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Trial set for Montreal filmmaker charged with obscenity

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from m.ctv.ca – A Montreal courtroom will determine next spring whether a local filmmaker’s graphic horror flick is a piece of art, or just plain obscene.

Remy Couture faces obscenity charges for creating “Inner Depravity,” a short film series depicting gory scenes of murder and sexual assault.

“The goal was to reproduce the deviant mind of a serial killer,” said Couture, a special effects make-up artist who’s worked on films such as Barney’s Version.

The series, which once won “most deranged movie of the year” at a film festival, was posted online in 2005 and was eventually forwarded to Interpol and police in Montreal.

According to a statement on Couture’s website, Interpol was alerted to the film series by a German web surfer who was under the impression that the on-screen murders actually occurred. Police arrested Couture and raided his studio.

“They tried to probably find some corpse or I don’t know what,” he told CTV Montreal earlier this week.

Couture maintains that he created the series to flex his skills as a make-up artist who got his professional start in the horror genre. The website featuring his project was only available to web surfers above the age of 18, he said in a statement.

“You can see the same thing in big budget movies so why mine is worse than the others, I don’t understand,” he told CTV Montreal.

Police charged Couture with production of obscene material, mainly for his depictions of graphic sexual violence. The charges, however, have drawn criticism from fans and some in the artistic community.

“He pushed some boundaries because it is shocking with what you can see, but it’s in an artistic way,” said Alexandre Duguay, a movie critic and horror aficionado.

Duguay acknowledged that some may find Couture’s film offensive but said it doesn’t qualify as obscene when compared to other films such as “The Exorcist,” which came out 40 years ago.

Couture’s lawyer Veronique Robert said this is the first time she’s seen someone face obscenity charges for the content of a horror film. Previous obscenity cases have overwhelmingly dealt with pornography.

Robert said she plans to argue in court that an artistic production cannot be considered obscene. CTV News contacted the prosecution but they declined to comment on the case until the trial.

Couture’s trial will begin in front of a jury in late April, three years after his arrest.

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