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American indie banned in Europe, still a hit on native soil

"The Hospital", while enjoying good reviews on its native soil, is raising questions of content overseas
DVD cover, Amazon.com

March could have been a rather discouraging month for writer/director team Jim O’Rear, and Daniel Emory Taylor. They recently found out their independent movie, which has just become available for sale overseas, was taken off shelves in British Supermarket chain, Tesco and banned entirely in the country of Bulgaria.

Earlier in March, customer Matt Holmes complained to his local Tescoe, where he’d purchased the film, regarding the explicit sexual and graphic content. Tesco issued an apology and pulled the films from sale.
Holmes said "The quality of the film was terrible in my opinion so I'm not sure why Tesco would want to sell it anyway."

Yahoo contributor Mike Williams spoke out against the ban, stating it was unfair of customers to regulate what shops should and should not sell.
“I detest Michael Bay films…” He quotes, “But I’m not about to walk into HMV and demand they remove them all from the shelves.”

The film, described as "Torture Porn" by some reviewers is about a young student looking to do a paranormal investigation for her Senior class project at a local haunted abandoned Hospital, and end up finding out ghosts can't really hurt you but the living can, and do.

Prior to finding a distributor, O’Rear and Taylor took the movie on the road, screening it at film festivals and horror conventions in the Midwest and Kentucky area, with positive results. Most screenings resulted in selling out the supplies of independently printed DVDs.

Rather than curse the fates, O’Rear and Taylor are turning it around on the censors and anticipating a possible boost in sales.
Shortly after Tesco announced pulling the movie from their shelves, O’Rear revealed a doubled interest in the movie, “People who weren’t sure about seeing it definitely want to get their hands on a copy now.”

As the article has made news overseas, it’s created quite a stir over in America too.
As it is said, no such thing as bad publicity, the news has been bringing the movie to the attention of people who hadn’t previously heard of it, sparking new interest.

As of March 31st, it has also been announced that the movie is banned entirely in Bulgaria, for sensitive subject matter.
"Our distributor called, and informed us it was banned for subject matter" Jim O'Rear informed the Examiner. Both O'Rear and Taylor announced the news on their facebook, to the delight of their fans.

The distributor, ITN Distribution, released it January 2014 to American audiences while trying to open up a European market. With films such as "The Human Centipede" and "A Serbian Film" it would make sense an American take on the torture porn genre would be well received, but not so. It has also been reported on German news sites that the film had 20 minutes total cut from the American release in order to pass for the German Blu Ray distribution. The Blu-ray in Germany is expected to be released April 17, 2014.

"The Hospital" can be purchased through Amazon.com, here.