Cannibal Nazis! Our definitive guide to the most notorious movies ever made. I n , home video arrived — a new medium which briefly enjoyed a period beyond the legal purview of the British Board of Film Censors as it was then known , whose influence was confined to public exhibition. For a time video stores — essentially cowboy operations — could rent anything to anyone, unexpurgated and unregulated, and the owners of these establishments were quick to realise that the films with lurid sleeve art and tawdry titles moved off the shelves fastest. This newfound freedom soon spawned a moral panic, spearheaded by a collection of sensation-seeking tabloids, god-bothering zealots, raid-happy coppers and pig-ignorant politicians. In all, 72 films — mostly horror titles — were proscribed on the Video Nasties list, although only 39 were ever successfully prosecuted.
Video nasty is a colloquial term popularised  by the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association NVALA in the United Kingdom to refer to a number of films , typically low-budget horror and exploitation films, distributed on video cassette that were criticised for their violent content by the press, social commentators and various religious organisations in the early s. These video releases were not brought before the British Board of Film Classification BBFC due to a loophole in film classification laws that allowed videos to bypass the review process. The resulting uncensored video releases led to public debate concerning the availability of these films to children due to the unregulated nature of the market. Following a campaign led by Mary Whitehouse and the NVALA, prosecutions were commenced against individuals engaged in trades exploiting allegedly obscene videos. To assist local authorities in identifying obscene films, the Director of Public Prosecutions released a list of 72 films the office believed to violate the Obscene Publications Act This list included films that had either been previously acquitted of obscenity or already obtained BBFC certification. In addition, a second list was released that contained an additional 82 titles which were not believed to lead to obscenity convictions but could nonetheless be confiscated under the Act's forfeiture laws.