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From The Blog
May 26, 2015
Congratulating 2015’s Crimefest Awards Winners!
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May 25, 2015
A Commemorative Bouquet of Links for Memorial Day
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Cremains of the Day: A Digital Version of a Deceased Self
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True Crime Thursday: Running and Gunning through America
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May 20, 2015
Burglar Takes a Nap on Victim’s Couch
Teddy Pierson
Showing posts by: Christopher Morgan click to see Christopher Morgan's profile
Dec 11 2013 9:45am

The Creacher Returns: Tom Cruise Filming Jack Reacher Sequel

Never Go back by Lee Child

In not-surprising-in-the-least news, Tom Cruise is set to return as Lee Child's silent but intimidating hero, Jack Reacher in a sequel to 2012's Jack Reacher. This new film is reported to be based upon the newest Reacher thriller, Never Go Back. Irony, of course, being something completely alien to Hollywood execs.  

The newest book has Reacher returning to Virginia to find a friend under arrest, himself a suspect in an assault case, and a child that a woman swears is his. That last bit may be what is driving the rumor that Reacher will have a “smart teen female sidekick” in the film. Despite how you may feel about Cruise as a not so towering, not quite physically intimidating Jack Reacher, it can't be argued that the first film didn't preform at the box office. So the question remains, will you watch?

Nov 26 2013 9:45am

#SherlockLives in the new teaser for Sherlock Season 3

We all know that Sherlock lives, but the biggest mystery is why that caterpillar calmly resting upon John's upper lip how? It looks like Sherlock doesn't care what the affect his apparent death has had on his friends, but he is more than happy to share with the world that he is indeed living, much the same way he let the city of London's press know that Lestrade was all wrong.  What are you looking forward to in the upcoming season?

Nov 19 2013 9:45am

Custer, Texas Preacher: Preacher Headed to Television


Breaking Bad has ended. Walter White has sung his glorious swan song of destruction and self-immolation. The Walking Dead shambles on, spawning even more zombie series and Don Draper is nearing his own end in Mad Men, so what is next for the network that has brought us all of these wonderful shows? Preacher.

Preacher, a comic created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, is the story of a Texas preacher who is possessed by the offspring of a demon and an angel. Because of this, Jesse Custer, the preacher, has the supernatural power of being able to compel anyone to do anything he asks. Custer, along with his ex girlfriend, Tulip O'Hare, and a vampire named Cassidy set out across America to track down God.

What I have read of the series is a bit like Jerry Springer meets Supernatural with a healthy dose of Westerns thrown in (John Wayne is, literally, Custer's spirit guide). As both a rural noir and comic fan, I'm very excited to see it getting more attention from AMC, and rumor also has it that Seth Rogen may be involved. Have you ever read Preacher?

Nov 13 2013 9:45am

Why is America so Robophobic?: New Trailer for RoboCop

The original RoboCop was truly a product of its time. A failing, irredeemable, crime ridden major American city, in this instance Detroit (oddly prophetic, that), is apparently saved by a well-intentioned private organization. Promising a police force that never tires, never stops, and won't let you down like normal cops. And it is looking like the new version is just as much a product of our time.

Our new Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is, again, a family man. But this time he isn't gunned down in an abandoned warehouse by gang members while his partner watches; he is blown up by some faceless car bomb in front of his house. OmniCorp doesn't build RoboCop because humans aren't good enough to keep the streets clean; they build him to sell the idea of computers policing our streets. I'll admit, I was hesitant about this whole thing to start with, but the more I see of the film the more interested I am. What about you?

Nov 8 2013 9:45am

Rock Meet Ochse: SEAL Team 666 Heading to the Big Screen

Seal Team 666 by Weston Oches

It looks like one of Crime HQ's own is heading to the movies, well, his characters are anyway.  Weston Ochse's SEAL Team 666, a paranormal military thriller, has been optioned for film. According to Variety, it looks like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to star as the lead. For those who may have missed the awesome previous coverage of SEAL Team 666, here's the gist:

Halfway through SEAL training, Cadet Jack Walker, still green but showing incredible promise, is whisked away to join four SEALs and their dog for a special ops mission. Walker soon finds himself in a whirlwind of otherworldly creatures and events as he discovers the true nature of SEAL Team 666. Battling demons, possessed humans, mass-murdering cults, and evil in its darkest and most and ancient form, the members of SEAL Team 666 have their work cut out for them. And it's not long before they realize that the threat isn't directed against the US alone — an ancient and deadly cult has far bigger plans, and Walker is at the center of a supernatural conflict in which the entire world is at stake. 

