The Arrival Of Videos In The UK, Video Recordings Act Of 1984.

  • Video recorders were introduced in the UK in 1978
  • Video recorders would cost around £700 at the time, very expensive.
  • Tapes would cost around £50
  • At the time  there was no video legislation governing what could be released on video or to whom video recordings could be supplied.
  • Initially the major distributors were wary of releasing their fims on video becuase the felt video types might have an adverse effect on cinema revenues.
  • This left the market open for smaller distributors, who in most cases, could only afford to release low budget material. Including horror and pornography.
  • Becuase there was no video legislation governing video recordings, these companies were therfore able to release films that had not been submitted to the BBFC for cinema release, uncut versions of films that had been cut by the BBFC and even films that had been refused a certificate.
  • Some of the films released contained films that would be in contravention of the UK laws on animal cruelty and obscenety.
  • Even more worrying that any films were available to all ages.
  • Seduction Of The Innocent Article – Young Nasties Article about children becoming comfortable towards violence.
  • Video Nastie – Videos that show images beyond peoples imagination: extreme violence, gang rape, graphical images.
  • Quality control went out of the window with VOD dealers, they didn’t know what they were buying.
  • Production companies went out of the window, people were putting their own production names on the videos.
  • Packaging material was often worse than the film itself, Driller Killer – Drill being put into somones head.
  • Badge of honnor if you could watch a film, boasting rights at school etc.
  • I Spit On Your Grave – Woman cutting of a mans penis.
  • Mrs Whitehouse was against the Video Nasties concept, she was friends with Mrs Thatcher PM of Britain, had great support.
  • Videos Nasties were stated as “Evil”, people begun to realise there was no need for them, they were the devils work.
  • Police took and burned films that were known as Video Nasties and removed them from public sales stores.
  • The BBFC didnt at all contribute towards the list of video nasties that were removed from sale, it was all the DPP’s work.
  • They removed some films becuase of their names, they didn’t review the whole material, it would simply be too time consuming.
  • The sentences for holding and selling banned films were worse for than who delt drugs.
  • 40% of children/teenagers had apparently watched Video Nasties. This turned out to be fraud. As in the questionnaires 3 children had seen a Video nastie, and between them they had seen 17 films, roughly 40%.
  • Politicians felt that the lower classes would be immune towards the effect of videos nasties, not them because they were well educated and went to good schools.
  • In public discussions the ones that were meant to be well mannered and plote became the rude ones, talking over others arguments for the Video Nasties.
  • Some people believed that what they were seeing was real, real murders. This disgussed some viewers more than the films themselves.
  • Some members of parliment were phsyically sick.
  • The BBFC charhing for films to be regulated meant many more independant Video Nastie films were removed from the market.
  • Children of the Video Nasties are heavily influenced by the films, in their shots, creations and promotion.

Conflict Between Left and Right Wing Ideologies:


  • Graham Bright MP
  • Mary Whitehouse – Festival of Light (Pressure Group)
  • John Beyer – Media Watch


  • Martin Baker – Researcher
  • Guy Cumberbatch – Researcher
  • Liberal Journalists + Film Makers



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