Season Of The Banned - Interview With Director Jake West
By James Whittington, Friday 4th November 2011

Jake West Marc MorrisJake West (pictured left) is one of the UKs most talented directors. The man behind the hits Razor Blade Smile, Evil Aliens and Doghouse also runs the DVD label Nucleus with writer Marc Morris which specialises in releasing polished editions of cult movies. Jake, along with Marc will be here every Friday throughout November to introduce the movies in our Season Of The Banned celebration. To kick off the season Horror Channel is having a world TV premiere showing of their stunning documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship And Videotape on November 4th at 10.55pm. Here Jake talks about censorship, the BBFC and his plans for the future.

HC: What was the first Video Nasty that you watched?

JW: The Evil Dead was one of the first ones that I ever saw. I was really interested in seeing that one. I was about 14 when it was banned so that was one of the first ones I saw. I also saw stuff like Dead And Buried and Deep Red, it just depended on how easy it was to get hold of them or whether if one of your mates had a copy back in those days. The first strong one I saw was Last House On The Left, that was the first one I thought, "Oh, that's quite nasty" but most of them you'd just wondered why the hell they’d been banned in the first place! (laughs)

HC: You mentioned the strength of the content seen in Last House On The Left, did that encourage you to seek out even stronger material to view?

JW: The thing is when these films were banned I was just becoming interested in horror films and video anyway and we'd just gotten a video recorder, so the fact that these things were being withdrawn and on the news you'd go up to your local video store to see if they had any and start trading tapes. The whole idea of them being forbidden made them a whole more desirable. But then when you saw the films you thought most of the time as to why they'd banned as they didn't seem to contain anything in particularly extreme. Then you'd have a few exceptions like Last House On The Left and I Spit On Your Grave and at that age they have quite an impact as they're pretty strong. I still don't think that they should be banned.

HC: Which movie out of the original list is your favourite?

JW: Obviously that's a difficult one as the nasties list is such a disparate one as there's no unity to them as things got banned willy nilly. For me my favourite film which was a nasty is The Evil Dead because it inspired me as a film maker. In terms of a nasty, for nasty content it could possibly be Cannibal Holocaust or Last House On The Left or I Spit On Your Grave in terms of content, maybe Last House On The Edge Of The Park all of which are still strong in content today. Some are still cut in the UK now but that's down to the BBFC's policy towards sexual violence.

HC: How did you go about producing your acclaimed documentary, Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship And Videotape which is getting its World TV premiere on the Horror Channel on November 4th?

JW: You may be aware of our Grindhouse Trailer Classics compilations [Volume 1 was shown on the Horror Channel recently. Ed]. Well, we had started doing those and people had responded really well to them and Marc Morris who I run Nucleus with had already done a couple of books on nasties already so we thought we'd do something similar with a video nasties compilation. Then we thought wouldn't it be good to explain why these were banned in the first place. But as we were finding more and more information about it and uncovering stuff it evolved into this massive production and ended up a 3-disc set that took us a year and half to do. It kind of grew organically and we were very proud of the documentary once we'd finished it.

HC: One of its strengths is that it's a very well balanced documentary.

JW: When we did the documentary we wanted to get all of the different people's voices from both sides of the argument. To get Graham Bright was a big coup for us because he hadn't spoken about it for a long time. What surprised us was that he hadn't changed his views at all, we were actually amazed and it was brilliant for the documentary, he hadn't subsequently looked at this stuff and thought it was ridiculous. He really stuck to his guns which was very interesting.

HC: What are your honest thoughts on the BBFC? Do they have an important role to play in this day and age?

JW: I'm for the BBFC in terms of classification and age classification but I think that's all they should do. I think if you want a film at an 18 level then it should be uncut. I think adults should be able to see uncut material. I don't think we should have cuts imposed on us by somebody else. I think if recent films like A Serbian Film, The Bunny Game and The Human Centipede 2 are considered too intense for a normal 18 they should have a new category like they have for porn an R18. They should have it so adults are allowed to see this material, certainly in cinemas and a controlled environment and it just seems wrong that we can't see it unless its cut or refused a certificate. I'm not in favour of censorship personally, the thing with technology is that people can download or order anything from anywhere in the world which makes a mockery of that system. I think they should look at it and modernise it, personally speaking.

HC: You and Marc are introducing the films during the Season Of The Banned.

JW: Yeah, that was great fun. We went back to all of the research we did to remember the facts and figures for each film. I hope people enjoy them when they see them.

HC: So what projects are you working on at the moment?

JW: I'm just about to start my segment for The ABCs Of Death, which is a concept anthology film which has got 26 genre directors attached to it. 26 directors – 26 ways to die! But that’s all I'm saying. There's also Grindhouse Trailers Volume 3 coming out on December 5th. A great party disc for Christmas!

HC: Jake West, thank you very much.

JW: A pleasure as always, James.

Magic, the 1978 horror classic to appear on UK Blu-ray in March
Posted in News, Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Second Sight sprinkles its Magic on Anthony Hopkins' 1978 horror classic with its first UK Blu-ray release set to arrive this March with a host of brilliant special features.

With the continuing popularity of creepy dolls on screen from Hugo to Annabel via the many incarnations of Chucky, we meet one of the original devilish dummies: Fats... the side-kick from hell. Adapted for the big screen by William Goldman from his best-selling book, Magic is directed by Richard Attenborough and arrives on Blu-ray on 23 March.

Corky (Hopkins) is a shy magician who just can't get a break, but when he introduces foul-mouthed ventriloquist doll, Fats, to his act, his star begins to rise. With the chan...

47 Meters Down: Uncaged - New trailer
Posted in News, Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Move over Meg, it's girl power versus shark terror in this sensationally scary sequel to the smash hit underwater thriller 47 Meters Down.

