Pretty much every film fan has a view on the work of the censor or as they are now called, Compliance Officers and director Prado Bailey-Bond debut feature sets its story in the early 1980’s at the time of the controversial Video Recordings Act that saw a huge number of films effectively banned and videos shops being raided by police seizing VHS cassettes and the owners prosecuted. The debacle was a compete mess resulting in films like Evil Dead being banned and even The Exorcist, whilst not banned, being refused a certificate meaning it could not be stocked in video shops.  So there’s a certain degree of irony that out for Home entertainment release is the limited Edition censor blu-ray.

Censor sees Niamh Algar as Enid as a dedicated film censor during the ‘video nasty’ era whose work slowly becomes entwined with her own tragic past. Enid spends her days meticulously watching and assessing violent horror films. She takes her job seriously and her responsibility to protect audiences from such extreme content with the utmost gravity driven by a sense of guilt from her own childhood trauma.  When a troubling film comes to her for assessment it instigates lost memories and she draws a connection between the film and her sister’s disappearance and her life is soon plunged into danger.

Censor blu-ray - the highly acclaimed film set in 1980's video nasty era

With a string of short films to her name Prano Bailey-Bond began research for the script in 2016 by talking to the BBFC herself – and its recalled in one of the discs many bonus features when she chats to the compliance officer she first spoke to. By 2018 both her and actress Niamh Algar had been shortlisted as screen stars of tomorrow and got chatting at the ceremony resulting in her auditioning and securing the role a year later. The film attracted much acclaim from respected critic Mark Kermode as well as having been executive produced by horror film expert Kim Newman and this release of the two disc Censor blu-ray is absolutely packed with a range of excellent features that include :

  • New audio commentary by Director and Co-Writer Prano Bailey-Bond and Executive Producer Kim Newman
  • New audio commentary by Prano Bailey-Bond, Director of Photography Annika Summerson, Editor Mark Towns and Sound Designer Tim Harrison
  • New audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, Lindsay Hallam and Miranda Corcoran
  • My Own Nasty: a new interview with Prano Bailey-Bond
  • Penning a Nasty: a new interview with Co-Writer Anthony Fletcher
  • The Censor: a new interview with Actor Niamh Algar
  • Nasty Images: a new interview with Annika Summerson
  • I’m Cutting It: a new interview with Mark Towns
  • Nasty Sounds: a new interview with Composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
  • The Making of Censor
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Enid’s Gaze: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on Censor
  • Screening Q&A with Prano Bailey-Bond and Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch hosted by Jed Shepherd
  • Prano Bailey-Bond in conversation with BBFC compliance Officer David Hyman
  • My Nasty Memories by David Gregory
  • Ban the Sadist Videos! Parts One and Two feature length documentary
  • English subtitles for the hearing impaired Limited Edition Contents
  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by James Neal
  • Soft cover book with new essays by Anna Bogutskaya, Kat Ellinger, Tim Murray, Alison Peirse and Hannah Strong

Censor blu-ray - the highly acclaimed film set in 1980's video nasty era

The commentaries with Prano and Kim Newman and her crew are well worth a listen whereas the other commentary is academic,  somewhat dry and ultimately feels a little extraneous as is the featurette Enid’s Gaze which is narrated like a graduate reading out their university thesis. On the plus side is David Gregory’s superb account of the video nasty era and his own boyhood obsession with collecting the infamous list of banned films which in later life has led to him running his own distribution company for many of the most notorious horror films and his excellent documentary Ban the Sadist Videos! is also included and gives an insight into the era which saw newspapers and politicians blaming the films for a moral decline in society.  As Prano herself admits there is a paradox at the centre of the film namely whether the films impacted on society or whether the films were a release mechanism for society – it was an argument that was raised when Childs Play 3 (of all films!) was found at the home of Jon Venables & Robert Thompson who had been arrested for the horrific murder of the two year old Jamie Bulger that rightly appalled a nation.  Many of these banned films were believed to have had ‘a tendency to deprave and corrupt’ whereas now its the reason why Prince William doesn’t invite Uncle Andrew to any of his kids birthday parties.

This two disc Censor Blu-ray has a brilliantly comprehensive load of bonus features making it a must for anyone who remembers that early 80’s era or equally for anyone who is unaware of just how repressive it was and, according to David Gregory, still is. For horror fans the limited edition Censor Blu-ray is a must buy

Read our review of the film  HERE

Out on limited edition the Censor blu-ray is released on 31st January 2022


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