As far as I can make out, every country has public information films. They rarely pull punches, which is pretty important as their messages are usually important. I remember being terrified by Monolith as a child. I still think about It's Thirty For a Reason whenever I drive in suburban areas, and I've seen similar things from New Zealand, Canada and so on. Creative agencies love PIF gigs because you can do so much more than a normal advert/TV spot would allow. People can, and do, go all out on them. They're also ripe for parody
However, back in the seventies, that's when the UK government went a little... well.. overboard. Imagine showing Lonely Water to actual children. Or Stand Steady, or even Frisbee? I remember being shown films like these at school, from scratchy old VHS tapes on clunky old school TVs. I remember them being broadcast during children's programming time. I remember being irrationally terrified of old fridges even though I've never see a fridge with a lock in my entire life.
But sure, they're scary topics and sometimes you do need to scare people into not doing stupid stuff that might kill them. There are plenty of examples of scary short PIFs aimed at all ages from their invention right up to the present day. But then there are the longer form movies about safety for children. That's what this post is really about. Let's call these the "unholy trinity" of PIF terror:
There's the weird time-loop slaughter fest of Building Sites Bite (unfortunately the only copy I could find was a 'reacts' video but it's worth watching)
Ignoring the of-it's-time but now recognised as problematic "Cowboys and Indians" conceit, Apaches is utterly horrifying.
Then there's the dystopian awfulness of The Finishing Line
These films were rated PG (aka safe for kids). They were shown in schools. Not just high schools, but primary (elementary) schools. Although to be fair, someone did get a clue fairly quickly and The Finishing Line was banned and withdrawn in under a year because holy shit.
I'd be interested to see some of your favourite public information films, please do link them if you have any.