I, for one, welcome more opportunities to see The Rock fight demons; 2005's Doom didn't really scratch the itch I never knew was there. If you're intrigued, you can also check also out an excerpt from the second SEAL Team 666 thriller, Age of Blood, right here on Criminal Element!

Nov 5 2013 9:45am

Of Mice and Men: M is for Mousetrap

The ABCs of Death is a semi-annual comedic horror anthology made up of 26 short-films all centered around some pretty gruesome, but unexpected, death scenes. They are currently taking submissions for M. Above is one called M is for Mousetrap. It may be me, but this has a bit of a Poe-like feel to it. Thoughts?  

Fair warning though, the ending is as gruesome as it is humorous. 

Oct 25 2013 8:45am

Murder, She Wrote...Again

Who's ready for a new chapter?Have you found yourself in a decidedly Fletcher-less slump? No longer being able to see the intrepid Miss Fletcher, riding her bike and saving the day from bungled investigations? Well, worry no more! It looks like the Queen of the Prime Time Cozy is going to make a comeback.

According to the website Deadline, a re-imaging of Murder, She Wrote is currently in the works. The rebooted Fletcher will be played by The Help's Octavia Spencer and will be a hospital administrator turned  self-published mystery author on the rise as opposed to a former best-seller/widow. Current Speculation is that it will also include the now iconic theme music.

What do you think? Are you in the mood for more J.B. Fletcher?

Oct 21 2013 8:45am

Hell Yes to Hell No

I think we can all agree that the crucial plot points of most horror movies is dependent upon some shaky logic at best.  I mean there are characters out there that have to be PRETTY dumb to do what they do in the face of the supernatural/psycho hillbilly/pissed off monster fish.  So what would happen if there was a horror movie in which everyone made the RIGHT decision? Well, the results would be a pretty dull horror movie, however, it makes for a pretty funny fake trailer.  Watch as people stay away from the creepy cabin, marvel as law enforcement officials listen to scientists and wait for back-up, awe at the triumph of children and common sense.  It's a satisfying look at what sensible people should do when faced with horror staples, and it is wonderful.

Oct 17 2013 8:45am

No Arm Chair Quarterback: Trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

It's been a while since Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan has appeared on the big screen. The last time was 2002's Sum of All Fears, and I must admit, I was disappointed in Ben Affleck's Ryan. All that said, it looks like the analyst turned spy turned president is making a come back, and this time he is played by Captain Kirk. It also looks like they are going for a more shoot 'em up kind of Ryan than the brainy one, but it still looks like a fun ride. Here's the official synopsis:

Based on the character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan” is a global action thriller set in the present day. This original story follows a young Jack (Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot. The story follows him from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When Ryan believes he’s uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that’s more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley)

Oct 11 2013 8:45am

Bring Out Your (Un)Dead: Long Trailer for The Walking Dead Season 4

Well, folks, the days grow shorter and the leaves are turning brown, so we all know what that means: more zombie goodness from AMC's The Walking Dead. In anticipation of Sseason 4 starting on Sunday, AMC has released a long (about 5 minutes) trailer for the upcoming season, and it is packed with goodness.

Personally, I could probably take apart the trailer bit by bit, but here is the short form. Zombies are back in a big way, and it looks like Rick learned a bit from Morgan in “Clear.” He has fortified the prison, and they have even cleared out more cell blocks from the looks of it. But all is not well. It would seem there is a traitor in the prison, baiting the zombies to attack. My guess is that it won't be anyone in the prison proper, probably the Guv down in the catacombs, but we will see. It also looks like we get to see raging Tyrese, something I've been waiting for since they introduced the character, which means that his daughter sister (Sasha) might not be long for the world of the living. Who else is excited about Sunday?

Oct 8 2013 8:45am

Spot the Horror Author: Guillermo del Toro directs The Simpsons Couch Gag

The argument can be made that The Simpsons  has had an incredible impact on American culture, be it good or bad. The show is very nearly an institution for network television. Throughout the show's long history, they've done many things, and some of the more popular traditions are its annual Treehouse of Horror and weekly Couch Gag. Every episode, the opening credits are different for the show, and every year, around Halloween, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie take a break from their zany day-to-day and give us small, horror-themed vignettes. This year, America's favorite cartoon family invited Sci-Fi/Horror director Guillermo del Toro to direct their Treehouse of Horror XXIV couch gag, and it is wonderful.

