Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Section 3 List

July sees the release of Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide Part 2, the sequel to Jake West and Marc Morris’ critically acclaimed 2010 documentary which explored the Video Nasties phenomenon and more. Part 2 which comes as a generous 3-disc set follows closely the format of the first film, with the first disc containing a new documentary entitled Draconian Days, which picks up the story in the aftermath of the Video Recordings Act in 1984, right through to the end of James Ferman’s tenure at the BBFC in 1999 which ushered in a more liberal policy at the British Censors office. Spread over discs 2 and 3 is perhaps the real jewel of the set, a huge trailer reel of films which appeared on the Director of Public Prosecutions' Section 3 list (below), films "deemed liable for seizure and forfeiture under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act, 1959, but not prosecution". As with the previous Video Nasties set, all trailers are preceded by context-setting introductions from among others Alan Jones, Kim Newman, Stephen Thrower and Patricia MacCormack, and given the eclectic range of Section 3 titles, should make for a fascinating couple of hours...

Black Room, The
Blood Lust
Blood Song
Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, The
Brutes and Savages
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Child, The
Christmas Evil
Dawn of the Mummy
Dead Kids
Death Weekend
Deep Red
Demons, The
Don't Answer the Phone!
Enter the Devil
Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The
Evil, The
Executioner, The
Final Exam
Foxy Brown
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th Part 2
GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm)
Graduation Day
Happy Birthday to Me
Headless Eyes
Hell Prison
Hills Have Eyes, The
Home Sweet Home
Invasion of the Blood Farmers
Killing Hour, The
Last Horror Film, The
Last Hunter, The
Love Butcher, The

Mad Foxes, The
Mark of the Devil
Massacre Mansion
Naked Fist
Nesting, The
New Adventures of Snow White, The
Night Beast
Night of the Living Dead
Nightmare City
Oasis of the Zombies
Prom Night
Rosemary's Killer
Savage Terror
Scream for Vengeance!
Shogun Assassin
Street Killers
Suicide Cult
Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The
Thing, The
Tomb of the Living Dead
Toy Box, The
Werewolf Woman
Wrong Way
Zombie Holocaust
Zombies: Dawn of the Dead
Zombies Lake


  1. I got excited about this documentary when the trailer went on line recently; the first one was excellent, and highly entertaining. Even if you know many of the in's-and-outs of the whole sorry situation, it is still essential viewing. Interesting, I wasn't aware of this 'Section 3' list at all, so thanks for posting all the titles. I was obviously aware that many of them were involved in the madness, but interesting to see that there was an actual list. Some of these titles have eluded me completely, so it's always great to have something to work from!

  2. John, I like this list a lot... I'm scanning thru the titles and I see a lot of classics, plus a lot of stuff I have affection for - Friday the 13th Part II, Inseminoid, Mad Foxes, Mark of the Devil, Nightmare City, Phantasm, Xtro, Zombie Holocaust, as well as stuff I'd like to see - The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Franco's The Demons and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, Communion, Don't Answer the Phone, Invasion of the Blood Farmers, The Last Movie, The Last Hunter... I'll definitely get this set. Interestingly, in the Video Nasties 2 trailer, Alan Jones' assertion that Xtro is the film most widely considered to be one of the 72 Video Nasties was a surprise to me - I would have thought it was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre...

    1. Funny, I said the EXACT same thing in my head when watching the trailer- TCM was the obvious choice as far as I was concerned!

      Some of those are a blast, Mad Foxes is an especially underrated pile of nonsense, as is Zombie Holocaust. I know loads of people who hate Xtro - I can't figure out why though, as it ticks plenty of boxes for me. Surprised with a few you haven't seen - isn't communion just Alice, Sweet Alice under a different name? Shocked if you haven't seen it, as it's definitely your kind of film! The Last Hunter is a fun, gory 'Nam flick... with plenty of those giant Margheriti explosions!

      What is it about these lists though that keep us buying books and spending more money than we should on getting them? Is it the list nature itself that just appeals to the 'must collect' part of our brains? Or is it the fact that they were handled by the police make it seem so much more fun than it really is? It has been said plenty of times that if it wasn't for the whole 'nasties' incident, most of these films would have been forgotten about at this point... though I have a feeling we would still be seeking them out for the artwork, at the very least.

