warholstars.org

Trash cont.
Gary Comenas, 2016

page three

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In 1982 Virgin Video released a version of Trash on VHS:

Front of VHS case of Trash

The version released on video was the same censored x-rated cinema version that was approved in 1972, which included both the cuts made by the BBFC and the cuts made by the U.K. distributor Jimmy Vaughan, despite the fact that there was no legal requirement at the time for videos to have a BBFC rating. It wasn't until 1984 that The Video Recordings Act was passed which required that videos be classified by the BBFC just as movies were. The cut off point was 1988 for the classification of the Trash video but no distributors submitted it for classification and old copies were "simply taken out of circulation" according to the BBFC. (Copies would later emerge on Ebay.)

In 1990, the video was submitted again for classification but it was the same version as the 1982 video with all the cuts intact. By this time, James Ferman had succeeded Stephen Murphy as the Secretary of the BBFC. Ferman had previously been involved in the making of "a five-part series Drugs and Schoolchildren, aimed at teachers and social workers." He had also been a part-time community studies lecturer at the Polytechnic of Central London, and an education adviser to the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse. (MBR)

Ferman ordered more cuts to the film. He felt that the two main injection scenes were too instructive. The cut version of Trash was cut even further - another one minute and 48 seconds "on top of the nearly 11 minutes already cut." (BBFC1)

In 1995, the original uncut version of the film was submitted to the BBFC for a new video release by First Independent.

Front cover of VHS case for the First Independent version of Trash

Ferman was still head of the BBFC but, realizing that times had changed, he allowed the opening fellation and masturbation scenes. Some of The material that had been cut by Vaughn was also reinstated. However, still concerned about the drug injection scenes, he kept the 1972 cuts that involved heroin injection, including the cuts to those scenes made by Vaughan and the additional cuts that Ferman had made for the 1990 video. Total cuts this time equalled 2 minutes and 20 seconds. (BBFC1)

In 2004 the original uncut (but never released in the UK) version was submitted to the BBFC by Tartan DVD. Ferman had left the organization in 1998 and films showing drug injection such as Trainspotting had been released by 2004. It was determined that the injection scenes in Trash were not instructional and the uncut, original, film was finally given an 18 rating - 35 years after it had been made. For thirty-five years English audences were watching a slightly different version of Trash than Americans. The Tartan uncut version was released in the UK as a 3 disc collection which also featured Paul Morrissey's Flesh and Heat:

Front cover of the first original, uncut version of Trash to be released in the UK

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