Following the success of their previous doc, Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship And Videotape, West and Marc Morris’ sequel charts the history of the Video Recordings Act of 1984 and how the BBFC operated under James Ferman. From video store raids to smuggling in copies of Nekromantic to secret swap meets to Scala and beyond, the film examines the fascinating history of British censorship and how a horror community formed around it.
Following the doc’s success at FrightFest Glasgow, the FrightFest special screening of the film at the Prince Charles will feature a Q&A with West, producer Marc Morris, Alan Jones, and other special guests.
The DVD release of the film will be similar to that of its predecessor, with two bonus discs examining the films on the notorious “Section 3” list that were liable to seizure.
““I see Draconian Days as a companion piece and a direct continuation of the fascinating history of Video Nasties, which I started in the last documentary Moral Panic, Video Nasties and Videotape,” explains West. “This one picks up the story from the passing of the Video Recordings act 1984 and the effect it had on censorship under James Ferman’s rule at the BBFC up until 1999. This and the further moral panic that ensued, together with the impact of the Michael Ryan Massacre, the Bulger Murder and David Alton’s notorious Amendment that would have banned all films above PG created a strange situation for the horror fan.
I was a teenager in the 80s, I grew-up with the Video Nasties – trying to get hold of them and watch them,” he recalls. “It could take us years and years to find a film that we were interested in, and certainly that created the whole underground horror scene and the camaradarie that was born. I was very influenced by Video Nasties in terms of wanting to make gory, fun horror movies, because we felt like there was some kind of danger or subversive feel to that material which we were growing up with.”
“I too remember this time, and how renting horror videos was a frustrating experience,” adds Morris. “I became part of the underground tape trading network, and travelled abroad to import my own uncut horror videos. I attended film fairs, horror film festivals and have a lot of scary memories of those days. We feel this documentary pays tribute to those days. We’ve been working on this this amazing follow-up box set for over two years. We know collectors won’t want to miss it.”
You can find information about the Video Nasties: Draconian Days screening at the Prince Charles Cinema here.