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Season of The Banned - November on The Horror Channel
By James Whittington, Thursday 6th October 2011

Season Of The BannedPrepare to be corrupted and depraved during November as Horror Channel will broadcast a selection of shockers that defined the Video Nasties phenomenon. Season Of The Banned will unleash the most brutal movies into your home and only the bravest should tune in!

Headlining this ground-breaking season is the world TV premiere of Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship And Videotape, which will be broadcast on November 4th at 10.55pm.

Directed by renowned filmmaker Jake West and produced by respected author and Video Nasties expert Marc Morris, this era-defining documentary features reflective interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall and Christopher Smith as well as charting the heroic stand taken by journalist/author Martin Barker, who single-handedly came out in protest against what he saw as the erosion of civil liberties.

Season Of The Banned – The Films

November 4th - The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi's masterpiece The Evil Dead (1981) kicks off the season in gruesome style. Starring Bruce Campbell, it sees five twenty-something friends holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead. Playing the taped incantations, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival. Because of its graphic violence and terror, the original version of the movie was banned in several countries, including Finland, Germany, Iceland and Ireland. In the United Kingdom, the film was one of the first to be labelled a video nasty and was only finally released uncut in 2001.

November 11th - Double Bill: The Exterminator and The Beyond
The Exterminator (1980) is an exploitation revenge classic that can finally be seen (uncut) on television thanks to this UK TV premiere. James Glickenhaus' explosive story sees Vietnam vet John Eastland (Robert Ginty), go on a bloody vendetta against the New York underworld when his best friend is brutally beaten by a street gang. The film also stars Golden Globe winner Samantha Eggar. Although never on the DPP's banned lists, the UK theatrical version was shortened by 44 seconds and the film only surfaced uncut on DVD in 2000. It was banned in New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Norway and Iceland – who no doubt, given the amount of fires started, found it too 'hot' to show. Unsurprisingly, the film was released uncensored in Germany.

Lucio Fulci's masterpiece of face chewing spider action, milky eyed psychics, face melting embalming fluid and rotted, flesh-crazed zombies, The Beyond (1981) returns in all its blood splattered, surreal and grossly disturbing glory for a new generation of horror fans. Also known as Seven Doors Of Death, the second film in Fulci's unofficial Gates Of Hell trilogy, The Beyond has gained a cult following over the decades, in part because of the film's gore-filled murder sequences, which had been heavily censored when the film was originally released in UK cinemas in 1981. It ended up on the DPPs video nasty list from March 1984 to April 1985. An uncut version was finally released in 2001.

November 18th - Double Bill: Island Of Death and City Of The Dead
Greece is transformed into a bloodbath of sex, death and sadism by director Nico Mastorakis in Island Of Death (1972), a notorious film that only got the blessing from the BBFC to be distributed uncut in September 2010. Originally cut by 13 minutes and resubmitted as Psychic Killer 2, the BBFC still banned it for video in 1987. The film briefly appeared on the Video Nasties list in November 1983 but was deleted by the next issue. The video returned to the list in October 1985 and remained on the list throughout so becoming one of the collectable DPP 39s.

The king of Euro-Terror, Lucio Fulci, throws open the gates of Hell, unleashing a plague of zombies, in City Of The Dead (1980), a notorious shock and gore masterpiece. In the early 1980s, the film was passed by the BBFC for cinema exhibition but with the infamous 'head drilling scene' cut. The same "X" version was released on video around the same time. It never appeared on the video nasties banned list but when it was submitted to the BBFC for official video release it received further cuts to the vomiting scene and to the brain removal scenes. In 2001, it was re-submitted and passed uncut. Three versions of the film have been banned in Germany.

November 25th - Double Bill: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Tenebrae
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) has been called the "movie that defined horror”. It was attacked by churches, banned by governments, and acclaimed by only the bravest of critics. Rejected by the BBFC outright in March 1975, the film was eventually granted a Greater London Council "X - London" certificate. It then appeared on home video. Although not an official video nasty, it did appear in the DPPs Section 3 list of titles, which meant it could be seized from rental stores but no prosecutions would take place. It was eventually granted 18 uncut status by the BBFC in August 1999 and was given a theatrical re-release alongside a home video release.

The infamous video nasty Tenebrae (1982) updated the classic Giallo blueprint for the gorified 80s, courting controversy and drenching the viewer in crimson arterial spray. In the UK, the film was shorn of five seconds of "sexualized violence" by the BBFC prior to its 1983 theatrical release. The same version later became one of the 39 video nasties. The ban lasted until 1999, when it was re-released on videotape, with an additional one second of footage removed from the film. In 2003, the BBFC re-classified the film and passed it uncut.


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