Fresh Meat: <i>One Murder More</i> by Kris Calvin Fresh Meat: One Murder More by Kris Calvin Doreen Sheridan Not all lobbyists are created equal, as Maren Kane proves! <i>Collision</i>: New Excerpt Collision: New Excerpt William S. Cohen You're gonna need to find cover immediately! Fresh Meat: <i>The Storm Murders</i> by John Farrow Fresh Meat: The Storm Murders by John Farrow Kate Lincoln This serial killer's gone international! <i>Independence Day</i>: New Excerpt Independence Day: New Excerpt Ben Coes Dewey Andreas has gone rogue, and the CIA couldn't be luckier.
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Showing posts by: Christopher Morgan click to see Christopher Morgan's profile
Aug 14 2013 8:45am

Mob City is a world of Grey Hats

The show formally known as L.A. Noir, Mob City, has a new trailer, and it looks like a more intense, less pretty, take on Gangster Squad. Needless to say, this looks awesome.

The film noir style TV show is a project of Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont and is an adaptation of the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America's Most Seductive City by John Buntin. It also stars Jon Bernthal of Walking Dead fame. Bernthal plays Joe Teague a former marine-turned-cop out to clean up the mean streets of 40s L.A.. Mob City arrives on December 4th. Are you interested?

Aug 8 2013 8:45am

Talk About Morality Like It’s Black and White: First Five Minutes of Low Winter Sun

AMC has released the first five minutes of their very intense looking new drama, Low Winter Sun. The Show stars Tinker, Tailor actor Mark Strong and The Walking Dead's Lennie James, and it looks like it could fill the dark niche that the end of Breaking Bad might leave behind. Here's the official description:

The AMC Original Series Low Winter Sun is a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. Low Winter Sun begins with the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter the detective’s life, and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld. Based on the award-winning 2006 British miniseries of the same name, Low Winter Sun stars Mark Strong and co-stars Lennie James, Chris Mundy  serves as writer, executive producer and showrunner. Season one consists of ten, one-hour episodes.

Psst, we expect to be covering this one at Crime HQ, but what do you think?

Aug 2 2013 8:45am

Lois Lane and Batman Sitting In a Tree...

We love a good investigation. Whether it is by some brilliant consulting detective like Sherlock Holmes or a plucky, slightly unfortunate reporter like Kolchak. As long as there is a mystery to investigate, we are there. But what happens when these investigative forces butt heads? What happens when the World's Best Investigative Reporter comes up against the World's Greatest Detective in the above short? I believe the unstoppable force vs. unmovable object analogy is most applicable.

Jul 15 2013 8:45am

Best Served Cold: Trailer for Spike Lee’s Oldboy

If you haven't seen Korean director Chan-Woo Park's revenge masterpiece Oldboy you are really missing out. It is perfectly twisted and dark, right up there with Death Wish. Trust me, it will alter how you see the whole genre and give you a very sever case of The Creeps.

Above is the trailer for the Spike Lee interpretation of that movie. Below is the trailer for the original. Granted, there is a lot lost culturally between Korea and America. So some differences can be expected. The main problem I have is, is that it looks more like Josh Brolin's version of Taken as opposed to Spike Lee's take on Chan-Woo Park's Oldboy. What about you, have you seen the original film? What do you think about the look of the American version? Below is the trailer for the original.

Jul 10 2013 8:45am

Playing with Dolls: Trailer for Curse of Chucky

There are few movies that are legitimately scary in my opinion, because while I was being raised, my mother's idea of an ideal Sunday afternoon was watching Poltergeist or Nightmare on Elm Street.  That being said, there is one thing I've never been able to sit through to this very day: Child's Play. And right out of my darkest dreams comes the trailer for Curse of Chucky, a reminder of every reason why I hated the original movie. Here's the official synopsis:

In Curse of Chucky, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is grieving over the gruesome suicide of her mother when her domineering older sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) arrives with her young family in tow to help settle their mother’s affairs. As the sisters butt heads over Nica’s plans for the future, Barb’s young daughter comforts herself with a grinning, red-haired talking doll named Chucky (Brad Dourif) that recently arrived mysteriously in the mail. But as a string of brutal murders begins to terrorize the household, Nica suspects the doll may hold the key to the bloodshed. What she doesn’t know is that Chucky has a personal score to settle. He’s determined to finish a job he started more than 20 years earlier, and this time he’s going to see it through to the bloody and shocking end.

Jul 2 2013 8:45am

Fleming, Ian Fleming

You ever wonder what it would be like if authors lived the lives of there characters? If Lee Child was really a physically imposing ex-MP out to right wrongs efficiently and quickly? Or maybe if Janet Evanovich was a lousy bounty hunter torn between two men? That seems to be the approach that British station SkyAtlantic is taking with their new miniseries, Fleming.

The miniseries, set to debut later this year, is about the life of James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming. Dominic Cooper will star as the author, who was first an unsuccessful stockbroker before finding his place in Naval Intellegence. Above is the teaser trailer. What do you think? Do you want to watch?

