"Video Nasty" was a term that came from the tabloid press during the 1970s. It was a term they used for very violent horror films that were released onto video; videos that were noticed to have been in possession of a few notorious murderers, and it was in this reaction that the BBFC had decided to make a mandatory classification towards this, to prevent innocent people from watching them. It was, however, unclear whether or not the numbers were statistically significant, as it was not known if a similar proportion of men who were not murderers, owned video nasties. Therefore, it was not made clear if there was a casual relationship in the direction suggested, even if an unusually large proportion of murderers owned these tapes; which opens up the argument that it may not be that [the tapes are disturbing enough to provoke someone to murder, it might be that if the person is disturbed enough to murder, then he is more likely to enjoy it]; the latter not being a reason to stop innocent people from watching them.
The BBFC Policy regarding video nasties is that when one is submitted to them, they must first establish if it has had any 'recent' convictions; if it has been convicted, then it cannot pass without being cut, regardless of whether or not it would be acceptable under the BBFC guidelines. If a video nasty has not been convicted, then they would simply consider whether or not it fits those guidelines.
In 1984 Parliament passed the Video Recordings Act. This act stated that, subject to certain exemptions, video recordings offered for sale or hire commercially in the UK must be classified by an authority designated by the Home Office. The following year the President and Vice Presidents of...