CHUD contest details at bottom

As some of you may know, I am a programmer at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles, which kicks cinema ass out of the historic Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax year-round. Specifically, along with my partner in villainy Sebastian O’Brien, I program Cinefamily’s horror midnight movie series Friday Night Frights. Naturally, October is a more involved month for Sebastian and I than usual. Last year we did special franchise triple-features (inspired by my Franchise Me articles). But this year, we all went a bit mad…

As part of Cinefamily’s upcoming month-long horror celebration NIGHTMARE CITY (co-presented by Elijah Wood’s The Woodshed Horror Company), we’re about to do something so over-the-top, so insane, and so soul-warpingly fantastic that I still can’t believe we actually fucking pulled it off. Cinefamily is doing midnight shows every single night in October; 35mm screenings of films from the infamous list of “Video Nasties”.

British horror fans know the Nasties all too well. Back in 1982, a moral panic erupted in the U.K. under the iron fist of Margaret Thatcher and her cohorts in media censorship, who found it handy to blame all of society’s ills (and particularly its maladjusted children) on those nasty, nasty horror movies sitting on video shelves around the country. Using rigged data, trumped-up reports in some of the shiftier papers and an easily frightened public, a number of gory films — 72, to be exact, with almost all of them Italian or American — wound up as official societal scapegoats, and were either eventually banned or reissued in drastically cut versions. A most baffling criteria for inclusion on the list: that there was no true criteria, other than, when viewed through today’s lens, that they all be as awesome as possible. This scandalous rundown of films ranges from bona fide classics (The Evil Dead, Possession) to top-tier trash (Evilspeak, Faces of Death).

To mark the 30th Anniversary of the Video Nasties legacy — and to examine over the years how much the brand (in a literal sense) has become a badge of pride rather than a mark of shame — we’re not only going to offer almost thirty Video Nasty midnight shows in a row in October, but we’re also going to have a free screening of the brand-new documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape at the top of the month, to get everyone jazzed about the series, and to provide highly entertaining cultural background on the whole shebang.

Monday, Oct. 1st, 10PM (free admission): Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape
Monday, Monday, Oct. 1st, midnight – Night Warning
Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, midnight – Hell of the Living Dead
Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, midnight – The Witch Who Came From The Sea
Thursday, Oct. 4th, midnight – Axe
Friday, Oct. 5th, midnight – Evilspeak
Saturday, Oct. 6th, midnight – Inferno
Sunday, Oct. 7th, midnight – Dead & Buried
Monday, Oct. 8th, midnight – Visiting Hours
Tuesday, Oct. 9th, midnight – The Funhouse
Wednesday, Oct. 10th, midnight – Cannibal Apocalypse
Thursday, Oct. 11th, midnight – The Burning
Friday, Oct. 12th, midnight – XTRO
Saturday, Oct. 13th, midnight – The Evil Dead
Sunday, Oct. 14th, midnight – Possession
Monday, Oct. 15th, midnight – Night of the Bloody Apes
Tuesday, Oct. 16th, midnight – The Toolbox Murders
Wednesday, Oct. 17th, midnight – Driller Killer
Thursday, Oct. 18th, midnight – Mardi Gras Massacre
Friday, Oct. 19th, midnight – The Beyond
Saturday, Oct. 20th, midnight – Blood Feast
Sunday, Oct. 21st, midnight – Anthrophophagus
Monday, Oct. 22th, midnight – Snuff
Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, midnight – Fight For Your Life
Wednesday, Oct. 24th, midnight – The House on the Edge of the Park
Thursday, Oct. 25th, midnight – Nightmares In A Damaged Brain
Friday, Oct. 26th, midnight – Faces of Death
Sunday, Oct. 28th, midnight – Cannibal Ferox
Monday, Oct. 29th, midnight – The Last House on the Left
Tuesday, Oct. 30th, midnight – I Spit On Your Grave
Wednesday, Oct. 31st, midnight – Cannibal Holocaust

Tickets and further info can be gathered here.

In true William Castle fashion, we’re also staging a challenge to horror fans. How hardcore are you? VIDEO NASTIES WATCH-A-THON CONTEST! Who among you thinks they have what it takes to sit through 30 midnights in a row of toolbox murdering, driller killing, blood feasting, evilspeaking and Mardi Gras massacring? We’re talking to you, sucka! Here’s your chance to prove your mettle, and become King or Queen of the Damaged Brains! Whomever sits through the highest number of fully completed Video Nasties screenings this October will receive:

3RD PLACE: the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”
2ND PLACE: a vintage large-format French theatrical poster for The Burning + the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”
1ST PLACE: the chance to guest-program an upcoming Cinefamily midnight movie screening + the 3-DVD all-region UK box set “Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide”. In the event of a tie for first place, we will hold a Video Nasties trivia runoff live on the Cinefamily stage as a tiebreaker!


And because I love you all, I’m giving one lucky Los Angeles CHUD reader a chance to see EVERY SINGLE SHOW FOR FREE. That’s right. All 30 movies. See any many as you can handle. Here’s the dillio — email me at with NASTIES in the subject. Include your full name and convince me you’ll actually use the shit out of this opportunity. I don’t want this to go to some assclown who will only see two movies. Fuck that. Only the most demented should apply.