Jun 28 2013 8:45am

The 80s Action Stars Have an Escape Plan

You ever find yourself lying awake at night wondering what would it be like if the Terminator and Rambo got locked up in a super-secret, high-tech prison and then had to escape? Me too! Thankfully we can all stop worrying and finally get that much needed sleep the new movie, Escape Plan is just what we need. Here is the official synopsis:

Ray Breslin (Stallone), the world's foremost authority on structural security, agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called 'The Tomb.' But when he is wrongly imprisoned, he must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.

I think it has everything I need from a movie, and it should be out in theatres this October. What do you say, are you in?

Jun 25 2013 8:45am

The Return of the King: Stephen King’s Under the Dome

Last night saw the return of Stephen King to primetime with the premiere of the small screen take on his thriller, Under the Dome. I remember growing up watching Stephen King miniseries, Tommyknockers, The Langoliers, The Stand, Kingdom Hospital, and The Storm of the Century were nightly affairs in the Morgan household growing up. Of course, that would be with my mom, seeing as how my father despised all things that even hinted at horror.

What did you think of Under the Dome? Did it measure up?

Jun 21 2013 8:45am

The Mysterious Case of the Extra-Marital Extra-Terrestrial Affair

You thought having a mistress in South America was rough? Try managing the PR Nightmare of being caught with an Alien mistress. That's exactly the problem that British City Council Member Simon Parks is currently running into. That is not the least of it though. Not only has he admitted to having an affair with an alien life form, but he shares a child with a being he refers to as the “Cat Queen”.

The child in question is named Zarka, and you can say that his terrestrial wife isn't all that happy about the situation. However, trouper that she is, she deals with it, because it is not a “human level”.

Sounds complicated. Above is a clip from the TV documentary in which Simon admits to the indiscretion.

Jun 18 2013 8:45am

Buckles the Clown is Here for the Laughs...Kind Of

You know what I found myself wondering yesterday? “Why can't I find a nice, creepy, John Wayne Gacy-esq clown themed horror clip?” Well, ask and you shall receive. Nothing says “I'm going to kill you dead” quite like a creepily mumbling man dressed as a very sloppy clown. Enjoy!

And be sure and stick around for the credits to listen to perhaps the creepist version of the Birthday Song that you will never be able to un-hear.

Jun 13 2013 8:45am

James Bond and the Original Ms. Galore

Sean Connery with a Kitten

James Bond is many things. He is a spy, a object of feminie desire, a stone cold killer... and a kitten lover. Who knew that Sean Connery, arguably one of the fan favorite Bonds, loved cuddling up with a furry little kitten in between takes of From Russia, With Love? Now let us all pause for the collective “Awwwwwww”.

Jun 11 2013 8:45am

A Particular Set of Skills: Trailer for Getaway

First we had Drive and more recently we got Fast and Furious 6. So are we beginning to see a resurgence of the car-chase in movies? It certainly starting to look that way in the trailer for the new film Getaway. Ethan Hawke plays a former race car driver who's wife is kidnapped. Hawke must complete a series of requests to get her back. Here's the official blurb:

Getaway is the gritty, heart-pounding action thriller from Warner Bros. Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment in which former race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is pitted against the clock. Desperately trying to save the life of his kidnapped wife, Brent commandeers a custom Shelby Cobra Mustang, taking it and its unwitting owner (Selena Gomez) on a high-speed race against time, at the command of the mysterious villain holding his wife hostage.

What do you think?

Jun 10 2013 8:45am

Don’t Taze Me, Roo!

Go ahead, make my day.It's unsure what would come of the nation without Florida. It seems as though the whole state has to be able to take a hard look at themselves and laugh. But especially the police force. The boys in blue in the Sunshine State get called on to take care of a lot of crazy. And when two different police departments were called on two tame unruly wildlife.

On two separate occasions, and in two completely isolated incidents both a Llama and an Kangaroo where forcibly subdued by Florida police officers. In Tallahassee, Scooter the llama escaped his pen. The 7 year old llama managed to evade authorities and lead them on a very merry chase down the middle of the road, only to be finally taken down by a Taser. Meanwhile, outside of Tampa, police chased a kangaroo for 10 hours before finally bringing down the errant marsupial with tranquilizers.

Scooter's owner weren't cited for any kind of damages, and in Florida, llamas are considered a domestic species, therefor not requiring a special permit to own. Florida officials also say that you can own a kangaroo as long as you get the popular permits, however no one has come forward to claim the “Hop-a-Long Roo” (see what I did there?).

Say it with me, only in Florida…

Jun 7 2013 8:45am

What Happens in Russia Stays in Russia: Trailer for The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The Dyatlov Pass IncidentOn February 2, 1959, in the Ural Mountains, something mysterious happened that remains unexplained to this day. A group formed as a ski tour of the Northern Urals led by Igor Dyatlov, consisting of 9 men and women, all mysteriously died. When the group failed to check in by February 12, a search party went out looking for them.

