There is no quicker way to create a cult film than to have that film banned somewhere. Anywhere, be it Boston or Britain. When movies, like books, are banned everyone wants to see it. Such maneuvers have helped to create a market for movies that would otherwise fall into obscurity. Not all of them are bad movies but the majority of them were made during the slasher period and, other than blood or sex, have nothing to keep viewers viewing. As far as banned movies are concerned, they could have bad acting, scripts, zero plot, bad editing, bad cinematography, the list goes on, but if it contains boobs and blood then someone will want to ban it and everyone else will want to see it.

There are countries that banned films because of negative views of the government, such as Cuba, negative views on the Muslim religion, such as Kuwait or depictions of homosexuality like in Kenya, as well as various other reasons a country wants to keep information from its people. “The Justice League” 2017 was banned in Lebanon because of Israeli actress Gal Gadot. “Funny Girl” 1968 was banned in Egypt because Egyptian Muslim Omar Sharif’s character was portrayed as having a romantic relationship with Jewish actress Barbara Streisand. The German Nazi propaganda film “Titanic” 1943 was banned in Germany by Joseph Goebbels until 1949, even though it was a Nazi propaganda film made under the direction of Joseph Goebbels. He felt that some scenes could demoralize the audience, hence Nazis. “Gone With the Wind” 1939 was banned in Russia for a time. No one knows why. The majority though, are banned because of sex and violence.

Very few movies are banned in the U.S. and those are mostly by individual states or even cities. None of them are still banned.

In Britain most of their banned movies were released on video cassette. Due to a loophole concerning the “British Board of Film Classification” (BBFC) videos were not subject to the board and were released, as is, for consumption. During the height of these exploitation films, Britain, mostly in the form of the National Viewers and Listeners’ Association (NVALA) decided to crack down on such garbage and took steps to ban them from Britain. They prosecuted producers, distributors and retailers for what they believed were obscene videos. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) made a list of 72 films they believed violated the “Obscene Publications Act” of 1959.

The list, affectionately known as “Video Nasties”, was made public in 1983 and was reviewed monthly. Since then many of the banned and or seized films have now been certified by the BBFC and are now legal to own in Britain, some because of cuts done to bring the films in line with the Act. A few are still banned, either because changes were never made or the films were never resubmitted for classification.

39 of the original 72 were successfully prosecuted and banned. The remaining 33 were either acquitted or not prosecuted. Many were still seized and burned. An additional list of 82 films were not deemed obscene but could be confiscated under the Act’s forfeiture laws.

Prosecuted Films


01. Absurd (1981)
02. Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1974)
03. Anthropophagus Beast, The (1980)
04. Axe (1977)
05. Beast in Heat, The (1977)
06. Blood Bath (1971)
07. Blood Feast (1963)
08. Blood Rites (1968)
09. Bloody Moon (1981)
10. Burning, The (1980)
11. Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)
12. Cannibal Ferox (1981)
13. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
14. Cannibal Man, The (1972)
15. Devil Hunter, The (1980)
16. Don’t Go in the Woods... Alone! (1981)
17. Driller Killer, The (1979)
18. Evilspeak (1981)
19. Expose (1976)
20. Faces of Death (1978)
21. Fight for Your Life (1977)
22. Forest of Fear (1980)
23. Gestapo’s Last Orgy (1977)
24. House By the Cemetery, The (1981)
25. House on the Edge of the Park (1980)
26. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
27. Island of Death (1975)
28. Last House on the Left, The (1972)
29. Love Camp 7 (1969)
30. Madhouse (1981)
31. Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)
32. Night of the Bloody Apes (1970)
33. Night of the Demon (1980)
34. Nightmares in a Damaged Brain (1981)
35. Snuff (1976)
36. SS Experiment Camp (1976)
37. Tenebrae (1982)
38. Werewolf and the Yeti, The (1975)
39. Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)

Non Prosecuted Films


40. Beyond, The (1981)
41. Bogey Man, The (1980)
42. Cannibal Terror (1981)
43. Contamination (1981)
44. Dead and Buried (1981)
45. Death Trap (1977)
46. Deep River Savages (1972)
47. Delirium (1979)
48. Don't Go in the House (1980)
49. Don't Go Near the Park (1981)
50. Don't Look in the Basement (1973)
51. Evil Dead, The (1982)
52. Frozen Scream (1975)
53. Funhouse, The (1981)
54. Human Experiments (1980)
55. I Miss You, Hugs & Kisses (1978)
56. Inferno (1980)
57. Killer Nun (1978)
58. Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, The (1974)
59. Night Train Murders (1975)
60. Nightmare Maker (1983)
61. Possession (1981)
62. Pranks (1982)
63. Prisoner of the Cannibal God (1978)
64. Revenge of the Bogey Man (1983)
65. Slayer, The (1983)
66. Terror Eyes (1981)
67. Toolbox Murders, The (1978)
68. Unhinged (1982)
69. Visiting Hours (1982)
70. Witch Who Came From the Sea, The (1976)
71. Women Behind Bars (1975)
72. Zombie Creeping Flesh (1980)

Not Banned But Open To Seizure


01. Abducted (a.k.a. Schoolgirls in Chains) (1973)
02. The Aftermath (a.k.a. Zombie Aftermath) (1982)
03. The Black Room (1982)
04. Blood Lust (a.k.a. Mosquito the Rapist) (1976)
05. Blood Song (1982)
06. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1974)
07. Brutes and Savages (1977)
08. Cannibal (a.k.a. Ultimo Mondo Cannibale and Last Cannibal World) (1977)
09. Cannibal World (a.k.a. Mondo Cannibale and The Cannibals) (1980)
10. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)
11. The Child (1977)
12. Christmas Evil (a.k.a. You Better Watch Out) (1980)
13. Communion (a.k.a. Alice Sweet Alice) (1976)
14. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
15. Dawn of the Mummy (1981)
16. Dead Kids (a.k.a. Strange Behavior) (1981)
17. Death Weekend (a.k.a. The House by the Lake) (1976)
18. Deep Red (a.k.a. Profondo Rosso) (1975)
19. Demented (1980)
20. The Demons (a.k.a. Les Démons) (1973)
21. Don't Answer the Phone (1980)
22. Eaten Alive! (1980)
23. Enter the Devil (a.k.a. Disciples Of Death) (1972)
24. The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1972)
25. The Evil (1978)
26. The Executioner (a.k.a. Massacre Mafia Style) (1974)
27. Final Exam (1981)
28. Foxy Brown (1974)
29. Friday the 13th (1980)
30. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
31. GBH (a.k.a. Grievous Bodily Harm) (1988)
32. Graduation Day (1981)
33. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
34. The Headless Eyes (1971)
35. Hell Prison (1980)
36. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
37. Home Sweet Home (1981)
38. Honeymoon Horror (1982)
39. Inseminoid (1981)
40. Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)
41. The Killing Hour (a.k.a. The Clairvoyant) (1982)
42. The Last Horror Film (a.k.a. Fanatic) (1982)
43. The Last Hunter (1980)
44. The Love Butcher (1975)
45. Mad Foxes (1981)
46. Mark of the Devil (1970)
47. Martin (1977)
48. Massacre Mansion (a.k.a. Mansion of the Doomed) (1976)
49. Mausoleum (1983)
50. Midnight (1982)
51. Naked Fist (a.k.a. Firecracker) (1981)
52. The Nesting (1981)
53. The New Adventures of Snow White (a.k.a. Grimm Fairy Tales for Adults) (1969)
54. Nightbeast (1982)
55. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
56. Nightmare City (a.k.a. City of the Walking Dead) (1980)
57. Oasis of the Zombies (1982)
58. Parasite (1982)
59. Phantasm (1979)
60. Pigs (a.k.a. Daddy's Deadly Darling) (1973)
61. Prey (1977)
62. Prom Night (1980)
63. Rabid (1977)
64. Rosemary's Killer (a.k.a. The Prowler) (1981)
65. Savage Terror (a.k.a. Primitives) (1980)
66. Scanners (1981)
67. Scream for Vengeance! (1980)
68. Shogun Assassin (1980)
69. Street Killers (a.k.a. Beast with a Gun) (1977)
70. Suicide Cult (a.k.a. The Astrologer) (1975)
71. Superstition (a.k.a. The Witch) (1982)
72. Suspiria (1977)
73. Terror (1978)
74. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
75. The Thing (1982)
76. Tomb of the Living Dead (a.k.a. Mad Doctor of Blood Island) (1969)
77. The Toy Box (1971)
78. Werewolf Woman (1976)
79. Wrong Way (1972)
80. Xtro (1982)
81. Zombie Holocaust (1980)
82. Zombie Lake (1981)

Films banned by the BBFC but not classified as video nasties


01. Manic (1980)
02. Mother's Day (1980)
03. The New York Ripper (1982)
04. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
05. Straw Dogs (1971)

Other films seized by police but not classed as video nasties


01. Basket Case (1982)
02. Blood for Dracula (1974)
03. City of the Living Dead (1980)
04. Macabre (1980)
05. Madman (1982)
06. Night of the Seagulls (1975)
07. Terror Express (1979)

Other films


A Clockwork Orange – (1971) The film was not banned but was withdrawn by Stanley Kubrick from exhibition in the UK in 1973 due to his receiving death threats. The film was also reported to be responsible for copycat violence. After Kubrick’s death the film was rereleased in 2000 in the UK, uncut, in theaters and on VHS and DVD.

Child's Play 3 – (1991) The film was reportedly the inspiration for the real-life murder of 2 year old James Bulger in 1993 and 16 year old Suzanne Capper in 1992.

The Exorcist – (1973) The film was never officially banned by BBF censor James Ferman prevented the release on video. His concern was that the age of the possessed girl, she was twelve, might appeal to underage viewers as well as concerns of mass hysteria in young people who believe they are possessed. After Ferman retired from the BBF the film was released for home viewing, uncut.

Last House on Dead End Street – (1977) AKA “The Fun House”. Whether or not it was this film or another film titled “The Funhouse” 1981 that was the intended victim of being banned is in question. The film “The Funhouse” did get banned for a time.

Scum – (1979) This movie was originally a made for TV film done by the BBC. It was never broadcast due to the violence and suicides in the film until 1991 when it was screened only once. Instead it was retooled and released in theaters. It was released on VHS in 1983 during the Video Nasties controversy.

Mikey – (1992) The BBFC balked on giving this film a certificate because of the controversy that it might be associated with the 1993 murder of 2 year old James Bulger. The film is still unrated and prohibited in the UK.