Censors’ Working Overtime


What’s your favourite trilogy? Is it Star Wars? The Godfather? Or Days Are Numbers three part investigation into the history of film censorship in Britain, Banned for Glory (parts one, two and three)? My favourite is most definitely the latter.

Only joking, of course! (Or am I?) But overwhelmed as I am by the amount of related clips on YouTube, I thought it might be nice to revisit that seminal cycle of film writing with some added visual accompaniment. I actually find it rather hilarious that you can watch entire, gruesome sequences from notorious films that were completely banned but a few years ago, on a popular, freely accessible website. This is doubly hilarious when you bear in mind that YouTube not only heavily censors at the behest of questionable government’s (China’s, America’s, our own), but also steadfastedly refuses to show the slightest bit of boob, citing moral grounds (I feel I need to explain at this point that I DO NOT trawl YouTube looking for boobs – I only became aware of their policy after they took off a Charlie Brooker clip regarding the porn industry, so there!).

Anyway, moving swiftly on…

…Can you handle the sheer horror of The Cheese Mites? Believe it or not, this was the first film ever banned in Britain, way back in 1903.


A mere 68 years later, and Stanley Kubrick’s magnum opus, A Clockwork Orange, provoked the ire of the nation’s censors. Yes, pedants, it was never actually “banned”, but big Stan did withdraw it, and you couldn’t see the bloody thing for yonks. One place where you could see bits of it at least, was in BBC2’s superb documentary, Empire of the Censors, from 1995.

And viddy here, my droogs (ahem), the film’s majestic opening sequence in it’s entirety!

We all know The Exorcist is rubbish, don’t we? (Don’t we?!) So here instead is the trailer for the “hilarious” Leslie Neilsen spoof, Repossessed. A spoof of a film that was banned in Britain at the time, of course. It didn’t do very well here.

What could possibly drive a man to stalking the streets at night, murdering random passers-by with an electrical drill? Having his nice painting poo-pooed by a snooty art critic, that’s what! At least according to largely tedious Video Nasty, The Driller Killer.

The music from Cannibal Holocaust is both hauntingly sad and very, very beautiful. Why?

Simply the most disgusting scene in all of Video Nasty history, and thus probably the most disgusting scene in all of film history generally, watch here an unfortunate woman give birth to a fully grown man, in British Alien rip-off, Xtro. Or don’t watch if you’re easily offended/half-way normal.

What a palaver there was over the old ear-chopping scene in Reservoir Dogs! After Xtro, it comes as a welcome respite.

And finally… A trailer for one of only a handful of films still technically banned in Britain, the nigh impossible to find ultra-gory, incest melodrama, Nightmare Maker, here going under the longer title of Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker. WARNING: This trailer is a bit budget, and a bit weird.

That was a bit gross in places, wasn’t it? I just can’t believe that some lunatic has put that bit from Xtro on YouTube!

Anyway, here’s to when films used to be banned, not like now when you can watch them on your bloody iphone. And please, don’t have nightmares…

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