The standalone sequel to the smash hit has taken nearly $40 million at the box office, with writer/director Johannes Roberts delivering another terrific, edge of your seat underwater horror thriller, as a group of teenage girls are terrorised by a fearsome great white shark in underwater caves off the coast of Mexico.

Roberts, the hotshot director about to helm the Resident Evil reboot, has lined up a fantastic cast of all female leads to kick shark butt - among them Book Thief star Sophie Nelisse, Sylvester Stallone's daughter S...

Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted in Interviews, Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

Spaced-out tunes from the Radiophonic Workshop!
Posted in News, Monday 20th January 2020

Silva Screen Records will release two classic compilations from two legends of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on January 31st.

Paddy Kingsland was the first Radiophonic composer to see a solo release of his compositions, although he is not name-checked on the front of the sleeve. Fourth Dimension, first released in 1973, showcased Kingsland's theme tunes for television and radio while at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The recordings feature a rock-style backing band and synthesisers including the VCS 3 and "Delaware" Synthi 100, and the track "Reg" from the album was also released as the B side to the 1973 single release of the iconic Doctor Who theme tune.

Kingsland remained at the workshop ...

Arrow Video FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2020 line-up
Posted in Frightfest, News, Thursday 16th January 2020

Welcome the transgressive, the traumatic and the terrifying as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 15th fantastic year, from Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March, 2020.

Thirteen is lucky for some as that's the number of new films being presented at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning four continents, including one world, two European and seven UK premieres.

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: "Welcome to another banner FrightFest and another invitation to explore the horror fantasy genre's fertile harvest bursting with creativity, ...

Demon Records presents a double bill of unique full-cast BBC radio adventures for Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor
Posted in News, Thursday 16th January 2020

Demon Records continue their acclaimed run of Doctor Who on Vinyl releases by announcing an absolute must for fans of the timeless series.

They will release a double bill of unique full-cast BBC radio adventures starring Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor. The Paradise of Death reunites the Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and the Brigadier for an adventure that takes them from Hampstead Heath to the far-flung planet of Parrakon, where they face dangers aplenty from the hostile Freeth and Tragan.

In The Ghosts of N-Space, which features Jon Pertwee's final performance as the Doctor, the Time Lord is in Sicily where he discovers trouble in the form of spectral monsters from anothe...

Horror Channel marks February weekends with eight action-packed premieres
Posted in Features, Wednesday 15th January 2020

Killer parties, virtual dinosaurs, zombie flesh-eaters and Milla Jovovich in top form...Horror Channel makes February an action-packed month with eight premieres, including the UK TV premiere of Matty Beckerman's savage sorority slasher The Row and the channel premieres of Simeon Halligan's neon-drenched Mancunian horror thriller Habit, starring Elliot James Langridge, Roxanne Pallett and Jessica Barden. Plus there's the eerie psychological thriller Can't Come Out To Play, directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), starring Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon and Peter Fonda.

There are also Channel premieres for the 2019 version of Cabin Fever, a remake of Eil Roth's 2002...

Morbius - New teaser trailer
Posted in News, Monday 13th January 2020

One of Marvel's most compelling and conflicted characters comes to the big screen as Oscar winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero, Michael Morbius.

Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, with a screenplay by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, Morbius stars Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.

Sony Pictures UK will unleas...

Zombieland: Double Tap coming to HE in February
Posted in News, Monday 13th January 2020

Remember to limber up and beware of bathrooms, as Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone return to the United States of Zombieland ten years after their first undead adventure for Ruben Fleischer's long-awaited Zombieland: Double Tap available to Digital Download from February 10 and coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on February 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Set one decade after the events of the first film, Zombieland: Double Tap finds Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Little Rock (Breslin), and Wichita (Stone) working together as a well-oiled, zombie-killing machine with a new home in the now-vacant White House. These four slayers must ...

The Beyond - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Monday 13th January 2020
The Beyond
Certificate 18

There are some movies that horror fans have multiple copies of, for me it's The Evil Dead, Halloween and Zombie Flesh Eaters. I have loads of editions in my loft on tape, laserdisc, DVDs, and now lovely Blu-rays and, where I can, 4K editions. Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981) is one movie that could also take up a shelf for all the different editions and versions I own as for some reason I'm drawn to it whenever I see a new release, even if it's just for a new cover!

This time around though Shameless have something rather cool and a bit different for fans of this Fulci classic but more on this later. For those new to this title, The Beyond i...

Horror Channel beams in Captain Sulu for "George Takei selects Star Trek" on Saturday January 25
Posted in Features, Monday 6th January 2020

George Takei, the legendary Star Trek actor, personally introduces some of his favourite Sulu episodes from the Original Series.

"George Takei selects Star Trek" will take over Horror Channel on Saturday 25 January, from 3pm, showing four specially selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series.

Here are George's chosen episodes with transmission order:

3pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - The Naked Time
A rescue party goes to save some scientists on a dying planet, but they are all dead when the team arrives. Can McCoy save the day?

4.05pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - Shore Leave
The crew enjoy some downtime on a peaceful p...

A Quiet Place Part II - Brand new trailer
Posted in News, Friday 3rd January 2020

One of the biggest hits of the last decade is getting a sequel quicker than most of us expected it to, A Quiet Place: Part II will be released into UK cinemas on March 20th.

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

Based on Characters created by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck and written and directed by John Krasinski, this could easily be one of the first big h...

Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
Hostel: Part II
Sunday 2nd February
10.50 PM
Resident Evil: Retribution
Wednesday 29th January
10.45 PM
Masque of the Red Death
Sunday 2nd February
6.40 PM