted, stabbed, dismembered and impaled, in a delightful woodland setting.

DON'T GO NEAR THE PARK
1981 US video by Lawrence D Foldes
Vampire cavemen sentenced to eternal life for blood drinking, incest & cannibalism are rejuvenated in the modern day, only to be killed by zombies shooting laser bolts from their eyes.  Yep.  That’s actually what happens.

DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT
1973 US video by SF Brownrigg
Bloody hell, they like telling you what to do these Video Nasties, don’t they?  ‘Don’t Go In The House’, ‘Don’t Go In The Woods’, ‘Don’t Go Near The Park’, ‘Don’t Scratch Your Balls’, ‘Don’t Open The New Loaf While There’s Half Of The Old One Left, What Do You Mean It’s Stale, I Only Bought It The Other Day’…  But I digress - lunatics take over asylum, gory deaths, The End.

THE DRILLER KILLER
1979 US video by Abel Ferrara
Despite the lurid picture of a power drill boring into a bloke’s forehead, power tools only make a brief appearance in this rather pretentious, just plain boring film.  Ken Penry, then-Deputy BBFC Director, suggested it could be passed if the drilling scenes were removed.  Thanks for that, Ken.

THE EVIL DEAD
1982 US video by Sam Raimi
The most famous film on the DPP list, an acknowledged classic condemned by Mary Whitehouse as ‘the number one nasty’.  The film gained notoriety for the rape of girl by demonic tree roots, a grim scene even director Sam Raimi now says he regrets; the degrading nature of it sits uncomfortably alongside daft Plasticine ghoul tomfoolery and OTT blood-drenched horseplay.

EVILSPEAK
1982 US video by Eric Weston
A social outcast summons demons (and wild pigs) through his computer.  Total bollocks.

EXPOSE
1975 UK video by James Kenelm Clarke
Udo Kier vs. vengeful mad girl.  No monsters, but rape & murder all present and correct.  Bingo!

FACES OF DEATH
1981 US video by Conan Le Cilaire
A badly acted selection of death scenes - some real surgical and autopsy scenes, monkey brain eating – but mostly phony video footage of death by alligator and bear, political assassinations etc.  I was once witness to the following conversation between two nightclub doormen: “Have you seen that ‘Faces Of Death’?”  “No”  “It’s brilliant!” …  Do you know what?  It really isn’t.

FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE
1977 Canadian video by Robert A Endelson
Strange entry in the list in that most of the video is taken up by talking about vengeance rather than just getting on with it.  The main villain is tremendously racist, (actor William Sanderson is embarrassed to even talk about the role), which has earnt the film a rep amongst cult film fans. 

FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN
1973 Italian/French video by Paul Morrissey
The story is pretty much the same, except for a bunch of soft core screwing and some messy gore; famous for the scene where the Baron gropes amongst his creation’s innards and proclaims “You don't know life till you've fucked death in the gall bladder”   Good point well made, fella…

FOREST OF FEAR
1979 US video by Chuck McCrann
Hippies smoke weed contaminated by pesticide, turn into zombies, then go on a flesh-hungry rampage distinctly lacking in gore.  Or decent acting.  Or plot.

FROZEN SCREAM
1981 US video by Frank Roach
Mad scientists turn people into frozen zombies.  There’s a new one…  Nudity, a bit of self-mutilation, an injection into an eyeball, but actors hewn from solid balsa wood.

THE FUNHOUSE
1981 US video by Tobe Hooper
Mainstream film about a mutant loose in a fairground, low on gore.  It’s suggested that this video was confused with the infinitely harsher snuff-themed ‘Last House On Dead End Street’.   At the time, ‘LHODES’ was being passed around in the UK as a bootleg tape labelled ‘The Fun House’ - but was never granted an official UK release, hence never actually appearing on the DPP list itself.  Incidentally, ‘LHODES’ was originally titled ‘The Cuckoo Clocks Of Hell’.  How sweet…

THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY
1977 Italian video by Cesare Canevari
Wacky concentration camp/SS bordello fun –girls dunked in quick-lime, fellating pistols, sodomizing the commandant with the butt of a whip.  Them Nazis sho’ know how to party!   

THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
1981 Italian video by Lucio Fulci
Deranged killer lives in basement of old mansion, needs fresh body parts to rejuvenate his cells, so pops out occasionally to behead, throat-rip, and generally stab his way to health.  He also has maggots for blood.  You want to get down the doctor’s, mate; get some antibiotics…

HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK
1979 Italian video by Ruggero Deodato
Rapist thugs are invited to rich kids’ party, rapist thugs rob, rape and piss on the rich kids, the rich kids get the upper hand and the rapist thugs eat shit and die.  A moral cesspit of a movie by all accounts.  Could have done with a few Nazis or a cannibalistic jungle tribe though, I reckon…

HUMAN EXPERIMENTS
1980 US film by Gregory Goodell
Wrongly-incarcerated beautiful young woman in asylum-based peril - mandatory mad doctor experimenting in personality wiping via catatonic shock induced by insects.  Obviously.  

I MISS YOU, HUGS AND KISSES
1978 Canadian video by Murray Markowitz
Stars Elke Sommer, features electrocution in a swimming pool and a paving slab being dropped on someone's head, (off screen).  No Nazis, no cannibals, just a really, really mild psycho killer thriller - clearly on the DPP list by mistake.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
1978 US video by Meir Zarchi
One of the most famous Video Nasties.  It shows brutal and protracted scenes of the rape and humiliation of the female lead; in turn, she takes revenge by chopping up, hanging, drowning and castrating her tormentors.  Manages to be vile, violent and quintessentially ‘nasty’, but at the same time a valid piece of work in itself.  We’re not talking ‘The Anthropophagous Beast’ here…  
 
INFERNO
1980 Italian video by Dario Argento
Some claptrap involving three ancient witches and an apartment inhabited by an evil spirit.  Stabbing, guillotining, and drowning.  Look - if it ain’t Nazis, cannibals or rapists, we don’t care.

ISLAND OF DEATH
1972 US/Greek video by Nico Mastorakis
Women and goats are raped, people are pissed on and nailed to the floor.  Lesbians are torched and homosexuals are forced to drink paint.  More than makes up for a distinct lack of cannibalistic jungle tribes or Nazi sex torturers in our book.

THE KILLER NUN
1978 Italian video by Giulio Berruti
Anita Ekberg plays a demented, morphine-addicted nun presiding over a holy house of lesbianism, torture and death.  The acknowledged pinnacle of the ‘Nunsploitation’ genre…

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
1972 US video by Wes Craven
The OTHER most famous Video Nasty.  And bloody nasty it is too.  Two girls are kidnapped by escaped prisoners and subjected to sexual humiliation, razor torture, rape, disembowelments and shooting.  The parents of one girl avenge their death by chainsaw, throat cutting and castration.  From the dude who bought us ‘Scream’ and the Meryl Streep violin movie.

LATE NIGHT TRAINS
1975 Italian film by Aldo Lado
Junkie deviants mug Father Christmas then rape and murder a couple of young girls on a train. The girls' parents inflict the now-obligatory violent retribution.  There’s a lot of it about…

THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE
1974 Italian/Spanish video by Jorge Grau
Very good Italo-Spaniard Zombie movie.  Set in the Lake District.  Yes, THAT Lake District.  And get this – the undead are awakened by sonic waves from an experimental pest control device.  

LOVE CAMP 7
1968 US video by R.L. Frost
The forerunner of the 70's Nazisploitation genre - soft core and silly with it.  But if you will go mixing with the grown-up Nazi sex camp torture movies, you have to expect to get a reputation…

MADHOUSE
1981 US/Italian video by Ovidio G Assonitis
An escaped lunatic kills her twin sister's birthday party guests using a big black Alsatian.  The dog is lobotomised with a power drill at the end; the audience wishes they had been too.

MARDI GRAS MASSACRE
1981 US video by Jack Weis
Serial killer scoops out girls’ hearts – in the same bit of footage repeated over and over again.

NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES
1970 Mexican video by Rene Cordona Jr
Ape-to-human organ transplants cause recipients to become beastlike and murderous.  Tragically never caught on like the cannibal/Nazi genres, or today we’d be reminiscing over such classics as ‘Dawn Of The Sodding Gibbons’ and ‘Day Of The Fucking Chimps’, (maybe even a sequel: ‘Oh No, Not The Bloody Apes Again - Pretend We’re Not In Darling’).  One can but dream…


NIGHT OF THE DEMON

1980 US video by James C Wasson
A Big Foot-seeking expedition gets ripped to bits, with nary an actual demon in sight.  One bloke accidentally urinates on a Big Foot hiding behind a bush and has his cock ripped off.  We can only assume the title ‘Monster Piss Party’ wasn’t deemed catchy enough.  Well, I’d rent it...

NIGHTMARE MAKER
1981 US video by William Asher
A well-written-and-acted psycho thriller about a mad woman jealously protecting her adopted son. Too good to be on the DPP list – swiftly removed, although denied a subsequent BBFC rating.  Its inclusion on this list is kind of like lumping a ‘Carry On’ film in with hardcore Dutch piss-porn.

NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN
1981 US video by Romano Scavolini
Famed for classy promo material such as vomit bags and ‘Guess The Weight Of A Human Brain In A Jar’.  A brain-damaged man released from an asylum, (on a course of experimental drugs, of course), checks out some sex shows and decides to top his ex-wife and kid.  As you do.

POSSESSION
1981 French/W German video by Andrzej Zulawski
Wow, this one’s a got proper actors!  And it’s not just a monster flick, it’s actually a classy metaphor for… something or other…  Set in the outbreak of WW3, Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill undergo a marital breakdown mirroring the crisis in Berlin.  Deep!  Okay, then the wife cuts herself on the neck with an electric carving knife, does dirty sex with a multi-tentacled monster, before having a graphic octopus-baby miscarriage on the underground.  Metaphor my arse.

PRANKS
1982 US video by Jeff Obrow & Stephen Carpenter
Slasher movie set in a disused dormitory.  Not shocking in any sense of the word.  A prime example of the confusion around the  list – ‘Pranks’ is far less gory than other films that were completely passed over, such as ‘Friday The 13th’.

PRISONER OF THE CANNIBAL GOD
1978 Italian video by Sergio Martino
In amongst the usual tawdry real animal slaughter and rubber innards, there’s one new idea - a dead explorer is held as a deity by a cannibalistic jungle tribe because a Geiger counter continues to tick (like a heart) in his otherwise rotten corpse.  Hey, we’ll take anything right now…

REVENGE OF THE BOGEYMAN
1982 US video by Bruce Starr
Sequel to aforementioned ‘The Bogeyman’.  Well, not so much a ‘sequel’ in accepted terms - more the exact same film, with a few minutes of a new framing sequence cut in.  And it’s just as bollocks as it was first time around, but by now you think they’d have realised…

SHOGUN ASSASSIN
1980 Japanese/US video by Robert Houston and Kenji Misumi
Pretty damn violent, but very classy Japanese swordplay movie.  A rarity on this list, it’s a good film with a decent context for its more contentious aspects - and shitloads of deaths, but hey…

THE SLAYER
1981 US video by JS Cardone
In short – it’s ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’, but three years earlier, with no gags and no teens in it.

SNUFF
1976 Argentina/US video by Roberta and Michael Findlay
A crappy Argentinian exploitation flick is revealed as a ‘film within a film’, as proceedings are suddenly interrupted by a notorious (and clearly tacked-on) ‘snuff scene’ where the crew get over-excited and dismember an unsuspecting actress.  The effects are nowhere near good enough to even hint that this may be real.  You would have to be a bellend of epic proportion to EVER believe that this featured a real murder.  Or a tabloid journalist looking to make your deadline…

SS EXPERIMENT CAMP
1976 Italian video by Sergio Garrone
The lurid poster garnered more attention than the film itself, causing the title to become a tabloid by-word for depravity during the early 80's.  Otherwise, it’s yet another bog-standard Nazi sex torture flick with some the worst dialogue in the history of Nazi sex torture flicks - as the camp commandant removes the manliest captive’s testes, the man shouts out fiercely: "OK you bastard what have you done with my balls?!?!?"  Brilliant.  

