30 banned horror films, 30 midnights, all on 35mm.
This month, as a precursor to Cinefamily's massive new horror festival Nightmare City, the theater is launching a horror screening series so perversely over-the-top and wondrously fun that we ourselves still can’t believe it: a series of 35mm midnight movie screenings every single night in October, all culled from the infamous list of “Video Nasties”. Video Nasties are the kind of sleazy horror flicks that infested video stores around the world -- movies with video covers so exploitatively gratuitous and repellent that an entire nation freaked out and banned them.
What exactly is a Video Nasty, you ask?
Back in 1982, a moral panic erupted in the U.K. under the iron fist of Margaret Thatcher and her cohorts in media censorship, who found it handy to blame all of society’s ills (and particularly its maladjusted children) on those nasty, nasty horror movies sitting on video shelves around the country. Using rigged data, trumped-up reports, yellow journalism and an easily frightened public, a number of gory films -- 72, to be exact -- wound up as official societal scapegoats.
This scandalous rundown of films ranges from bona fide classics (The Evil Dead, Possession) to top-tier trash (Evilspeak, Faces of Death) -- which, in England, were all either banned or reissued in drastically cut versions. When viewed through today’s lens, it seems that there was no true criteria for what landed a film on the Nasties list, other than that they should all be as awesome as possible.
Of course, when doing something this momentous, one should make it a contest. So who among you has what it takes to sit through 30 midnights in a row of toolbox murdering, driller killing, blood feasting, evilspeaking and Mardi Gras massacring -- all in slowly increasing order of nastiness?
Whomever sits through the highest number of fully completed Video Nasties screenings this October will receive:
- 3RD PLACE: the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”
- 2ND PLACE: a vintage large-format French theatrical poster for The Burning + the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”
- 1ST PLACE: the chance to guest-program an upcoming Cinefamily midnight movie screening + the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”. In the event of a tie for first place, we will hold a Video Nasties trivia runoff live on the Cinefamily stage as a tiebreaker!
Here’s the rundown of the entire Video Nasties calendar:
Monday, Oct. 1st, 10PM (free admission): Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape
Monday, Oct. 1st, midnight - Night Warning
Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, midnight - Hell of the Living Dead
Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, midnight - The Witch Who Came From The Sea
Thursday, Oct. 4th, midnight - Axe
Friday, Oct. 5th, midnight - Evilspeak
Saturday, Oct. 6th, midnight - Inferno
Sunday, Oct. 7th, midnight - Dead & Buried
Monday, Oct. 8th, midnight - Visiting Hours
Tuesday, Oct. 9th, midnight - The Funhouse
Wednesday, Oct. 10th, midnight - Cannibal Apocalypse
Thursday, Oct. 11th, midnight - The Burning
Friday, Oct. 12th, midnight - XTRO
Saturday, Oct. 13th, midnight - The Evil Dead (brand-new 35mm print!)
Sunday, Oct. 14th, midnight - Possession
Monday, Oct. 15th, midnight - Night of the Bloody Apes
Tuesday, Oct. 16th, midnight - The Toolbox Murders
Wednesday, Oct. 17th, midnight - Driller Killer
Thursday, Oct. 18th, midnight - Mardi Gras Massacre
Friday, Oct. 19th, midnight - The Beyond
Saturday, Oct. 20th, midnight - Blood Feast
Sunday, Oct. 21st, midnight - Anthrophophagus
Monday, Oct. 22th, midnight - Snuff
Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, midnight - Fight For Your Life
Wednesday, Oct. 24th, midnight - The House on the Edge of the Park
Thursday, Oct. 25th, midnight - Nightmares In A Damaged Brain
Friday, Oct. 26th, midnight - Faces of Death
Sunday, Oct. 28th, midnight - Cannibal Ferox
Monday, Oct. 29th, midnight - The Last House on the Left
Tuesday, Oct. 30th, midnight - I Spit On Your Grave
Wednesday, Oct. 31st, midnight - Cannibal Holocaust