Archive for video nasty

EVILSPEAK (Scream Factory Blu-ray) – The Evil Doesn’t Just Speak. It SCREAMS!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 07/08/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

As part of a challenge to myself to see all of the movies on the Video Nasty list last year I had the absolute pleasure to enjoy Evilspeak for this first time. You guys know what the Video Nasty list is by now. It’s a shopping cart full of movies that were either prosecuted as being obscene or confiscated in the mid-80’s in the United Kingdom under the Video Recording Act of 1984. It was amended to include additional titles both formally and other titles would be confiscated even though they were not on the black list. While the reason I watched Evilspeak was because it was on the list, I was not altogether unfamiliar with it. The cover glared down at my from the shelves at Long Valley Video growing up, and though I didn’t get the chance to see it, I knew that I wanted to and badly. Scream Factory aligned with Code Red have given us an opportunity to see it on Blu-ray for the first time, the DVD release having previously been available through Code Red. If you are not familiar with Code Red I urge you to check out their product line. They put out some classic horror, action and Sci-Fi titles that are must buys, some Blu-ray and others on DVD. For today we’ll stick with the Scream Factory release of Evilspeak.


Synopsis from Scream Factory:


Life sucks for Stanley Coppersmith (Clint Howard, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School), a teenage outcast who’s bullied by everyone at a strict military academy. When Stanley discovers the crypt of a 16th Century Satanist beneath the chapel, he creates a computerized Black Mass that unleashes unholy revenge upon his tormentors. Now, all hell is about to break loose! Co-starring Joseph Cortese (American History X), Charles Tyner (Cool Hand Luke), R.G. Armstrong (Children of the Corn), Don Stark (That ‘70s Show), Lenny Montana (The Godfather), Richard Moll (House) and Haywood Nelson (What’s Happening), Evilspeak is not for the faint of heart.



I want you to think about 1981. Computers. Heavy Metal. Fraternity comedies. The movies that would prod the horror world created a frenzy of sequels, rip offs, copycats and out and out cash grabs, but for as for Evilspeak we are introduced to a truly unique picture that seems to play on major themes of late 70’s and early 80’s horror without being redundant. The major innovation in this particular release is the inclusion of a monochrome computer, rather archaic by our standards today, as the call to worship at the mighty hand of Esteban, the bringer of evil and super techno-murder. Hell, the alternate title for this release is The Computer Murders. It plays out movies that would follow shortly like Electric Dreams and Weird Science though both of those movies obviously have comedic intent. Further down the line we see a similar storyline in the early 90’s release of Brainscan. The heavy metal influence of Evilspeak isn’t necessarily apparent as our main character played by Clint Howard isn’t a metalhead looking for revenge against his peers, but he certainly embodies the same character structure as will be found in movies like Trick or Treat in about five years. Hey, the guys into evil and calling up strange old priests. He may not be playing records backward or wearing a leather jacket and studs, but the archetype is there. He wants revenge, nerd like even… a future member of Lambda Lambda Lambda.  Remember Scream Factory heads… Final Exam is also coming at you from Scream Factory, also an alumni of the Class of 1981.


Evilspeak is a gory good time with plenty of obscure or cult iconic favorites to keep the movie fresh. Richard Moll as Esteban, the Satanic Priest? Check. Luca Brasi aka Lenny Montana of Godfather fame with a handful of puppies for everyone! Stanley Coopersmith embodied by Clint Howard in a performance that is both eerie and endearing; it’s hard to believe you feel moments of real sympathy for Coopersmith before he realizes that the power he wields can be used to a most vulgar end. How about R.G. Armstrong? He’s featured in another Scream Factory release, The Beast Within, but I remember him best from his appearance in Friday the 13th The Series as evil Uncle Lewis who releases all the cursed objects into the world and beginning the hunt for Uncle Jack, Mickey and Ryan. If you can’t get into these performances, there are always a gang of man-eating hogs to keep you entertained.