TENEBRAE
1982,Italian video by Dario Argento
In actuality a much-admired, well made thriller, basically getting it in the neck from the old dears due to some inventive razoring, stabbing and garroting - that had actually been passed uncut by the BBFC for cinema release prior to the Nasties furore, to distinctly non-nation-corrupting results. 

TERROR EYES
1981 US video by Ken Hughes
Someone is decapitating women and the diabolically wooden Rachel Ward is his next victim.  The director of ‘Chitty, Chitty, Bang-Bang’ made it – and The Child Catcher is far scarier than this tat.

THE TOOLBOX MURDERS
1978 US video by Dennis Donnelly
A crackpot runs around an apartment complex topping beautiful people with the contents of a toolbox.  A clever title it ain’t.  Infamous, but suspense-free, with porno-level acting.

UNHINGED
1982 US video by Don Gronquist
Not much gore, but quite a few gratuitous hairy muff shots in this intolerably-acted ‘old dark house’ slasher.  Includes one masturbating retard and a right old synth knees-up of a soundtrack.

VISITING HOURS
1981 Canadian video by Jean-Claude Lord
A crazed, misogynist killer rapes and batters a woman - then goes to the hospital to finish her off when he hears she’s not dead.  And as if that’s not horrible enough – William Shatner’s in it!!!

THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI
1975 Spanish video by Miguel Iglesias
Bizarre horror/adventure movie featuring a werewolf scientist/explorer who happens across a clan of naked lesbian vampires in a snow-covered cave, ruled over by a Mongol warrior who needs skin transplants to survive.  Oh, nearly forgot - the Yeti shows up at the end of the film for a ruck.  Nosebleed-inducing odd?  Yes.  But ‘nasty’?  Give or take the odd flaying or two, not at all…

THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA
1976 US video by Matt Climber
The one-time husband of Jayne Mansfield delights us with a (literal) emasculation-heavy psycho-drama about a woman who vents her frustration over childhood pedophiliac incestuous abuse by her drunken father thru castrating football players.  Christ.  A bit of a comedown from the sexy Nazis, innit…

WOMEN BEHIND BARS
1975 French/Spanish video by Jess Franco
An imprisoned woman is subjected to various sado-sexual shenanigans, including genital shock therapy.  Incidentally, the beleaguered star of this epic, Lina Romay, was actually director Franco’s wife.  What did he do on their anniversary?  Punch her in the face?

XTRO
1982 UK video by Harry Bromley Davenport
Up yours, Johnny Yank, we Brits can produce unintelligible plot-free rubbish as ban-able as yours any time!  Trading heavily on a scene where a woman graphically gives birth to a fully-grown man, it’s otherwise tripe.  The terrifying alien being is in fact a bloke walking backwards on his hands and feet, with a mask on the wrong way round – and looks exactly like it, too.

ZOMBIE CREEPING FLESH
1981 Italian/Spanish video by Bruno Mattei
Who’s up to their hips in flesh-eating shit?  A 4-man commando unit and a news crew.  What caused it?  A good old-fashioned chemical leak in Papua New Guinea, resulting in a worker being attacked by a zombie rat.  A pseudo-serious subtext - that if we don't feed the Third World, it’ll – is somewhat difficult to absorb while watching a zombie rip the female star’s tongue out, then shoves her eyeballs out through her mouth.

ZOMBIE FLESH-EATERS
1979 Italian video by Lucio Fulci
The usual - man meddles with nature, zombies pop up, a few survivors fight ‘em off.  Far from memorable, but for two scenes; in one, a woman’s eye is graphically pierced on a splinter.  Grisly, yes, but nowhere near as genuinely impressive as the scene where an underwater zombie wrestles with a real, live shark.  Thing is – he’s not really a zombie is he!  If you’re going to risk being eaten alive, at least do it for a film that’s not a bit crap, know what I mean mate?

 
 
 
 
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