Darkside Interview
An interview with Tom Beauvais

Its difficult to imagine now in the age of media-on-demand

that once upon a time you could be prosecuted for owning or distributing horror films! The same films that you can find free and uncensored on YouTube could have landed you in court in 1984. Prior to the introduction of the Video Recordings Act in 1984 there was no regulation covering the censorship of home video and no designated body to enforce any regulation if there was any!

The uptake in video had been been so meteoric, quickly shifting from a 'cottage industry' to an industry serving over 6 million homes in 1983 that it left the authorities reeling to deal with the uncensored, unexpurgated product that was being offered. Campaigners such as Mary Whitehouse, a long-time media lobbyist rapidly attacked the burgeoning industry and the debased videos on offer. The campaign came to attention of parliament when MP Graham Bright introduced a private members bill to call for censorship of these videos. Bolstered by a 'bogus' piece of research by Dr Clifford Hill into the effects these low budget gems where having on the children, the bill was quickly moved through parliament which resulted in the BBFC, who up until 1984 were a voluntary industry body offering only recommendations to local councils, becoming an official body with a legal requirement to certificate and censor any video for viewing in the home.

So any video produced prior to 1984 is considered pre-certificate, a video produced before the law. Lets hope given recent media coverage we aren't bemoaning the loss of freedoms associated with the internet in the years to come.

We shall see...

If you would like to know more about this period take a look over at