With iconic Blu-ray cover in hand preserving one of the traditional posters for the release, the Scream Factory Blu-ray gives us something to feel powerfully evil about; the interior displays two different foreign representations of the same cover. The transfer is a 1080p HD supervised and approved by director Erick Weston who also provides the commentary track. Interviews include Joseph Cortese, Clint Howard, Hayward Nelson, Claude Early Jones, Richard Moll and Don Stark. I cannot stress enough that the interviews with Howard and Moll are reason enough to upgrade to this release if you’re not a quality hound. Moll is a riot, but his insight into the world of horror movies during the 80’s and acting is eye opening. Clint Howard is a consummate professional who deserves all the attention he’s been receiving in recent years due to a cult following that has embraced his perfectly planned awkward performances. He’s not Ron Howard’s brother. Ron Howard is HIS brother! This is a great looking disc, restored to pre-X rating built to test your Video Nasty Button.


You hear the rumor that Anton LaVey loved this little picture, and it’s important to remember that he also had a minor role in Devil’s Rain, another supernatural horror picture with a Satanic thread. That should be enough to get you on board. If you don’t want to take the head of the Church of Satan’s word for it, then maybe you’ll take mine. In the last year, we’ve seen two releases that feature Richard Moll as a bad guy in a horror movie (Night Train to Terror released by Vinegar Syndrome). Maybe it’s time to start your Moll collection to go along with your Howard collection. Hear EvilSpeak. Speak Evilspeak. See Evilspeak from Scream Factory


You can pick up Scream Factory’s release of Evilspeak NOW!



VIDEO NASTIES: The Definitive Guide – Your Shopping List for the Certified Horror

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 06/22/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Full disclaimer. I have owned Video Nasties The Definitive Guide from Nucleus, region locked for some time. I snatched it from across the pond some time ago, so this is rewatch, a second exploration and a chance to see if the Severin release did anything different for better or worse than the original release. This documentary is one that is near and dear to my heart, perhaps going so far as to say that it acts as my fifth chamber. I have sung its praises and mourned those tapes inside that were unjustly confiscated, individuals wrongfully prosecuted. I have seen the UK try time and time again to create their own moral bubble by creating laws that ban content rather than address social and criminal issues on a proper level. They continue to this day with their potential new requirements for DVD/Blu-ray extras rating requirements. Let’s state something that I believe strongly from the outset: Violent Movies DO NOT Make Violent People. I do believe that moral “crusaders”, zealots and ignorant fuckers create panic and falsely project their own squeamishness and cynicism onto movies that cannot defend themselves.  However, we, the video watching, movie collecting, content- hungry populace can and must defend movies and art of any kind Censorship makes the censor hungry. The movies they kill and devour only cause an insatiable self-righteous lust in the censor. Hunger for power.  The greatest weapon against this censor, the power monster, the ignorance and the “moral” warriors… is this three disc Video Nasties set (and the pending sequel to be released in the UK every so shortly). We will remember history; Never again, the Video Nasties!


Synopsis from Severin/Nucleus:


Prepare to be corrupted and depraved once more with this definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon – one of the most extraordinary and scandalous eras in the history of British film. For the first time ever on DVD, TRAILERS to all 72 films that fell foul of the Director of Public Prosecutions are featured with specially filmed intros for each title in a lavish three-disc collector’s edition box-set, alongside a brand new documentary – VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE.

I’m guilty of glorifying the video nasties as much as any one. I did a challenge a couple of years back, watching all of them and writing about them. You can learn a great deal about what people find offensive or misunderstand by watching 72 films that get the axe, but while the video nasty list serves as a great menu of “must watch” gore fests, boobie chokers and filth, it also represents the suffering of many individuals who were prosecuted for nothing more than wanting to sit back on a Friday night with a low budget splatter fest no their couch. Distributors with families. Consumers spending money only to see their pounds ride off into the Thatcher governments secret vault, the no-no room (if a room exists in Parliament that could house all the nasties it would surely be called the no-no room). If you lived in England in the mid-80’s you had to fight to put your eyes on some of the greatest Italian movies every made. You had to cross your fingers when the post delivered your parcels from out of country. Would your bootlegs be seized? Would YOU be seized? I think of the movie V for Vendetta with Mr. Cready and his black bags and his government that would confiscate and devour human life for merely possessing a Koran. What is Cannibal Holocaust if not the holy book of the horror watching community? So I say again, remember that enjoy your nasties, but remember that they were more than a list of must-watches. They were a list of life destroyers and not because of the content on the screen.


Note: Share your stories in the comment section below if you endured the nasties.


