On paper The Moosehead Over The Mantel is another horror anthology movie, but there’s more than meets the Elks eye on this occasion.
According to the producers, the film is loosely inspired by notorious figures such as; ‘ H.H. Holmes, The Bender Family, Lizzie Borden, Carl Panzram and The Fox Sisters, as well as the Spiritualism movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the rise of psychiatric pharmacology in the 1970s and ‘80s.’
These insights are plain to see as we are taken on a journey through various time periods, ranging from the 1880’s to the 1980’s with differing tales of morbidity, murder, and depravity.
The first thing that strikes you though is the unique choice of camera angles to tell these stories, using various taxidermy animals on the walls (including the titular Moosehead) and the occasional character POV’s of the victims.
The second thing that hits you is that all of the different stories take place in the same room over the different time periods and you can’t help but marvel at the set design that allows you to feel transported through the years in the same location.
The last thing that makes this movie stronger is its theatrical nature of the acting style on screen, and it comes as no surprise upon further research that the most of the six directors have a background in producing and performing live theatre.
Chief among the performances is Jessi Gotta’s, who set up the production company Inappropriate Films, and not only is the writer, producer, and director of the 1945 segment, but is also the lead actress in the 1980’s segment.
In both her roles, she produces a natural performance and down-to-earth, realistic performances in those she directs that make her a name duly worth noting for the future.
That’s not to deter from the other moments in the film, which each deal with macabre scenes that hint at incest, lust, and brutal savagery.
It’s worthy film that enables to weave in six different tales prove disturbing and compelling.
The strong theatrical direction helps cement the reality of the horror on display whilst using distinctive cinematography to lift this movie above the standard genre anthologies.
– Saul Muerte
Catch the screening of The Moosehead Over The Mantel at the MidWest WierdFest.
You can already purchase discounted day or full festival passes to the 2018 festival here, through the festival’s ticketing partner site FilmFreeway. (Tickets to individual films will be available closer to the festival, directly via the website of the Micon Budget Downtown Cinema). Go on. Get weird!