Video Nasty | BBC horror comedy in the works

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Creep director Christopher Smith will direct episodes of horror comedy series Video Nasty for BBC Three. Here are the first details:

British director Christopher Smith has made an eclectic range of films, from the tube tunnel terror of Creep to the mind bending time loop thriller Triangle, the historical horror of Black Death to the family fun of Get Santa (an opportune moment to point out that Get Santa is a hugely underappreciated British festive movie). He returned to horror with 2020’s The Banishing, and his next film, Spider Island, looks like it will have a similarly irreverent mix of horror and comedy to his 2006 hit Severance.

According to British Comedy Guide, Smith is also set to direct episodes of Video Nasty, a new horror comedy series for BBC Three.

The story is “set in 1985, with the home video revolution in full analogue swing, Video Nasty’s six 30-minute episodes tell the story of three mostly-normal-but-kind-of-weird teenagers who go on a epic quest to complete a cult VHS collection. Instead, they get mixed up in a murder investigation, becoming chief suspects and public enemies”.

The show, which is a co-production between Canadian company Boat Rocker and Ireland’s Deadpan Pictures, is written by Hugh Travers, who previously wrote episodes of Irish sitcom Finding Joy. It also reunites Smith with Triangle producer Julie Baines, who co-produces alongside Ailish McElmeel. Megan Fox will also direct episodes. The cast has not been confirmed.

McElmeel said “Deadpan are delighted to work with Hugh Travers and Julie Baines again and with veteran director Christopher Smith at the helm, Video Nasty is sure to be a horror-filled treat for BBC, Virgin Media Television and WDR audiences early next year”.

Smith previously appeared in Jake West and Marc Morris’ superb 2010 documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape, which examined the phenomenon of banning controversial horror films in the UK during the 1980s. The DVD is out of print, but if you can find a copy it is well worth watching (it’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the UK at the time of writing). Film historians and experts like Kim Newman explain the phenomenon, which included films like The Texas Chainsaw MassacreThe Driller Killer and Cannibal Holocaust.

Video Nasty will air on BBC Three, BBC Northern Ireland and iPlayer, as well as on Virgin Media Television in Ireland.

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