Now that you’ve had some time to think about the movies you’ve been fawning over and the sacred list of films that inflicted so much pain, it’s time to actually appreciate them. Love them. Gorge on them, and satiate your thirst for some truly B cinema surrounded with exploitation gold, effects people who deserve awards who may never have received them and countless musical scores that are perfect for your workout routine (I speak from experience). Of course there are plenty of naked people… I mean a lot! Remember that one of the foci of the lawmakers during the nasty era was the blood-on-boobs factor. Using the video nasty list correctly, as an addendum to your horror watching career as a supplement to main stream releases and lighter fare is the perfect way to expand your horizons. This documentary provides a check list that spans nations and directors, subgenres and actors, decades and decay. Watching all 72 creates an automatic versatilitarian out of you. With this documentary you get a companion to your viewing journey from experts, from people like you, from filmmakers you love.


Last year, I helped to judge and assisted in a movie watching competition called the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Madness with my compadre, Elizabeth Kathryn Gray. That year’s theme was called Portrait of a Video Nasty which essentially meant you’d get bonus points in the competition for watching video nasty list items among other banned movies not on the nasty list. The conversations the surrounded this competition were intense creating controversial statements and bold accusations, but at the end of the whole damn thing a number of well-versed horror fans had seen the entire nasty list, understood what “banned” looked like and sort of laughed at what the UK lawmakers saw as the purveyors of moral degradation. This documentary itself would get you points for watching even though it wasn’t widely available to the US market unless you owned a region free DVD player. No longer and issue for those of us in the United States thanks to Severin. That means that you can be a better educated debater when it comes to the VN’s with the assistance of this set.


If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy this set full of fourteen hours worth of content, you have a chance, with the region set to North America.  Disc 1 contains a documentary that details the history of the video nasty list and the creation of the Video Recording Act of 1984. You’ll find stills and an amazing reel of bumpers from labels that featured the nasties during their hey-day (pre certification). Disc 2 is a powerhouse selection to be sure. Each of the 39 nasties that were successfully prosecuted are featured with trailer and discussion. I’m talking about 39 separate minutes long segments with intelligent discussions about movies you love and don’t get enough conversation.  Disc 3 contains the trailers for the other 33 initially banned titles. Movies that are excellent, worth watching and are as a part of the nasty list as any of the actually prosecuted titles. The box is a nice oversized package that easily holds the three discs, each disc is a different color and the artwork on the front of the box, should really be a half sleeve on my goddamn arm.


Full release notes from Severin:
Disc One The era-defining and critically acclaimed documentary VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE directed by Jake (Doghouse) West and produced by Marc Morris features interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall (‘The Descent’, ‘Doomsday’), Christopher Smith (‘Severance’, ‘Black Death’) and MP Graham Bright as well as rare archive footage featuring James Ferman (director of the BBFC 1975-1999) & Mary Whitehouse. Taking in the explosion of home video, the erosion of civil liberties, the introduction of draconian censorship measures, hysterical press campaigns and the birth of many careers born in blood and videotape, West’s documentary also reflects on the influence this peculiar era still exerts on us today.

Disc Two presents the 39 titles that were successfully prosecuted in UK courts and deemed liable to deprave and corrupt. These included: ‘Absurd’, ‘Cannibal Holocaust’, ‘The Driller Killer’, ‘I Spit on Your Grave’, ‘Nightmares in a Damaged Brain’, ‘Snuff’ & ‘Zombie Flesh-Eaters’.

Disc Three presents the 33 titles that were initially banned, but then subsequently acquitted and removed from the DPP’s list. These included: ‘Death Trap’, ‘Deep River Savages’, ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Human Experiments’, ‘The Toolbox Murders’ & Zombie Creeping Flesh.

Discs 2 & 3 can be viewed either as a non-stop trailer show, or with newly-filmed introductions from a wide range of acclaimed media academics and notable genre journalists. Each disc is preceded by a brief introduction by cult horror presenter Emily Booth.


You can order Video Nasties The Definite Guide now. Keep your peepers peeled for the sequel Video Nasties Draconian Days.


Be a better horror fan. Watch a video nasty today. Of course if you’re going to watch a video nasty, then you probably need to enjoy this documentary to gain the most of your viewing experience. A great big thanks to Severin who is helping us to remember what the real face of evil looks like, in the UK and beyond.


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