Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Dr. Sparkle Sidequest

My Goodness! It's a top secret preview of my new project, only available to those who read the blogs or check the Twitter account! So this is a soft launch, sort of a pilot episode of this new series, not viewable on Youtube without the link.

This thing doesn't even technically have a title yet. Uh, if you have any clever suggestions let me know.  This is a film-related video series, focusing specifically on a bizarre phenomenon that's always fascinated me, the "Video Nasties." I have a filmed intro in this video where I give some explanation as to what exactly a video nasty is. In short, there was a moral panic in the UK during the early 80s over imported horror films on VHS tape. This lead to a number of video tapes being straight-out banned. Much of the outrage over these so-called video nasties was fueled by sensationalistic tabloids.


In most cases, police would simply raid video stores, seizing tapes that looked morally objectionable. Eventually an official list of seizable video titles was compiled; the videos on this list comprise the filmic corpus known as the 'video nasties'; films that were so violent and revolting it was illegal to sell them. They range from well-known horror/sleaze classics such as Lucio Fulci's Zombie or Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust to completely obscure stuff like the movie covered in this episode. It's a fascinating list of films, and I'm sure we'll make some great discoveries working through them.

The format is this: each episode I examine another film on the list, sort of at random (but not really). I plan each episode to be around 15-20 minutes in length. This pilot has a long introduction from me, so it runs a bit over. There are a few potential problems with this series. One: most of these films are copyrighted and this could lead to requests for their removal. And, Two: the content on these could fall afoul of YouTube's content standards. Supposedly you aren't allowed to show too much crazy stuff on YouTube (though there's plenty of it to be found if you look.) Anything that gets pulled from YouTube should be able to exist on Archive. Consider this episode to be test run for the series.

Here's the video:



If you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc, please let me know.


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

DO.NOT. USE. THE. CHRONTENDO. ACCOUNT.

VirtualAlex said...

Seems like a fine idea.

Skymaster T said...

I like it! And I have no problem with posting it here on the Chrontendo blog. Not sure why Mr. Anonymous has his/her panties in a bunch about it.

Sean Clements said...

@skymaster probrably Anonymous doesn't want the Crontendo channel banned from youtube most likely. I say fuck it, there is always archive.org.

Anyway I was perusing the list and there were a handful of movies I recognized that were pretty good. Especially the Italian ones. Will you also be coverening some of the additionally films listed on wikipedia that while not being on the nasties list, were raided and constipated by police,mor banned in the UK, for example Shogun's Assasins and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? And of course I noticed one of my teenage favorites was on this list, Faces of Death.

I will definetly be watching this series. I'm just glad it wasn't about records.

Sean Clements said...

Oh jeez, gotta proof read more, that should read confiscated not constipated.

Also I can't think of a good title for a series with Nasties in it. The best I could come up with was maybe Dredful Nasties or Penny Nasties as a play on the similar phenomenon of the penny dreadful a books that also caused alarm at the corruption of England's yout and crime a hundred years earlier.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it would be a bad idea to use the Chrontendo account for this. It's a big departure (for those who don't follow Dr. Sparkle on Twitter) from what we usually see from him. Don't forget YouTube will lump everything one does in one playlist, so the unwary who decide to run Chrontendo while doing something else could get quite the eye opener.

Craig Morris said...

Liking very much what I'm seeing so far and I feel as Dr Sparkle is presenting, It's home should be on the Chrontendo channel. Love to see an American perspective on some that is a British phenomenon too!

Bahamut Dragons said...

I wasn't a fan, but I've no doubt this will interest someone.

Other than agreeing that perhaps another account than the Chrontendo one would be preferable, I also think you might want to vary the audio to highlight character dialogue during the instances where you let the video run.

k8track said...

How about using a second account called "Chrontendo After Dark?"

Horgh666 said...

Man, again with the Nasties?

I suppose gamers unfamiliar with the world of horror cinema and its history might be interested as it'll be all new to them (especially the younger ones).

As for me, it's ok, but I'm not sure I need yet another retrospective on the Nasties.

Jason said...

I would also prefer not to see these videos on the same channel as the Chrontendo videos.

M Steven Arnone said...

Dude. This is a LOT of fun and great first outing for a new series. Super looking forward to more, man.

Some of the shot compositions in this thing are like, marvelously bad, btw, especially around Cole's office. In particular, that portrait of his girlfriend had me in stitches.


Anonymous said...

I'm interested in seeing more but agree there are practical reasons not to post these on YouTube under Chrontendo.

Anonymous said...

For a title, what about "Save the Video Nasties"?

Anonymous said...

There's no way you're gonna get away with the nudity on YouTube, they only allow that if you're huge or it just slips through. It would make total sense however for you to use Vimeo, which I'm pretty sure allows that stuff. Definitely don't use the actual chrontendo account on YouTube though, that's for sure.

I like the series! Looking forward to the real start.

Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable, but I defnitely agree with those who are advising you NOT to use the Chrontendo channel for this. There's a very good chance it'll get flagged for various copyright nonsense, despite the fact that, as a review/commentary, it's protected as fair use. It'd be a shame for that to have a negative impact on the Chrontendo project (or at least its presence on YouTube).

That said, it's great fun. You make thoughtful points about the movie's context and political/cultural undertones, as well as the structural issues inherent in the genre. Toxic Zombies looks like exactly the kind of movie I'd love to check out: campy late-'70s/early-'80s stylings, not too much gore, just the right amount of incompetence. I wish we knew what that strange ending was all about -- I was saddened to learn of the director's death, since he may have been the only person who could shed light on it.

Looking forward to more entries in the series! Oh and BTW, the very end cuts off, but I assume you probably know that already.

GarrettCRW said...

I'm all for this idea, though YouTube may be a hassle, between content and certain rights holders (mainly for the few major studio films on the Video Nasty list). A couple of thoughts, though:

1) The scandal got so big that Doctor Who allegedly riffed on it during its infamously dark, violent, and badly written 21st season with the story Vengeance on Varos (which is one of the better stories of the season). However, the end result feels a lot more like a take on reality television.

2) One thing I've found funny about the entire mess is that since the UK uses PAL, all of these "Nasties" play 4% too fast since the lazy way to transfer film to PAL is to speed it up (as the pulldown formula is far more complicated than NTSC's 3:2 pulldown).

Anonymous said...

My two favourite types of media as a kid in the 80s - Nintendo and awful horror movies (somehow I got away with watching Troma films when I was around 10?!).

Can't wait to see more of your look at video nasties!

Would adding pixels over nudity/gore portions help keep YouTube happy? Would mean more work for you, though... If you do use a different account, please let us know on here so I can keep following!

Thanks!

The Professor said...

Totally down for this! It'll be fun to see what you think of some of this trash. I personally just watched Island of Death the other week (spoiler alert: it's dumb). I, too, would recommend splitting this away from the Chrontendo youtube account. There's no way to discuss stuff like Cannibal Holocaust properly without going whole hog and that probably won't fly on the ol' youtubes.