Besides including nods to del Toro's own work with Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, we caught homage to Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock, H.P. Lovecraft sharing tea with Cthulhu, Edgar Allan Poe talking with a three-eyed raven, Ray Bradbury painting his illustrated man, Richard Matheson hanging out with a mutant, and all the universal monsters....What else did you catch?

Oct 2 2013 8:45am

Nowhere is Safe in the New Trailer for Walking Dead Season 4

Well looks like the prison is about as safe as, well, a prison in this new promo for Season 4 of The Walking Dead. Along with series regulars, we also get a glimpse of a new character being introduced in Season 4, former army medic Bob Stookey, played by Larry Gilliard, Jr. Also from the looks of things, it seems like Walkers are going to once again be a major threat, along with the more mundane Governor and a threat from within. I'm looking forward to Season 4, especially since Breaking Bad just ended and my Sunday nights are free. What about you?

Sep 25 2013 8:45am

They Should Have Known Better: Red Valentine

“The Red Valentine” — A Mindscape Films Picture from Glenn Stewart on Vimeo.

In honor of Criminal Element's first issue of the Malfeasence Occasional, I'd like to share the above short film, Red Valentine. Here is the official synopsis:

After a pair of young lovers are discovered dead, a tangled web of deception unravels, revealing that behind the passionate tragedy lies a dangerous truth.

After you finish the film, be sure and check out “Follow us on Facebook and Twitter” a sample story from the new Girl Trouble issue.

Sep 18 2013 8:45am

Grandpa Mike’s Fairy Tales with Breaking Bad’s Mike Ehrmantraut

I think we can all agree that Breaking Bad's Mike Ehrmantraut is a bad-ass. He is the cold, efficient right hand of every criminal organization. He's a former cop, cleaner, hit-man, bag-man, expert P.I., and doting grandfather. We all collectively Awww'ed at watching Mike play with his granddaughter and then cringed as he used that toy to summarily execute a would-be assassin. It's part of the reason we keep coming back to Breaking Bad

However, as it turns out, Mike is a pretty great story teller. Recently Paul F. Tompkins got Jonathan Banks (who plays Ehrmantraut), to read a few fairy tales in the style of Mike. It's a welcome, light moment in what has been an otherwise emotionally grueling season.  Hope you enjoy.


Sep 12 2013 8:45am

House on fire? Batman and Captain America to the Rescue!

Elseworlds featuring Captain America and BatmanSure, there are some would-be superhero 20-somethings that patrol the mean streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but do they save lives? That's what Captain America and Batman do, save ungrateful lives from fiery death.  Recently in Milton, West Virginia, two men dressed as Captain America and Batman were entertaining the community's vets and children at the American Legion post, when folks started to come in talking about seeing smoke.

Knowing that where there is smoke, there is more than often fire, the Caped Crusader and the First Avenger sprang into action. They found a burning home and rushed inside to see if anyone needed help. They heard something, but were unable to see anything for all the smoke. So John Buckland, aka The Batman, asked his friend and ally Captain America Troy Marcum to grab a rock and open a couple of windows. 

Buckland ran back into the home after a bit of the smoke cleared and started feeling around till he found something furry. Says Buckland “I don't care what it is. I don't care if it's a Chia pet. It's coming out. So I grab it, run out the door with it, put it in the yard. And I'll be if it wasn't a cat.”

Seeing that the cat had inhaled a lot of smoke, Buckland proceeded to give the small animal mouth-to-mouth. That's right, a grown man, dressed as Batman, saved a cat from a burning house and resuscitated it with CPR.  We at Criminal Element find that quite admirable, if not a little surreal. However, the cat, being a cat, objected to the strange man's lips and “freaked out” by hissing and clawing at its rescuers.

When EMTs arrived and asked that Buckland remove his mask to receive some oxygen, Buckland swore the onlooking neighborhood children to secrecy concerning Batman's identity. Being as humble as one would expect from a hero, he had this to say at a local baseball game:

“I don't think we did anything anybody else wouldn't have done. Fortunately, I had some really cool clothes on to do it with, and it actually helped cause the heat really didn't get to me that bad.”

