Remy Couture is a Danger to Women

A Free Radical News Release

Toronto, Ontario, December 27, 2012:  Last week, Quebec filmmaker, Remy Couture, was acquitted of charges filed against him under the Criminal Code obscenity law. He had been charged over material posted to his website that included hundreds of photos and a pair of films that depict gruesome murders, torture, simulated rape, extreme violence and necrophilia, all with young female victims.

The films, titled Inner Depravity I and II, feature Couture in the role of a serial killer, assisted by a 10-year-old boy (!), who hacks off limbs and performs sex acts on his dead victims. One sequence shows a woman bleeding after a crucifix was shoved down her throat. Another scene shows a character carving out a victim's organs. Some of the sets viewed in court included “Hook”, a series of photos depicting a woman being tortured with hooks, and another picture set titled “Burn” which featured a woman’s burned body being assaulted and mutilated.

In writing about the case in 2010, Globe and Mail columnist Russell Smith commented, "It is hard to find sympathy, no matter what the legal argument, for a guy clearly so obsessed with the torture and dismemberment of women that he represents these over and over again."

Couture says he created the material to showcase his talents with special effects, but he could have chosen any number of ways to do that, including using a serial killer who kills young male victims (e.g., Gacy, Dahmer), but he chose a serial killer who kills women. Why? Because, as Couture himself admitted, there's a market for it.

To make matters worse, Couture used a 10-year-old boy in the films, thereby normalizing this behaviour for a younger generation of males. “I wanted to recreate this universe, which is truly disturbing, and make it as realistic as possible,” Couture said. “What caused a lot of the problem with my site were the sexual connotations, but 98% of serial killers are driven by a sexual perversion.” Of the young boy, Couture said, “He had a lot of fun making these photos.”

The fact that Couture was acquitted doesn't render the material harmless.  The Supreme Court, in their decision upholding the obscenity law, ruled that explicit sex combined with violence is harmful to women. Just because the material was made by someone claiming to be an "artist" doesn't change the harmful impact on women. And to normalize this depraved, violent behaviour for boys by using a 10-year-old as the killer's assistant is beyond what a civilized society should tolerate.

Couture wasn't defended pro bono and he has a website on which he begs for money to help pay his legal bills. Hopefully, his legal expenses will bankrupt him, which is less than what he deserves -- he deserves a prison sentence and a $100,000 fine -- but it would provide some justice for women.

Couture claims he's an "artist" and defender of free speech. That's his opinion. My opinion is that he's opportunistic, sociopathic and dangerous to women. His misogynist products, which he can once again post to the Internet, are a threat to our safety.

Clearly, the Crown needs to appeal this decision, and politicians need to review the Criminal Code to adjust the laws to more adequately protect women from unscrupulous "artists" like Couture.

About The Free Radical (www.thefreeradical.ca):  The Free Radical web site is maintained by Valerie Smith to provide information on media violence and strategies for combating it. Smith has  lobbied on media violence issues since 1990, with a particular focus on the mistreatment of women and girls in popular culture. She is the author of the Action Agenda: A Strategic Blueprint for Reducing Exposure to Media Violence in Canada, funded and published by Ontario’s Office for Victims of Crime, an agency of the Ministry of the Attorney General.  The report is available for free download from The Free Radical web site.

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For further information, contact Valerie Smith valsmith@thefreeradical.ca

This news release is available as a pdf at this link