BANNED! I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

I wonder whether, without the striking poster image, its lurid tagline “This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition… But no jury in America would convict her!” and with writer/director Meir Zarchi’s preferred title, Day Of The Woman enough people would have taken note of this film for us still to be talking about it forty years on. Titles matter, and the phrase I Spit On Your Grave has such a visceral charge that it...

BANNED! Mikey (1992)

The 1993 murder of James Bulger was shocking both in its brutality and in that its perpetrators were just ten years old. It seemed that both the public and the press were at a loss to understand how it happened, how two children ended up committing such a violent murder. When something like this happens there is, I think, a need to find something to blame, to find a problem that will explain the event away and allow us to...

BANNED! Headless Eyes (1971)

The famous list of so called ‘Video Nasties’, which was pivotal in bringing cinema style censorship to home video through the Video Recordings Act of 1984, was divided into two sections. Section 2 is the list that anyone with a passing interest in censorship and extreme cinema knows. These films, when seized, would make the dealer subject to personal prosecution for supplying obscene materials. Section 3 were considered less obscene, not likely to be convicted under the OPA, but still...

BANNED! The Toolbox Murders (1978)

Author’s Introduction When I was young, my parents were pretty strict about what I was and wasn’t allowed to watch. My viewing had to remain within appropriate age boundaries. I couldn’t get into higher certificate films at the cinema or rent them on video because at 15 I still looked like I was about 12. Then we got a VCR, and I figured out how to set the timer and started delving with a vengeance into films my parents would...