11TH GREEN, THE
(director/writer: Christopher Munch; cinematographer: Sara Garth; editors: Nat Carter, Curtiss Clayton; music: Mark Orton; cast: Campbell Scott (Jeremy Rudd), Agnes Bruckner (Laurie Larkspur), George Gerdes (Dwight Eisenhower), Leith Burke (The President, Obama), Tom Stokes (Lars), April Grace (Lila Parnell), Ian Hart (James Forrestal), Tom Connolly (JFK), Currie Graham (Larry Jacobsen), David Clennon (Peaches), Monte Markham (Nelson Rudd), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Mamie Eisenhouer), Shari Elf (Joshua Tree Shop Owner), Clark Moorten (Cactarium Owner); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Christopher Munch, Valeria Lopez; Antarctic Pictures; 2020)
“Though staying off the more controversial UFO stories, it gets to some curious paranormal ones.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The title of the inventive and questionable factual sci-fi film refers to the place at the El Dorado Country Club where President Eisenhower’s (George Gerdes) house was located during his retirement years – right on the 11th fairway and called Valhalla (it was shot almost entirely in the Coachella Valley). Indie filmmaker Christopher Munch (“The Hours and Times”/”Letters from the Big Man”) has over the years directed 5 other diverse feature films, this is his pensive follow-up to his 2011 one about a telepathic relationship between a Sasquatch and a forest scientist.
An elderly retired Air Force general in the intelligence section (Monte Markham) dies in his California home and his estranged leftist investigative journalist son (Campbell Scott), stationed in Washington, D.C., where he runs a Democracy Now-type of press, comes to Palm Springs to go through his dad’s documents and discovers a government cover-up, involving U.F.O.s, anti-gravity planes and advanced energy technology, dating back to World War II.
In about 1967 Ike and the current Obama-like president (Leith Burke) meet in a dream-state to talk things over about non-terrestrial technology acquired during the post-War.
Though intriguing and making sound political points (it plays like an X-Files knock-off), but it lacks suspense and is filled with too much history, speculation and fantasy to be fully absorbed, as it lets fly with some “deep state” and Area 51 type of classified UFO intel and identifies the parties who knew about it. I love this cloak and dagger stuff, just wish the film did a better job reporting on it.
The son befriends his secretive dad’s trusted computer whiz assistant and organizer (Agnes Bruckner), and though staying off the more controversial UFO stories, it gets to some curious paranormal ones. There are many invented tales, but the real-life suicide in 1949 of the government official James Forrestal (Ian Hart), the first Secretary of Defense, who fell out of a hospital window, plays a large part in this expose cover-up drama. It leads to a trail of reactionary figures profiting by being part of the industrial-military complex that Ike always warned us about.
REVIEWED ON 9/26/2020 GRADE: B