a throwback to Britain’s dark days of Video Nasty
prosecutions, a Canadian filmmaker is being hauled through
court in Montreal accused of ibscenity after making
a violent horror film.
Special make-up effecta artists Remy Couture will appear
in court in April to face charges relating to his short
film series Inner Depravity, which
was posted online in 2005. The series was reported to
Interpol by a German viewer who thought the killings
shown were real – apparently, this delicate viewer
had never seen a horror film before. In fact, Inner
Depravity – at least the first part –
is a grim, extremely violent but pretty well shot short
film that Couture claims to be “to reproduce
the deviant mind of a serial killer” and
plays like a combination of arthouse/grindhouse crossover
films like Aftermath, the transgressive
cinema of Richard Kern and performance art, channelled
via Guinea Pig and August Underground.
Oh, and it has a full credits sequence with web links,
which I suspect would be missing from a genuine snuff
movie. Not a film for everyone, but clearly not real
and certainly not made for purposes of sexual arousal.
Despite this, and the fact that a cursory Google search
immediately pulls up various behind-the-scenes shots
(like the one shown here) showing the cast alive and
well, Interpol still passed the ‘crime’
onto Canadian police, who have now charged Couture with
the production of obscene material. That was three years
ago. Now, he is finally due his day in court. And whether
you love or hate his films, this surely is a shameful
Los Angeles, the long and winding trial of US extreme
porn producer Ira Isaacs has ended in deadlock, with
a hung jury being dismissed by the judge in charge of
the case. The case now faces going to trial for a third
time in April. The case was first heard in 2008, but
a mistrial was declared when it turned out that presiding
judge Alex Kozinski was involved in the online distribution
of sexually explicit images himself.
Isaac worked at the fringes of the sex industry –
an area that no mainstream producer would go near. The
films he sold or produced, and which made up the titles
he faced trial over, included Mako’s First
Time Scat, Hollywood Scat Amateurs
7 and 10 and Japanese
Doggie 3 Way – I’m sure you can
work out the contents of the films from the titles alone,
although Isaacs maintained that the poop featured in
his Scat titles was in fact faked.
Isaac’s defence – a seemingly unwinnable
one given the nature of the material – was that
his films had artistic value, and apparently two jury
members – both women – agreed with him.
He’s lucky he wasn’t being tried in Britain,
where you can be convicted even if a mere twelve people
can’t reach an agreement on your guilt or not.
Or, indeed, where merely owning a copy of Japanese
Doggie 3 Way is enough to have you sent down,
art or not.
While this case is reminiscent of the recent British
obscenity trial, it is not yet over, and Isaacs has
now run out of money to pay for an expert defence. This
is the same way the US authorities finally got Rob Black
and Lizzy Borden convicted after they were initially
acquitted – keep on hauling people through court
until they can’t afford to mount a defence, and
you’ll probably win in the end.