Thursday, 5 July 2018

The World that summer....

Spotted over at the Internet Archive, Dark Side #20 - May 1992, or more specifically, the Video Nasties issue. I've mentioned this hallowed issue a few times on this blog, and yet I cannot stress enough the importance of this sacred text in this 15-yr old's film-watching life - before it came out, I had scarcely heard of Cannibal Holocaust or Last House on the Left, and then suddenly it was as if a wall had come down to reveal a completely different view. I remember well that glorious summer of '92, spending countless afternoons in darkened video shops hunting down the more tantalizing titles. As primers go, the Nasties feature is strictly entry level stuff - if you've landed on this page with little or no clue about the United Kingdom's Video Nasty phenomena, it's a decent enough whistle stop tour thru the Director of Public Prosecutions' hit list, but there are better studies out there - Davids Kerekes and Slater's 2000 book See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy remains the definitive word on the subject. For more seasoned viewers, the Dark Side's roundup is worth reading as a vintage piece. Perhaps the prickly tone of many of the reviews was down to the reviewers having to contend with aging, fuzzy VHS copies (and fuzzy memories no doubt) - some 25 years later, with the advent of DVD and Blu-Ray, we've come to better appreciate the charms of Don't Go Near the Park and Snuff Worth noting too the idiosyncratic selection process - minor list entries like The Funhouse and Dead & Buried are awarded full-length reviews while more significant titles like Blood Feast and Fight For Your Life and relegated to a few remarks in an addendum section.

But that's not all. Elsewhere in this issue of The Dark Side is a terrific David Cronenberg interview, discussing his latest film Naked Lunch (which was lambasted in a later issue when it premiered on video), and it's followed by a Cronenberg filmography with some typically fascinating commentary by the director - mostly culled from Faber's Cronenberg on Cronenberg book it must be said: (On Scanners: "I was exploding heads like any other young, normal North American boy") Before I close, be sure to check out the excellent selection of books and fanzines the uploader has generously shared

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, I read your new stuff on a regular basis. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you're doing!