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Reconfiguring the 'Merchants of Menace’

MCKENNA, Mark (2014) Reconfiguring the 'Merchants of Menace’. In: Archaeologies of Media and Film, 5 September 2014, University of Bradford. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

In 1984 the introduction of Video Recordings Act (VRA) ushered in an era of state sanctioned censorship that continues to this day. The act criminalized the sale and rental of videos released without a video certificate - a certificate that would, henceforth be provided by BBFC. In the years since the introduction of the Act much has been written about the ‘video nasties’, with the majority of this work foregrounding issues of censorship, and prioritizing moral panics and the media effects debates that often accompany the introduction of any new technology. Within this, these early distributors are often portrayed as comic book villains, labelled as ‘merchants of menace’ - capitalizing on a perceived ‘rape of our children’s minds’ , with little attention ever paid to industrial processes of the independent video industry, and their attempts at self-regulation. This paper will introduce what is arguably the most contentious of the distributors, the company VIPCO, and will consider the advertising strategies that are often attributed with beginning the moral panic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: Archaeologies of Media and Film
Event Location: University of Bradford
Event Dates: 5 September 2014
Depositing User: Mark MCKENNA
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 10:33
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:54

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