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Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain$
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Julian Petley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625383

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625383.001.0001

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Two or Three Things I Know About ‘Video Nasties’

Two or Three Things I Know About ‘Video Nasties’

(p.44) Chapter 3 Two or Three Things I Know About ‘Video Nasties’
Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain

Julian Petley

Edinburgh University Press

The horror film has always had precious few friends among the British critical fraternity, and so the unwillingness of most critics even to look at so-called ‘video nasties’ is hardly surprising. The two most serious misconceptions about ‘video nasties’ have nothing to do with aesthetic quality. They represent some kind of homogeneous category or self-contained genre. The second misconception has to do with seeing ‘video nasties’ as something ‘new’ or ‘different’. The New Censoriousness has tumbled to a fictional mode which is capable of carrying a hefty subversive charge. When one bears in mind that the Video Recordings Act covers all videos and not simply horror films, these stipulations show censorship to be going so far beyond the usual concern with the content of individual scenes.

Keywords:   horror film, video nasties, New Censoriousness, Video Recordings Act, censorship

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