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BBC2's 27th May to 2nd June 1995 Forbidden Weekend

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BBC2's 27th May to 2nd June 1995 Forbidden Weekend  



The BBC's 1995 Forbidden Weekend was one of my earliest experiences into horror when I was 14, that and seeing The Evil Dead on VHS a few months or so before, and Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror in 1997; some of my fondest teenage memories. My interest in this sort of thing, lead on to an interest in Special Effects, and I've now worked in the UK Film & TV Special Effects industry for 10 years now.

So,
the BBC's 1995 Forbidden Weekend was various material on the theme of horror, video nasties and censorship, shown over a few evenings on BBC2, with each film preceded by introduction from Alex Cox, and the BBC even giving the weekend it's own special idents. All the films shown are now easily available on DVD (minus Alex's intros, obviously) although both the versions of The Devils and Bad Taste shown, differ from the retail release versions, and these are just the two which I know of. Also a few specific documentaries are also around on the internet as VHS to AVI transfers, although proper VHS to DVD transfers would be higher in quality. My aim is to produce a complete DVD box-set of everything shown, which hinges on finding someone who recorded everything. You might roll your eyes that and say 'oh yeah, that ain't gonna be no easy 30 minute DVD', but I created & run the Gamesmaster S1-7 DVD Box-set project, which currently runs at around 50 (!) hours footage over the 24 discs from the 7 series', and probably 3-4 times that amount of VHS footage was transferred in creating the project, before editing began (see my signature for more info on that, and other previous projects).

Incidentally, Bad Taste was shown here before it was released on VHS in the UK. I taped it and watched in a good few times over a couple of years. Later I binned that recording when I got the retail VHS tape, then I the DVD, but there was a little bit I remember from the TV version that I've never seen in any retail version. It's when they're all getting ready to storm the alien house, you see Ozzy filing down the tips on his bullets. I remember Frank asking him what he was doing, he replied that the bullets create more damage that way. I can see why this would have been removed, but I've never found anyone else who remembers this?

I have made up a fairly comprehensive list from internet research, of the TV listing over that weekend, which you can see below, and which footage is already available to me (albeit maybe in a differing version or in low quality).



27th May 1995   22:29   Talking X's - Hugh Grant & Richard Curtis, Emmanuelle
                       23:09   Talking X's - Lily Savage, The Exorcist
                       00:14   Talking X's - Phil Davis, The Witchfinder General
                       00:17   Bad Taste (DVD version available)
                       01:52   Good Taste: The Making of Bad Taste (DVD version available)
                       02:18   Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
28th May 1995   22:06   Talking X's - Dora Bryan, Women of Twilight
                       22:08   Empire of the Censors (Part 1) (LQ AVI version available)
                       23:06   Talking X's - Jarvis Cocker, The Beast
                       23:09   The Night Porter (DVD version available)
                       01:07   Beat Girl (DVD version available)
                       02:39   Performance (DVD version available)
29th May 1995   09:19   Pastor Hall (DVD version available)
                       10:55   Talking X's - Kate Hardie, Saturday Night Fever
                       20:33   Children of the Video
                       20:58   Talking X's - Saskia Reeves, Don't Look Now
                       21:00   Empire of the Censors (Part 2) (LQ AVI version available)
                       21:59   Talking X's - Helen Chadwick, Zorba The Greek
                       22:02   Doing Rude Things (LQ AVI version available)
                       22:48   Talking X's - John Peel, House of Wax
                       22:53   The Devils (DVD version available)
                       00:48   The Silence (DVD version available)
30th May 1995   22:30   Talking X's - Mary Whitehouse, Never Having Seen One
31st May 1995   22:30   Talking X's - Molly Parkin, A Streetcar Named Desire
                       23:15   The Late Show
 1st June 1995   22:30   Talking X's - George Melly, King Kong
2nd June 1995   22:28   Talking X's - Alexander Walker, Frankenstein


A lot of similar material has been shown on TV over the years, both BBC 2 & Channel 4 have done a number of 'Banned' & 'Censored' seasons for instance, along with other specials such as Channel 4's Sci-Fi Weekend around the same time, for which I remember seeing the trailer for Outland & The Man Who Fell to Earth. Anyway, I have compiled as comprehensive a listing as I can, but there are bound to be programmes I've missed. You can see that in PDF format here;

Censored - UK Documentaries On Censorship, Horror And Video Nasties-SeeNoEvil.pdf

From this list I have already have select items, which have been collected together over the last few years of buying (official retail & bootleg), trading & sharing, although I've been a little loose with some specific material (such as Masters Of Horror, which is an excellent US made documentary, but has been shown on UK TV) here is what I have so far, in alphabetical order;

