British Film Censorship vs the Video Nasties with David Gregory


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In this week's podcast episode Free Speech Union spokesperson Dane Giraud speaks to David Gregory, co-owner of Severin Films, an American film production and distribution company known for restoring and releasing cult films on DVD and Blu-ray. A Brit by birth David deep dives into the history of the Video Nasties (the explosion of low-budget horror or exploitation films at the birth of the home-video era) and the censorship regime in the UK that was set up to counter them. This office was incredibly oppressive compared to their Western counterparts including our own which lifted a ban on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1984 whereas the UK only made the film permissible in 1998! This office even sent a distributor to prison for screening an edit 17 seconds longer than the approved cut. David schools Dane on the fascinating history of British censorship, their use of highly questionable research, the clear classist attitude that underlined the office, and how - rather than stopping people from seeing these films - this censorship led to a huge underground network of film markets and conventions. David also talks about his rewarding work today through Severin Films tracking down lost footage from films that have suffered the censor's blade. An episode chock-full of fascinating history is an unmissable addition to the Free Speech Union podcast. Enjoy! join

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