As you may have seen already, most banned films fall under the horror category. It just seems to be that horror is the genre that really bothers the censors. As this is the case, it is important to go to someone who flat out loves the genre. Steve Jones, 41, is a live music manager, venue manager and music promoter. But, he also runs Heaton Horror Museum, a Facebook page dedicated to all things horror.
Firstly, what are Steve’s memories of the Video Nasty period? He said he remembers it as “mass hysteria created purely by the politicians to benefit their agendas”. This is a common theme with many people who are asked about this. In the documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, it is put forward that one of the main reasons for the Nasties panic was so that the Conservative government of the time had a crusade to fight.
In regards to the Nasties period and the films that were placed on the DPP list, Steve says that he does not “think any thing should be banned. However out of the entire list I genuinely feel only one film should be restricted (available but with checks) and that is Fight For Your Life. It is a fantastic and shocking grindhouse film but the racial connotations have no place in 2017″. To provide insight, Fight For Your Life is filled with hideous racist language and is actually the only film to have been banned in the UK due purely to language.
It also brings us on to a more recent film with a very similar story and feel to Fight For Your Life, which was Hate Crime. from director James Cullen Bressack. In regards to Hate Crime, Steve said that he feels that “Hate Crime is very much like a modern Fight For Your Life, with its negative racial stereotypes and rape scenes. It is a throwback piece. I can not think of anything that should be banned outright. Peoples perception on what is offensive is personal. Personally, Moana is offensive to me as my baby daughter watches it a lot”.
It is a fair point to argue that what is offensive is all about personal perception. What one person will find completely unacceptable will be fine with some others. It is whether that crosses a line. Some feel that some of these films do. When asked whether he feels a film can be responsible for causing violence, Steve said “I think this is the perfect scapegoat. Either by the politicians with agendas or by the individuals themselves after they have been caught doing something. Of course it is possible for someone to be damaged by a film’s content just in the same way some people break their leg when playing sports. It does not mean a blanket decision should be made”. In relation to this question, Steve also made mention of the horrific murder of James Bulger. In the media, some part of blame was placed on the film Child’s Play 3. This was all due to the fact that the father of one of the killers, John Venables, had rented the film, which it could be said is a tenuous link. But it was enough for some parts of the media to massively overreact, due in part to the ferocity of the crime.
Finally, Steve was asked about his thoughts on the BBFC and censorship in our modern society. He said that he believed that “the BBFC are pretty much irrelevant”, going on to say “I understand why they need to be in place but for anyone who wanted to search out something, it is not hard to do so anymore”. It is for this reason that Steve believes that “In 2017 banning is not even an option. The internet means EVERYTHING is available.”