Ban the Sadist Videos! (Video 2005) Poster

(2005 Video)

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8/10
Restrained but Informative
Rodrigo_Amaro28 August 2011
Highly informative and relatively interesting "Ban the Sadist Videos!" approximates us with details about the infamous social and politic acts against what was considered to be a risk to the British society: violence, gore, sex, drugs, shocking and disturbing things...presented on recurrent films of the 1970's and 1980's. Thatcher government started to regulate what could be and what couldn't be presented on home video entertainment, something that only occurred on films released on theaters with films being edited by BBFC.

It is established here that films like "The Driller Killer", "Evil Dead" and "Cannibal Holocaust" were the major responsible for a wave of control on the films later called of "videos nasties" after lots of appealing publicity on newspapers urging its viewers to rent and watch a film with shocking scenes (theaters weren't so interesting anymore, now with VCR's available in most homes).

Silly moral crusader Mary Whitehouse and her extensive and successful campaign to forbid these films on British territory is greatly presented here, giving some insights on how dumb some moralists were since they never saw those films, only hearing what people would say about them. Laws were created, BBFC also censored or even banned some of the films (the funniest case was "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" considered as pornographic because of its title). The criterion of which films should be allowed or not to be released or edited was ridiculous and even "Apocalypse Now" had some troubles with this persecution.

All that in the name of the children's sake since they were exposed to them constantly, and society feared possible copycats (oh dear...) who were starting to appear, imitating film serial killers but this time killing real people in real life, finding their inspiration on films. Bottom of line: our society is dangerous because of the films it produces and not backwards, the moralists were saying.

The discussion stretches out for so long (there's the second "Ban the Sadist Videos!" which deals with more on this last subject of 'danger to the society'). Well made and providing classic moments of horror films and nice archive footage of news covering the subject this documentary is quite restrained in its presentation, lack so much energy that it almost becomes boring; and some informations and scenes are quite repetitive. The short interviews with Deodato, Craven and other masters of horror were very good just as much as the interviews with people who were part of the conflicts over the videos.

It's quite good but it only works if you don't know anything about the incidents portrayed here. I believe that people more versed on the subject won't find it much amusing or appealing. 8/10
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Nice Documentary
Michael_Elliott4 January 2015
Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Very good documentary from David Gregory taking a look at the 1980s in Britain as the start of the decade saw a major boom in the video rental market. A lot of the biggest renters were horror movies like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, EATEN ALIVE, THE DRILLER KILLER and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. The problem is that the moral police started to think that these movies were going to damage those watching them so a push was made to get movies like these banned or at least censored to the point where there would be no reason to watch them.

BAN THE SADIST VIDEOS! is a very good documentary that horror fans are really going to enjoy. It's also safe to say that they're going to be enraged by some of the archival interviews where people claim that if you watch this type of stuff you're going to pretty much turn into a raving killer yourself. American horror films had issues with the MPAA and various women's rights groups but there's no doubt that the BBFC took things a bit further by banning movies and in some cases people getting send to jail for showing the films. The documentary does an extremely good job at explaining how all of this happened and why the moral police were so worried about certain titles.
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