Coming To A Neighborhood Near You — Film Shoot Of Bernardo "Bible"

News Release
Canadians Concerned About Violence In Entertainment (C-CAVE)
Contact: Valerie Smith

February 18, 1999, Toronto - Filming of the movie, American Psycho, based on a book identified as being the "bible" of child killer Paul Bernardo, is scheduled to begin in Toronto on March 1. The Toronto Film & TV Liaison office (392-7570), which provides permits for filming within the city, has been requested to provide the following description of American Psycho to people in the area of the film shoot:

Page after page of the book unreels a saga of porn butchery. Stomach-churning, pointless, gloating, sexualized torture and vivisections, using nail guns, chainsaws, axes, scissors, lighters, power drills, knives, electricity, coat hangers... each murder accompanied by minute descriptions of hacked body parts spurting blood and other fluids, severed tongues and nipples stuck to walls, drying in dishes or putrefying in the kitchen, skulls caving in, intestines ripped out, all complete with sound effects and gore-soaked sexual acts performed on the still-moaning, dying victims or parts thereof. (Toronto Star, June 7, 2021)

"People have a right to this information, so we can make an informed decision about whether we want this film crew operating in our city," said Valerie Smith, Communications Co-ordinator of C-CAVE. "The people involved with this film have been immersed, for years, in a world of horror, torture, cruelty and human suffering that most of us would find unbearable. And, not only have they been wallowing in that world, but now they seek to market it to teenagers around the globe. Given those facts, I personally want to know if the film crew is anywhere within ten miles of me," said Smith.

The issue of ultra-violent movies being filmed in Toronto was raised with Mayor Mel Lastman and City Council in a letter from C-CAVE dated October 28, 1998. We requested that standards be established for movies shot in the city, citing instances of brutally violent slasher and splatter films that were filmed here, films whose primary audience is teenagers. The letter quoted from the American Psychological Association Report on Youth (1993):

For the past 20 years, there has been one overriding finding… the mass media are significant contributors to the aggressive behavior and aggression-related attitudes of many children, adolescents, and adults.

"Unfortunately, it appears politicians have been too busy working on the terrible cat scourge to respond to our letter," said Smith. "But, I feel fairly confident in saying people fear violence more than cats, and would urge the Mayor to take a public and meaningful stand against films like American Psycho being shot in this city. People concerned about violence have a right not to be made complicit in making our society more violent by hosting these film shoots," she said.