Search UK Database:
Search AUS Database:
Recent Threads:
Now Available:
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

Death Game (1976)
written by Lee James Turnock
Even hardened fans of exploitation and trash cinema are likely to find this lurid shocker, starring the one-time wife of Clint Eastwood and Kirkland from Police Academy 2 as a pair of psycho trollops who make a middle-aged businessman's life a misery. Shoddily made, with eyeball-searing photography, a dirt-floor atmosphere and performances that make the late Rik Mayall's turn in Drop Dead Fred look like a masterpiece of subtle underplaying, Death Game is the cinematic equivalent of babysitting the two most annoying and hyperactive children in the street, and the jaw-dropping ending makes it abundantly clear that either the money ran out or everyone involved got bored and went home. Jimmie Haskell contributes a goofy song called 'Good Old Dad' that pops up at random moments throughout the brain-scrambling proceedings, and you'll be interested to know that whilst windows can be made shatter-proof, they obviously can't be made cat-proof.
Take an Easy Ride (1975)
written by Lee James Turnock
Kenneth Rowles was one of the great 'nearly men' of British exploitation. In 1970, he created a thirteen-part series based around the physical charms of actress Luan Peters called Go Girl, but it was promptly shelved and remained unreleased for years. His last directing job was a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen in 1987. 1976 proved to be Rowles' banner year, as he produced the dismal but profitable sex comedy the Ups and Downs of a Handyman and directed this controversial offering, which started life as a public information film intended for television broadcast before the Wardour Street fraternity heard about it and turned it into a full-blown exploitation quickie, proudly wearing its X rating and occupying one Soho cinema for the best part of a year.
If you've ever wondered what a cross between John MacKenzie's Apaches and Wes Craven's Last House on the Left would look like, Take an Easy Ride will satisfy your curiosity. The dangers of hitch-hiking are spelled out in typically sensationalist manner, with two bad girls who think nothing of stealing the tips jar and a knife from a motorway cafe before stabbing some poor sod who was dim enough to offer them a lift, an attractive blonde who finds herself seduced by a middle-aged bisexual whilst her portly husband (sporting a nasty pair of nylon Y-fronts) takes photographs, and a couple of female hippies en route to a rock concert get driven into the woods by a pornography addict who subjects them to a graphic and pretty disturbing ordeal - all shot in the same cruddy, bleached-out, grainy 16mm stock as the Central Office of Information's galvanizing daytime fillers ("I am the spirit of dark and lonely water..."), edited with a breadknife and a pot of glue, and accompanied by library music from the DeWolfe catalogue. Clocking in at just under forty minutes, Take an Easy Ride doesn't outstay its welcome and is best viewed nowadays as one of the genuine curios of the golden age of British exploitation.
The Phantom Tollbooth (1969)
written by Lee James Turnock
I really wanted to like this one. Chuck Jones is an animation legend, responsible for some of the funniest cartoons of all time, but by the mid-sixties his magic touch seemed to desert him. How the Grinch Stole Christmas was great, of course, but his stewardship of the last batch of Tom and Jerry cartoons... lovely to look at, and a definite improvement over the Gene Deitch-directed penny-scraping shorts that preceded them, but not remotely funny. The Phantom Tollbooth finds Jones firmly stuck in neutral, bringing a sketchy, rather bland children's television style to Norton Juster's celebrated novella, and coming over all solemn and preachy into the bargain. Naturally, given the timeframe, it's trippy and experimental, but when you've got Chuck Jones at the helm and some of the characters look like they were hurriedly scribbled in the back of a school exercise book during a dreary maths lesson, you have to wonder if all that experimentation was necessarily a good thing. Mel Blanc, Toontown's greatest ever voice, brings a dash of humour to the proceedings, but the songs are bland and youngsters are more likely to be bored than enthralled. Oh, and the paranoid Officer Shortshrift was 'homaged' (that's a polite way of putting it) by the makers of Jamie and the Magic Torch with their Officer Gotcha character.

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