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Video Nasties 2
VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE... PART TWO. Released to tie in with the 30th Anniversary of the Video Recordings Act, July 1984 and limited to 6,666 individually numbered sets, each comes with postcards featuring the DPP Section 3 cover art and Graham Humphrey’s original cover art. The Video Nasties continue to be a major source of interest to this day, and after the crtical and sales success of Video Nasties 1, comes the return! Video Nasties 2 is released to tie-in with the establishment of the Video Recordings Act.

Buy Part 2 of the definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon from Amazon UK.
Video Nasties
For the first time ever on DVD, TRAILERS to all 72 films that fell foul of the Director of Public Prosecutions are featured with specially filmed intros for each title in a lavish three-disc collector's edition box-set, alongside a brand new documentary VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE.

Buy the definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon from Amazon UK.
Art of the Nasty
Buy the new edition of this essential reference book now from Amazon UK.
Welcome to Pre-Cert Video

Welcome to Pre Certification Video, the ultimate source for information on UK pre-cert videos and rare video releases from around the world.

We have a lively collector's discussion forum, so feel free to sign up and join in the chat. Our forums are private, so you will need to register before you can read and post messages.

We maintain the world's largest database of UK pre-cert video releases which currently lists over 13,000 titles on VHS, Betamax, V2000, laserdisc and CED disc, issued between the earliest days of the home video format until the end of 1985. We also have an Australian pre-cert video database in progress, Watch this space for future additions! follow us on Facebook

Latest User Video Reviews

The Groove Tube (1974)
written by Lee James Turnock
Largely shot in 1971, Ken Shapiro's saucy upstart of a film paved the way for the good (Kentucky Fried Movie), the bad (Tunnel Vision) and the ugly (the less said about Outtakes, the better) with a very loosely connected series of spoofs of television news, advertising, programming and presentation, along with other bits of silliness that are here for no apparent reason - a psychedelic animated sequence, for example, and the closing sketch, a memorable (like it or not) bit of hidden camera malarkey in which Shapiro's pastel-suited song and dance man hoofs and croons his way through a lounge number to the amusement or bewilderment of several passers-by in a busy city street. Elsewhere, it's a healthy mixture of the subversive (a children's television presenter who orders the grown-ups out of the room before reading pornographic literature to the viewers), the outrageous ('Safety Sam', a public information film mascot who turns out to be a none-too-subtly disguised set of male genitals), the sublimely stupid and the downright baffling, along with some misfires that probably only made sense if you lived in America in the early seventies - the emphasis being on the 'probably', there. It's no classic, but it's good-natured knockabout fun that will more than likely provide you with a few chuckles on a dull evening, so if naughty sketch comedy is your bag, track it down. 
By the Sea (1982)
written by Lee James Turnock
A largely silent fifty-minute comedy shot on location on the Dorset coast and featuring the Two Ronnies? Who could possibly complain about such an innocent venture? Step forward that stalwart self-appointed defender of the nation's morals, Mary Whitehouse, who objected to such obviously shocking sights as Ronnie Corbett being forcibly ejected from a revolving door and someone being poked in the back of the head with a parasol. That aside, By the Sea has something of a chequered history. Having scored a modest degree of success with his earlier 'grumble and grunt' comedies Futtock's End and the Picnic (and having become one of the BBC's biggest stars in the meantime), Ronnie Barker was trusted with a pet project which sought to bring his beloved seaside postcard humour (Barker was a keen collector of printed ephemera, in particular saucy postcards) to the small screen and hopefully generate an ample supply of laughs in the process. Unfortunately, he was a little too close to the project and the first cut of what was intended as an hour-long special clocked in at almost ninety minutes and was judged to be a disaster. (Bear in mind that this was around the time the PC culture was taking shape and alternative comedy was loudly asserting itself as a force to be reckoned with). Alan JW Bell - best known today as the long-serving director of Last of the Summer Wine, but also a versatile and talented comedy director who had worked on the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ripping Yarns and Spike Milligan's There's A Lot Of It About - was brought in to reshape the footage, which he did, bringing the running time down to a more manageable fifty minutes and adding a specially commissioned score from the redoubtable Ronnie Hazlehurst into the bargain. According to Ronnie Barker, another producer wanted to cut the film down to half an hour, but Barker warned him that he'd leave the BBC if that happened. Perhaps inevitably, given the troubled production process, By the Sea isn't representative of the Two Ronnies at their best - Leslie Halliwell described it as 'Jacques Tati on an off day' - but it's worth a look on a slow afternoon, and it's consistently mildly amusing as opposed to flat-out hilarious.
Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)
written by Lee James Turnock
Considering it began life as nothing more than a quick cash-in on George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (which was re-cut and reshaped for Italian audiences by none other than Dario Argento, with an appropriately eerie soundtrack by prog rockers Goblin) and Lucio Fulci was a last minute replacement for Enzo Castellari, Zombie Flesh Eaters has done pretty well for itself, and its ongoing reputation as one of the key texts of splatter cinema is due in no small part to Vipco's decision to release a 'STRONG UNCUT VERSION!' at a time when the truncated BBFC-approved X-rated version was still doing the rounds of cinemas up and down the country, allowing horror fans to see throats torn open, heads blown apart, eyeballs impaled on wooden spikes and several of the titular ghouls making a meal of the recently-deceased Olga Karlatos. Fast-paced, handsomely photographed with some impressive location work, well-directed by the gorefather himself and featuring a surprisingly starry cast (Richard Johnson! Ian McCulloch! Tisa Farrow!), Zombie Flesh Eaters is one of only a select few video nasties that will appeal to casual horror fans and cinema enthusiasts alike, making it an absolute must-see.

