Articles & Notes — December 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

Canada filmmaker charged for depicting real murders on film, but did he really?

remy-coutureThis has been all over the news. Within a week, Canadian F/X artist and filmmaker Remy Couture has caught the spotlight, but sadly this doesn’t sound good for him at all.

Couture has been charged with “corrupting morals through the distribution, possession and production of obscene materials in a case that explores the boundaries of artistic expression.”

Believe it or not, there are fans of such movies, but this case is a little different.

A jury comprising of 12 people viewed photos and videos of Couture’s work, featuring gruesome murders, torture, assaults and necrophilia with female victims.

Couture faces up to two years in prison if convicted on this charge. An important thing to be considered here is that – what happens if Couture is put behind bars?

What happens to ther F/X artists that work in the film industry? Will they have to keep in mind the “Remy Couture case”, to make sure their work looks fake enough not to cause any suspision?

Couture first came onto Interpol’s radar in 2006 when a complaint from an Internet user in Austria arose. From there, a European pathologist could not say with certainty that the crimes on the film were not actually real.

However, all the videos on Couture’s site have credits at the end, identifying all the actors and actresses taking part in the production. Later, in 2009, Couture got arrested.

One of those who supports Couture is Dave Alexander, editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue magazine, an international publication that celebrates the horror culture.

Alexander told QMI Agency recently that he thinks Couture created particularly revolting and violent scenes in order to show off.

“You need to stand out in your field,” Alexander said, adding that movies that depict shocking acts of violence are more helpful to society than those that glorify it.

A documentary is being filmed on the case, and a fundraiser is currently active to cover Couture’s legal funds at supportremy.com.

Reasons why Couture is innocent

First of all, we can dig deeper into the details, it seems like it all started with one “internet user from Austria”, who somehow ended up on Couture’s site, saw these gruesome images, and issued a complaint to the police.

A logical question here would be – who is this guy from Austria? How did he arrive at Couture’s website? If it was on purpose, it means he likes those kind of movies. If he does like those kind of movies, why the hell was he complaining?

Another question is how does a man we know nothing about knows whether what he sees is real or just a professionally prepared fake?

The police could have checked him as well, since a normal person, in general, would not want to see short films about a woman being raped, tortured and dismembered.

Further on, why other F/X professionals working in the film industry were not questioned about this issue? Instead of asking “a European pathologist”, wouldn’t it be better to let professional make-up artists to take a look at Couture’s work? Maybe the guy’s just that good?

flower-of-flesh-and-bloodExamples of the past

Thus far, there has not been an evidence of a real “snuff film” revealed to the general public. Although, there have been some controversial movies, that were thought to be the “real deal”, and turned out to be just “that good”. One of such examples would be the 1985 Japanese film “Flower of Flesh and Blood”, directed by Hideshi Hino.

The film shows a woman walking home late at night, who is attacked by someone. Later, when she regains consciousness, she finds herself tied to a bed, in some bloody dungeon, with some nutcase in a samurai helmet, that slowly starts turning the woman into a “flower of flesh and blood”, by dismembering and disemboweling her.

Famous Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen turned out to be the whistleblower, when in 1991 he viewed the film and thought it was a real snuff movie.

He contacted the FBI with his complaint and an investigation ensued, but the movie was eventually proven to be merely a very realistic (yet completely fictional) horror film, and not a document of an actual murder.

Another interesting example can be taken out of the John Baxter 2002 biography book “Robert De Niro”. In the book, the author describes how De Niro was preparing himself for the part in “Frankenstein” (1994).

To prepare for the part, De Niro has decided to gather more information on life and death, and life after death. He started watching movies where people would get killed, tortured or dismembered.

A French journalist mentioned in the book, said that once De Niro and his friend were watching a film, where a woman was getting tortured and dismembered. The journalist told De Niro the film was a “real snuff film”, yet the actor did not believe him. Neither did we.

Conclusion

If the jury eventually decides that Couture has to spend 2 years in prison, this will, in some way, affect other f/x artists working in the film industry.

It is a shame though, that authorities pay attention to guys like Couture, and skip such things as when real animals are being killed on film, both intentionally or accidentally.

For the record: We did check out about 9 minutes of footage from Couture’s film on Youtube, and while it does look quite real, it is just a very good sfx.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this whole story in the comments.



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