Staffordshire University lecturer debunks myths about video nasties in new book



A new book has debunked the myths behind ‘video nasties’ which sparked a moral panic among the public in the 1980s.

It has been written by Dr Mark McKenna, a lecturer in film, television and radio studies at Staffordshire University.

Called ‘Nasty Business: The Marketing And Distribution of the Video Nasties’, the book explores how the industry became caricatured and vilified by campaigners like Mary Whitehouse and tabloid newspapers.

Mark said: “A lot of those histories paint Britain as this pastoral land facing the creeping threat of unregulated video nasties and ignore the fact that 39 of the 72 films targeted as video nasties had already been released in cinemas.

“They relied on the idea that these videos were a new threat and particularly preyed upon the idea of the feckless working classes who might commit copy-cat crimes.”

To celebrate the book’s launch, Mark will be joined by a panel of experts for a virtual roundtable discussion on Monday (January 25) to look at the legacy of the genre.

People can join the event, which starts at 6pm, on Zoom. The meeting code is ID 813 8797 1682.





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