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VHS Nasty
VHS Lives 3: VHS Nasty

UK 2019
produced by
Tony Newton for Schlock Films, Vestra Pictures
directed by Tony Newton
starring Jim Towns, Dustin Ferguson, Shawn C. Phillips, Peter Goddard, Jason Figgis, John West, Mathew Fisher, Gary Smart, Christopher Griffith, Tony Newton, Richard Chandler, Nathan Hill, Jimmie Gonzalez, Richard Mogg, Julie Anne Prescott, Domiziano Cristopharo, Lloyd Kaufman, David McDonough, Danny Filaccio
written by Tony Newton

VHS Lives

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat

Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!

In 1984, the British Board of Film Classification started to classify not only films for theatrical release, but also VHS tapes, caving in to the pressure of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, headed by Mary Whitehouse, an as such rather arbitrary organisation that nevertheless managed to force their will and their tastes onto video audiences at large by claiming violations of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. One of their main goals seems to have been censor or outright ban movies of predominantly the horror genre they just deem too bizarre for the general public, so really robbing mature adults the right to choose for themselves what to watch - and one has to understand here, none of these so-called video nasties in any way broke any laws themselves, they were really just outlawed by the taste of few. Of course, the list of video nasties did not include any major studio releases but mostly foreign movies and indies, including questionable fare like Faces of Death, but also cult classics like Cannibal Holocaust, The Driller Killer, Flesh for Frankensein, I Spit on Your Grave, The Last House on the Left, Suspiria, Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to limit myself to the few mentioned in this movie.


Now above is actually only the set-up for what VHS Nasty is actually about, as it doesn't so much recount the history of video nasties (which any self-respected horror fan probably knows anyhow) but talks about the effects - as one thing the rigorous censorship measures did not achieve, the obliteration of extreme horror, actually it only shone a light on a heretofore rather obscure corner of the genre, and suddenly fans, lured by the forbidden, wanted to get their hands on these movies which suddenly were promoted to holy grail status. And that was not just in the UK but all over the world. Now the film in hand gives a voice to some of the people affected by the video nasty craze, all of whom have become indie horror filmmakers and all of whom see seeking out video nasties at video conventions (and now also darker corners of the internet) as part of their grooming - and literally from all over the world, including Australia's Nathan Hill and US-Americans Dustin Ferguson, Shawn C. Phillips and Jim Towns. So if the video nasties have succeeded in one thing, it was in giving us a new crop of very cool genre filmmakers ...


Now not only as a horror fan one can't but applaud VHS Nasty's message not only about the video nasties but censorship as such, quite simply that censorship doesn't work, and pretty much only creates a counter-movement, an underground, ultimately the means of its own destruction - and really, this film shows this beautifully, not via spectacle and name-calling but by presenting the aftermath, by letting those affected share their stories - in an often anecdotal way that makes it easy at least for genre fans to follow since most of us growing up during the period of video nasties had similar experiences.

Basically, a documentary that genre fans will enjoy.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD