Gory films artist: 'I'm not guilty'

Special effects filmmaker Remy Couture, centre, demonstrates outside the Montreal courthouse with supporters dressed as zombies, in Montreal, Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Couture appeared in court on charges of producing and publicating obscene material.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL - It was like a scene from a Wes Craven movie Wednesday outside the Montreal courthouse.

There were about 20 demonstrators, dressed as ghouls and zombies, around the building to protest criminal charges being laid against a maker of gory films.

Remy Couture requested a jury trial and pleaded not guilty to charges of moral corruption and distributing obscene material, laid under Section 163 of the Criminal Code.

Police say they arrested Couture after international complaints about the extremely gruesome and realistic-looking violence on his website. That site,www.innerdepravity.com, is temporarily shut down.

But Couture calls the case a disgrace.

"I believe it's a waste of time. A waste of time for me, and for society," he said Wednesday.

"It's a waste of money, too. Because I'm not a criminal. I have no record. I'm a special-effects artist. . .

"I find this a bit of an embarrassment for Quebec, that this time wouldn't be spent on real cases. But they're going ahead."

He said his only crime is using fake blood, latex and silicone to help tell disturbing stories.

He has in the past scoffed at attempts to draw a link between gory films and real-life violence; he has noted that millions of people watch those movies without becoming killers, while a simple Beatles song (Helter Skelter) was cited as an inspiration for the Manson family murders.

Couture's case has drawn thousands of supporters to an online petition and to his own personal website.

Some of those people came out to express their support in person Wednesday.

One woman painted as a zombie said she wasn't even a fan of horror films but felt it important to fight for Couture's right to make them.

Another woman with a mock facial wound said, "It's censorship," as fake blood oozed from her lips.