By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine
In the 2007 movie The Shooter staring Mark Wahlberg, a conspiracy was taking place around Wahlberg’s character Bob Lee. Wahlberg plays a firearm expert and was brought in to advise the powers at be where security was needed for a dignitary’s open air address to a large crowd. Walberg’s information was used against him and he was set up as the shooter that had assassinated the dignitary at the event.
Wahlberg set out to disprove the charges meeting a cohort Rick Memphis along the way. Memphis was played by Michael Pena. The two, using different names, traveled to east Tennessee seeking the advice of another firearms expert Mr. Rate. Mr. Rate was played by Levon Helm, better known as the drummer of The Band. During the conversation Mr. Rate not realizing who he was talking with. Mr. Rate told them the only person in the world that could make the shot today was Bob Lee.
Mr. Rate went on to say if either of them had anything to do with that event they needed to hide out for a long time. If not, they could end up like those three guys on the grassy knoll in Dallas, buried in a deep grave in the desert three hours after the JFK assassination. Memphis wasn’t buying Mr. Rates account of the demise of the three on the grassy knoll and asked him how he knew? Mr. Rate looked him in the eye and said, “I still have the shovel.”
As I said I love a conspiracy but love it even more when, as in this case, one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all time was tied with another. The marvelous thing about a conspiracy there are no boundaries. The line between fact and fiction is blurred. There is usually enough of both to keep it interesting. All truth is a documentary so spice it up.
The marvelous thing about conspiracies is you can usually find your cup of tea. Of the top three, civil, criminal or political, my favorite is political. The reason is the number of scenarios is amazing. Today we see the success of such TV shows as House of Cards and Scandal. What better time to look into this genre than an election year.
The success of The National Treasure series of movies was another great example of stretching the truth a bit but leaving just enough fact to keep us questioning. It was an amazing job of weaving the two together.
All in all as a fan I look forward to the next great conspiracy. In the example of The Shooter I think it was a touch of genius to take another conspiracy, one that is known to the world, and connect it to this one with five little words, “I still have the shovel.”