Ahead of the new horror film Censor, Leila Latif looks back at the "video nasty" panic that inspired it. Read an excerpt from the story below:
Prano Baily-Bond’s Censor has an otherworldly air about it. The protagonist, Enid (Niamh Algar), sits in a smoky Soho basement, wearing a high-buttoned shirt and gold-rimmed spectacles, watching and re-watching footage of blood-splattered women. She carefully cuts out shots of entrails and glimpses of genitals but permits a little “screwdriver stuff.” This windowless purgatory under seedy neon lights may feel like a Black Mirror dystopia of censorship, a fictional world in the grips of a sinister government fixated on salacious art. In reality, the film (which hits American theaters June 11 and VOD June 18) is reflecting a very real moment in relatively recent U.K. history: the early 1980s, an era of bizarre moral panic. It’s the age of the so-called video nasties.