    2. Yeah, some really great titles and one or two wildcards like Foxy Brown (which I like better than Coffy). Mad Foxes is the filmic equivalent of a used condom – raw and sleazy as hell, and Zombie Holocaust is a lot of fun, plus Alexandra Delli Colli takes her clothes off again in this one – I love those big blowjob lips of her… Y’know what John I have seen Communion – way back in my teens which I don’t think counts, but I have a strong memory of an enormous fat guy eating cat food – is that right ? I’d love to see that film again… Definitely have not seen Last Hunter, and I always intended to pick up the Dark Sky disc but something inevitably got in the way. It looks like a pretty decent muscular action pic from what I’ve seen… Yeah, what’s the deal with Xtro ? It absolutely deserves the audience of say Inseminoid but it always seems to get cut down for its ambition – I mean watching it, you can tell the film makers were really trying to do something. I remember seeing it on video and being completely unprepared for how weird it was… Yeah, what about those lists – we keep on coming back to them ! The whole contraband notion of these titles will forever resonate with fans of Cult Cinema, but in terms of the Video Nasties lists, I love the apparent randomness of the titles – after all, these are not films that were chosen the way you might compile a mix tape of favourite songs, but instead were selected by some civil servant charged with impounding films with gory sleeve art, proactive titles and offensive content. But I love to draw connections between these seemingly disparate titles, something like Last House on the Left and House on the Edge of the Park – two films that not only share the same lead actor but oddly similar titles – I love that kind of stuff ! If you were stranded on an island with just these titles you'd still have a pretty wide selection of Cinema - Horror movies, Sci-fi, creature features, Blaxploitation, Mondo, Slasher, Giallo...

    3. I'm definitely a Coffy man ,but I do love Foxy Brown. You ain't wrong on the fat, sleazy pedo in Communion... you definitely should get on that! It has been a while since I watched Xtro, but yup, I remember really liking the strange, almost surreal elements... where as Inseminoid has always ranked lower with me. Saying that, I definitely need a re-watch on that one, I have it here so might give it a spin soon.

      Do you think we would have been such rabid fans of sleazy trash growing up if it wasn't for the video nasties scandal? I ways I think I might not have been; sure I would still have the fondness of admiring the old tapes, but from the ages of 12 -16 I really got intrigued by the very notion of a tape so offensive people would risk jail for it... imagine the idea of the 'nasties' didn't exist? maybe we owe more to the Daily Mail than we think! (ok, maybe not, but hey...)

      Great call on the sheer diversity of the lists, you are absolutely right - i really does cover more bases than any other list out there! I really am getting excited to see this documentary now..

    4. The Nasties list was definitely a primer for Cult and Exploitation Cinema, and I can still remember the white heat of reading that Video Nasties issue of Dark Side, seeing all those titles alongside the cover art - it was like a wall had come down before my eyes... I think we would have sought out those films anyway, with that particular strand of cinephilia we have, I'm sure we would have wound up seeing Cannibal Holocaust regardless. But there's no argument that the Nasties list rescued the likes of Forest of Fear or Mardi Gras Massacre from oblivion, and despite the sheer crapness of both films, I'm glad they're still around... God, to go back in time to the videoshop era - I remember back in the mid-90's a huge warehouse-size space in Cork city was for one glorious summer turned into a huge video dump - selling tapes I'm guessing of liquidated video shops from all over Ireland and the UK, (complete with stamp of origin on the inside-sleeve - Mr. Video, Clonmel, Video Exchange, Glasgow etc). It wasn't a Nasties haven or anything, I think the best tape I manage to fish out of the endless racks of videos was the Intercity edition of City of the Living Dead, or something obscure like Paul Naschy giallo A Dragonfly For Each Corpse, (which came with a shiny foil cover!) but tapes were cheap enough to take a chance on so you ended up bringing home a winner like Blood Spattered Bride or a loser like The Butcher (a re-title of a really sleazy 1975 hicksploitation film Psycho From Texas). I'm drunk on memories here... I'm looking forward to the Nasties doc as well - I hope it includes something on the underground network that sprung up around the Nasties debacle - they were great heady days...

    5. I'm with you there, Wes, there was nothing like controversy in your youth to spark the imagination that sent you on a wild goose chase to see a film. We've discussed it before, but I remember feeling that something died in me when I went onto the internet (back in 2003) and discovered Xploited Cinema, including the fully uncut, remastered DVD of Cannibal Holocaust... it was like my obsession with dinosaurs as a kid, I would borrow all the books from the library for years, knew all the names, etc... but then Jurassic Park came out and I just sorta blew a load, and never went back to it...

      but I digress, even in the wake of DVD and the internet, I did quite a healthy trade in DVD rips for years on exploitation boards, I met some really interesting people, one or two of who I would count as real-life friends at this point, so yes, that underground network aspect was hugely important, even up as far as recent years. Though now it seems to have faded, as every jaded kid can download Human Centipede II in under ten minutes. Ah, the days when you had to really go out of your way to see something like that!

    6. Yep, I agree, with the arrival of the web and DVD, an old order was torn asunder and a new one put in place. But however nostalgic I feel about that great era of exploration - and I can spin stories all day about those times (apologies for that!), we as collectors are spoiled. Funnily enough, just last week I was browsing Amazon UK for some DVD, and someone had recently submitted one of those redundant reviews, basically saying they bought the video edition because it was cheaper than the DVD - now I know Amazon still have some VHS stock kicking around but I was genuinely surprised that someone would still choose VHS over DVD even this late in the day... But like you said, when you had to really put some hard graft into tracking something down, some tape you had to travel to the ends of the earth to locate or pay a little more that you bargained for, the reward was extremely sweet - I remember finding a pre-cert copy of Straw Dogs for rent in Xtravision and the following day returning to the shop with an outlandish dog-ate-my-homework sob story and being slapped with a 15 pound fine, but y'know, I had to have that tape !