Key:  Internet AVI/XviD/MP4 source,  Retail DVD source,  VHS to DVD transfer

Ban The Sadist Videos (Parts 1 & 2)
Banned In The UK (Parts 1 - 4)
BBC2 Forbidden Season - Alex Cox on Django Kill
BBC2 Forbidden Season - Christopher Frayling on El Topo
BBC2 Forbidden Season - David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme
BBC2 Forbidden Season - George Romero and Dawn Of The Dead
Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (S1 - E1) 100 To 76
Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (S1 - E2) 75 To 51
Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (S1 - E3) 50 To 31
Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (S1 - E4) 30 To 14
Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (S1 - E5) 13 To 1
Channel 4's Banned Season Tim Roth Introduction - The Evil Dead
Channel 4's Banned Season Tim Roth Introduction - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - The Last Days of the Board (With Mark Kermode intro)
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Boogie Nights in Suburbia
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Censored
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Don't Look Now
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Evil Dead II (Mark Kermode Intro)
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Eyes Wide Open, A Case Against Film Censorship
Channel 4 1999 Censored Weekend - Zombie Flesh Eaters (Mark Kermode Intro)
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E1) American Psycho
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E2) The Devil You Know
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E3) The Kingdom Of The Dead
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E4) Broken Homes
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E5) A Fate Worse Than Death
Clive Barker's A - Z Of Horror (S1 - E6) Beyond Good And Evil
Empire Of The Censors (Parts 1 & 2)
Fear In The Dark
Fear, Panic & Censorship
Masters of Horror
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E1) Title unknown
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E2) Mondo Teeno
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E3) Mondo Sexo
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E4) Mondo Drug-o
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E5) Mondo Sci-Fi
Mondo Rosso (S1 - E6) Mondo Freako
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E1) Jackie Chan
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E2) Fred Olen Ray & Doris Wishman
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E3) The Legend of El Santo
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E4) Ed Wood Jr
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E5) Tsui Hark & Stuart Gordon
Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E6) George A Romero & Tom Savini
The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (Parts 1 & 2)
The American Nightmare
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E1) John Waters
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E2) Ray Dennis Steckler
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E3) Herschell Gordon Lewis
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E4) Ted V Mickels
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E5) Sam Raimi
The Incredibly Strange Film Show (S1 - E6) Russ Meyer
The Perfect Scary Movie
The Very Worst... Gore Movies
X Rated - The Top 20 Most Controversial TV Programmes
X-Rated - Ads They Couldn't Show
X-Rated - Sex Films In Your Living Room
X-Rated - The Films That Shocked Britain
X-Rated - The Pop Videos They Tried To Ban
X-Rated - The Scenes They Tried To Ban
X-Rated - The TV They Tried To Ban


Although I already own a somewhat poor quality VHS to DVD transfer of Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror, It's spread over 2 single layer DVD-Rs with generic menus, and no disc art or covers. This was sourced from a bootleg DVD site in the US, probably around 2005. The quality both in terms of source VHS footage and MPEG-2 compression to fit single-layer DVD-Rs isn't the best, and the set would benefit from a new VHS to DVD transfer, with proper menus, covers and disc art, so I'm on the lookout for a VHS of that too.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in loaning VHS footage for this project or has any other related material they want to share for this, or just wants to chat, please PM me, Rob.

This post has been edited.

Book Of The Dead DVD    The Evil Dead DVD    Dick Spanner PI DVD      Gamesmaster S1-7 DVD Box-Set
Dawn Of The Dead - Extended Cut OST    BookOfTheDead.ws Website    EvilDeadChainsaws.com Website

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Not horror-related, but this reminded me that the first time I saw Monty Python's Life of Brian was during Channel 4's 1991 Banned Season. I found a discussion and a list of what was shown in that season over on this forum here.

I also remember watching the documentary "Sex in Our Time" that followed the same night; what initially sounded promising ended up being just a group of women sat around talking about their vaginas. I also seem to recall that any interesting parts were broadcast as audio only with the video blacked out. :-(

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Oh, and it looks like your signature is breaking the forum formatting...

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Interesting project!

I wonder if the AVIs you have of Empire of the Censors are the same ones I capped and uploaded to UKNova many moons ago (around April '05 I think?). I might have shared 'Doing Rude Things' at the same time, too ... though I'm not sure (that was the doc hosted by Angus Deayton, right?).

There's actually a chance I might still have the VHS - it was certainly one of the handful of videos I kept hold of, even after I'd digitised it.

From memory everything was recorded 'Long Play' (unfortunately) and the [3hr?] tape featured EOTC Part 1 and EOTC Part 2 and was left to run after the second part finished (hence it recorded Doing Rude Things and The Devils, as well as IIRC a partial recording of the subsequent film ... which, according to your list would have been 'The Silence').

Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for the tape and if it turns up I'll return to this thread to let you know! 

Good luck with everything ...

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