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

Baby Love (Lemon Popsicle V) (1983)
written by Bigandy
The perfect Popsicle! In this 5th outing Benjy finds himself chased by Bobby's younger sister Ginny and he gradually falls in love with her. Of course they have to keep their romance secret just in case big brother finds out... Baby Love has its share of gratuitous sex comedy scenes some of which are very funny, but its the wonderful story of teenage love told against the background of possibly the best Popsicle soundtrack ever that really makes this a number one hit. Sadly, none of the later entries to the series ever felt as inspired. 
Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1974)
written by Lee James Turnock
A very strange piece of work indeed, this farcical reboot of Treasure Island was an independently-shot pet project of former Goons Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers, made when Sellers' career was at a low ebb due to a combination of health problems, his poor choice of projects and his own frequently toxic personality. Columbia Pictures passed on the chance to release the film, declaring it 'too parochial' (a polite way of saying that it just wasn't funny), so it sat on the shelf for the best part of a decade until finally seeing the light of day thanks to this video release on the old Rank label. Director Peter Medak either walked out or was sacked, leading to Sellers placing Milligan in the director's chair for a while, and it's obvious that Spike's talents lay in front of the camera rather than behind it.
The Great McGonagall (1974)
written by Lee James Turnock
Spike Milligan's take on the life and times of William Topaz
McGonagall, a notoriously awful Victorian poet. Whilst I consider myself a fan
of Milligan, I have to admit that his output - perhaps understandably, because
there was so bloody much of it - could be distinctly patchy, and the Great
McGonagall
 presents Spike at his unfettered, self-indulgent worst. If you
thought his Q series could be a slog to get through, you should give
this film a very wide berth. The film deconstructs itself as it goes along,
disintegrating entirely about halfway through when Milligan and his co-star
Victor Spinetti (Peter Sellers appears only briefly) make a hash of a scene and
proceed to go over their dialogue, apparently out of character, as director Joe
McGrath awkwardly coaches them. Having effectively scuppered itself, there's no
reason the viewer should hang on for the remainder either. There are occasional
flashes of genius, but nothing more, and the sludgy, underlit, squalid look of
the piece erodes the viewer's interest even before the opening titles have
finished rolling. One IMDB reviewer claims that this film is proof that Spike
was let out of the loony bin too early, and whilst that's a harsh verdict, it's
sadly not far from the truth.

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