Influenced and inspired by the lives of H.H. Holmes, The Bender Family and Lizzie Borden, THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL follows several generations of the Hoffhienze family, a bloodline wrought with abuse, dysfunction and violence, spanning the 1880s through the 1980s.
The story centers on Lillian Hoffhienze Bachman and Jay Bachman, a young married couple who have just moved into the Hoffhienze family home with their troubled son, Nicholas. Lillian soon becomes obsessed with learning about her sordid ancestry, terrified that the past might dictate her son’s future.
Taking place entirely in the dining room of the Hoffhienze home, the story is seen primarily from the perspective of the moose head hanging over the mantel. The moose head is both the silent witness of the horrible events that have taken place over the course of one hundred years … and the family’s inadvertent prisoner.
We believe THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL marks the next step in our growth as artists and creators, melding our filmmaking skills with our extensive theatrical experience in a project that perfectly encapsulates our individual talents. The film features the work of six directors, each working with a different time period along with many other professional screen and stage artists to create one feature following this gruesome family.
One of the techniques leveraged to give this film its unique and claustrophobic atmosphere is the use of point-of-view shots, the most omnipresent being that of the moose head on display in the family home. This visual approach, in combination with confining the action to a single room, creates a sense of unease and mystery as the audience bears witness to the horrible events of the Hoffhienze family. We want the audience to feel trapped by this family, like a fly or, in this case, a moose head on the wall. The audience is forced to watch the torment and pain through unblinking eyes, unable to look away.