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Monday, February 04, 2008

The (Cannibal) Holocaust: Not Again

27 January 2008 and I suddenly slipped back in time 25 years. 1983: a chance to put things right and, ignoring any Prime Directive, to make a difference. Looking slim, GB!

Except I was reading the Sunday Express, the self-styled world's greatest newspaper: Outrage at Sick Nazi DVDs for Sale. In the frame are SS Experiment Camp, Cannibal Holocaust, I Spit on Your Grave and Faces of Death. Missing from the line-up are The Evil Dead and Driller Killer, but otherwise this could be a library story on the front page. Recycling rules at the Express.

Only the availability of these films on DVD now instead of VHS differentiates this panic from its carbon copy in 1983-85. Even Keith Vaz, a prospective parliamentary candidate for Leicester East seeking to unseat rentaquote MP Peter Bruinvels at the time of the video nasties panic, is in on the act.

The facts are simple - only the first of these vids has a "Nazi" title to highlight the lurid content, spoofed recently by Rob Zombie: the rest have no (formally) fascistic leanings, unless pretend sadism counts as fascism these days, yet academic writers have repositioned Holocaust as a critique of media manipulation and Spit as a feminist rape-revenge flick. Faeces of Death remains a risible compilation of mondo, fake and news footage of its subjects' final moments.

We've been here before. Only a dimwit could have failed to notice the staged torture scenes that pepper the multiplexes, if the pirate DVD guys don't get there first. Even the posters on the Express web forum seem more upset about Islam than the availability of these movies.

The Sunday Express - weak at the weekend. An old prediction of mine went "don't expect an SS Experiment Camp revival any time soon", although maybe Express Investigations Editor James Murray can instigate one through his pointless outrage.

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