first full day in Spain
valproic acid

human experiments (gregory goodell, 1979)

This is the sixth film I have watched in "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2021-22", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." This is the 7th annual challenge, and my third time participating (my first year can be found at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", and last year's at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2020-21"). Week 6 is called "Video Nasty Week":

Let's get nasty. From Wikipedia:

Video nasty is a colloquial term popularized by the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association (NVALA) in the United Kingdom to refer to a number of films, typically low-budget horror and exploitation films, distributed on video cassette that were criticized for their violent content by the press, social commentators and various religious organizations in the early 1980s. These video releases were not brought before the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) due to a loophole in film classification laws that allowed videos to bypass the review process. The resulting uncensored video releases led to public debate concerning the availability of these films to children due to the unregulated nature of the market.

Following a campaign led by Mary Whitehouse and the NVALA, prosecutions were commenced against individuals engaged in trades exploiting allegedly obscene videos. To assist local authorities in identifying obscene films, the Director of Public Prosecutions released a list of 72 films the office believed to violate the Obscene Publications Act 1959. This list included films that had either been previously acquitted of obscenity or already obtained BBFC certification. In addition, a second list was released that contained an additional 82 titles which were not believed to lead to obscenity convictions but could nonetheless be confiscated under the Act's forfeiture laws. The resultant confusion regarding the definition of obscene material led to Parliament passing the Video Recordings Act 1984, which required certification of video releases by the BBFC.

This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen Video Nasty movie.

I admit I'd never heard of the "Video Nasty" before this. I decided Human Experiments would be a horror movie, but it's closer to the Women in Prison genre. And it's not the best one. The main thing Human Experiments has going for it is Linda Haynes in the lead. Haynes was underused during her time as an actor, but she shows in this film that she could have done more than she was asked.

Some interesting names are scattered throughout the supporting cast. Geoffrey Lewis, who seemed to be in every other Clint Eastwood movie and was the father of Juliette, plays the doctor performing the experiments of the title. He underplays nicely. Ellen Travolta (John's sister) is featured. Radio legend Lurene Tuttle is "Granny". Aldo Ray and Jackie Coogan turn up in the beginning as good-old-boy cops, but they disappear a few minutes into the film, never to be seen again.

Outside of Haynes, there's nothing much to see here, but it's only 82 minutes.


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