Hear, hear guys.

h/t Blastr

Sep 10 2013 8:45am

The World Needs Bad Men: Trailer for True Detective

Here is the first full trailer for HBO's True Detective, and it looks like HBO is set to create yet another great series. Each season is set to follow the lives of two detectives over the course of eight episodes, with the first season being the story of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey's Louisiana State Troopers hunting a New Orleans serial killer. It only helps that both actors involved have a reputation of being more than a little eccentric, which adds to the surreal and quasi-Southern gothic atmosphere hinted at in the trailer. Are you in?

Sep 5 2013 8:45am

The Return of the Moustache: Publishing a New Hercule Poirot

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Poirot may be on his final episodes, but he is not quite done yet. In what is set to be the first “Agatha Christie” title in 38 years, HarperCollins's William Morrow has signed a new Hercule Poirot story with the blessing of the Christie estate. The book is to be written by Sophie Hannah and currently remains untitled.

The question here is, can we expect the floodgates to open on Poirot pastiches? Can we get a modern take on the mustachioed sleuth a la Sherlock?  What about a steampunk retelling? Or Hercule Poirot vs Dracula? I for one am holding out hope for more Hercule video games. Seriously, though, are you ready for more Poirot in print?

Aug 30 2013 8:45am

Not Quite Future Crimes: The Final Moments of Karl Brant

Sure there is crime-predicting software out there. Cameras and computers can monitor a populace with the eventual belief that maybe, just maybe, we will be able to predict crime before it happens. It's what launched the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. But what if there was another way? What if, instead of trying to predict the criminal, we could interview the victim of a murder after the fact?

The short film The Final Moments of Karl Brant tries to answer that very question. Here's the official synopsis:

Set in the near future where experimental technology allows two detectives to bring a murder victim back to life in a digital state in order to question him about his final moments.

The question is, can a victim get enough detail to solve their own murder? Not to mention what would it be like to be forced to come to terms afterward with your own death? (Also, that IS in fact Pee Wee Herman, otherwise known as Paul Reubens, as the Good Dr. Ferryman.)

Aug 21 2013 8:45am

Lori Just Won’t Stay Dead in this Deleted Scene from The Walking Dead

Lori as a Walker

We can all agree that Lori was a bit exhausting as a character on AMC's The Walking Dead. When she wasn't losing track of her only son, she was sending mixed signals as to whether or not she wanted her husband to kill his best friend. But then she died, and things got more interesting. Carl became a stone cold killer, and Rick went a little crazy.

To say that Rick had difficulty with reconciling the death of his wife with the new baby girl in his and Carl's life would be an understatement. In a new deleted scene from Season 3 over at Entertainment Weekly, we see just how difficult it was for him. In the scene we see Rick outside the prison fence, getting up close and personal with Ghost Lori. Their tender moment is soon ruined by the fact that Ghost Lori becomes Walker Lori.

In a way I wish they had left the scene in just because it ads a whole other layer to Rick's grief and insanity. I feel that it would have made an amazing episode like “Clear” even better. Especially after you find out the fate of Morgan's son. Anyway, what do you think? Are you as excited about Season 4 now as I am?

See more of Criminal Element's coverage of The Walking Dead.

Aug 16 2013 8:45am

And the Lion Says…Bark?!

I'm a Lion! Rawr!

The zoo located in the People's Park of Luohe, in the province of Henan China had attempted something that was so cartoon, it could very well have been an episode of Scooby Doo. Almost. The State Run newspaper, the Beijing Youth Daily reports that a customer named Liu wanted to show her son the different sounds animals made. The astute youth quickly pointed out that the animal labeled “African Lion” was in fact, barking.

It was not a lion in the cage. In fact, it wasn't a feline at all. It was a Tibetan mastiff. Liu was justifiably outraged at the zoo charging admissions and then presenting animal imposters. Other mislabeled animals were found as well, including two coypu rodents in a snake's cage, a white fox in a leopard's den, and another canis domesticus in a wolf pen.

When questioned by the paper, zoo officials said that they do have a lion, but it was…out. The dog was merely an employee's pet that was being housed at the zoo due to safety concerns. It is safe to say that this yarn has not been well recieved by the public at large.