What is a Pre-Cert?

A "pre-cert video" (Pre-Certification) is any videotape (or laserdisc/CED) issued in the UK before the introduction of the 1984 Video Recordings Act.

Pre-cert videos were not required by law to be submitted to the BBFC so the era was unregulated, leading to many uncut releases of videos which would have fallen foul of the BBFC's strict guidelines, and would therefore have been censored if submission to the board was a legal requirement.

However, whilst many of the larger respectable companies simply issued their previously BBFC certificated cinema releases onto video to play safe as they feared there was bound to be a clampdown at some stage, some of the smaller independent companies decided to take advantage of the unregulated video rentals market by issuing "strong uncut" versions depicting graphic violence and gore. A whole barrage of titles previously banned by the BBFC from getting a cinema release suddenly ended up uncensored on home video.

What began as a bill drafted by little known Luton Tory back bencher Graham Bright was made law after he and the tabloid press (most notably The Daily Mail) had successfully whipped the media into a frenzied hysteria over so-called "video nasties". Ban the Sadist Videos! was one of the more famous headlines they ran. When the bill was made law it became a legal requirement that all videotapes must be submitted to the BBFC for classification (and possible cuts).

The pre-cert video era is best remembered (amongst horror fans in particular) for the ensuing "video nasty" debacle in which a selection of 72 videotapes were singled out and prosecuted by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) under Section 2 or Section 3 of the OPA (Obscene Publications Act). Of these, 39 titles were deemed by the courts to be obscene and it's those titles which formed the final "Video Nasties list.

Video releases from this unregulated "pre-cert" era have become increasingly collectible items. Whilst most can be picked up cheaply on eBay and through second hand stores and car boot sales, many titles are highly sought after. In fact some of the very hard to find titles have been known to command prices in excess of £500. There remains to this day a very dedicated pre-cert collector's market, and most of these die-hard collectors can be found lurking in this very web site's discussion forum.

Link: The Video Recordings Act, 1984

Link: About the BBFC

Wanted!

The owners of pre-cert.co.uk are urgently searching for original magazines and memorabilia from the early days of the home video industry, in particular video trade magazines and video company catalogues.

If you have any of the following magazines you are happy to part with please contact us. These will be invaluable additions to our archive and will help us to expand the site considerably. We'll gladly pay for anything offered.

We're also searching for video releasing company catalogues, stock lists, video sleeves, in-store posters, promo items, in fact anything which will assist us in adding to our growing archive and improve our database.

Trade Mags
  • Video Business
  • Video News
  • Video Retailer
  • Video Trade Weekly
  • Video Week

Consumer Mags
  • Music and Video
  • Popular Video
  • Television and Home Video
  • Video: The Magazine
  • Video Review
  • Video Today
  • Video Viewer
  • Video World