The searchers found an abandoned tent that was torn down, ripped apart from the inside, and covered with snow. Inside it, all the group's belongings and shoes had been left behind. Eventually every member was accounted for: every one of them was dead. What was strange was the manner of their deaths. The official report said that they all died from hypothermia, but three had fatal injuries consisting of major skull damage and chest fractures but possessed no external wounds. One woman was even found missing her tongue and forensic radiation tests showed high doses of radiation on their clothing.

So, really, it's the kind of event that is ripe for storytelling.  Below is the trailer for the Blair Witch-style horror movie inspired by these events. What do you think, are you in?

May 24 2013 8:45am

The Purrrr-fect Spy: Operation Acoustic Kitty

Somebody is watching me...There’s a lot of justifiable worry over the government’s use of drones in civilian populations, with even some police forces investigating the idea of using them in their day-to-day work. But what if it wasn’t the skies that were compromised, but our own homes? What if our pets were secretly Big Brother’s little spies?

Pretty nefarious idea, no? That is probably exactly what the CIA thought in the 1960s when they had a vet perform an hour-long procedure that turned a feline into a multimillion-dollar spy as a part of Operation Acoustic Kitty. The cat was implanted with a good deal of equipment then sent on a test run to spy on two men in a park.

We all can probably guess the likelihood of a house cat obeying its master/owner. What the CIA probably didn’t count on was their new multimillion-dollar national security ace-in-the-hole being run over by a taxi on its way across the street. The program was scrapped soon after. However, it wasn’t the first nor will it be the last attempt to employ the animal kingdom in our government’s day-to-day spy work. The website iO9 has a round-up including this case and other rather interesting tales of animal spies.

May 17 2013 8:45am

The Sound and the Fury: Trailer for Berberian Sound Studio

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for a horror film? Not just any horror film with monsters and the like, but one of those good old-fashioned ’70s grindhouse films, like the original Last House on the Left?

That is exactly the kind of experience that the above trailer for Berberian Sound Studio looks to be. It even has some of the music and sound effects down perfectly. Here’s the official synopsis:

In the 1970s, a British sound technician is brought to Italy to work on the sound effects for a gruesome horror film. His nightmarish task slowly takes over his psyche, driving him to confront his own past. Berberian Sound Studio is many things: an anti-horror film, a stylistic tour de force, and a dream of cinema. As such, it offers a kind of pleasure that is rare in films, while recreating in a highly original way the pleasures of Italian horror cinema.

It looks right up my alley, what about you? Just remember, it’s only a movie.

May 10 2013 8:45am

How to Build a Heist Team Step 1: Piranhas

We here at Criminal Element are quite appreciative of a good heist tale. So if you have a crack team of criminals and con men that double as illusionists and magicians, you have our attention. Above are the first few minutes of the movie Now You See Me. Watch closely and see if you can spot the trick of the tricks. Also, what card did you pick?

May 3 2013 8:45am

Friday Flicks: The Delightfully Twisted ABE

I don't think I can let you do that Dave...We've all encountered a robot story of some kind at some point. Or at least we are all aware of the premise. Man creates machine, gives machine life, and then said machine eventually goes about removing man from the face of the planet. It's been that way since Madame Shelly wrote The Monster into all of our nightmares. But what happens when the machine isn't bent on genocide, but instead settles for simple homicide?

Below is the short film called ABE. It is the story of a robot with a voice quite similar to HAL 9000 and who is quite creepily and convincingly a serial killer. What is interesting is that it strips away every single ounce of humanity from what a lot of us think of when we think of sociopaths and psychopaths. I love the detachment that the robot manages, and it somehow makes the driving force behind a show like Dexter more real by introducing a machine instead of another human. Thoughts?

Apr 26 2013 8:45am

Could (Reading About) Being Bad be Good for Us?

Above is a video from author T. Michael Martin about whether or not Horror is good for us as readers and as people. He raises a lot of very good points, with one of the most important, in my opinion, being “can stories affect us?” I for one tend to agree with him in that, if they don’t affect us, then what’s the point?

But why stop at Horror? Can dark stories, be they Horror, Crime, or Noir, provide a service beyond just occupying our vacation hours and providing entertainment? Or are they merely violence for violence’s sake, contributing little much beyond escapism? Do we need them to do more?

Apr 19 2013 8:45am

Dead Like Me Meets MIB: Check Out the Trailer for R.I.P.D

Okay, I think that got all the rhyming out of my system, maybe. Okay, yeah, I’m done. Though, I did leave out the addition of a healthy sprinkling of Ghostbusters, but that doesn’t rhyme, does it? Anyway, above is the trailer for R.I.P.D. starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, and Mary Louise Parker. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting more Men In Black, but this time with a sassy undead cowboy and his straight-laced, modern-day partner, well, this just might be the movie for you.

The movie looks like it will be a hoot. And by hoot I mean a wonderful popcorn movie to whittle away a 100+ degree summer afternoon. Based on a comic by the same name, R.I.P.D. is about a contemporary cop who gets killed in the line of duty and is then invited to join the post-mortem police force, the Rest In Peace Department. Their job is simple enough: keep the world of the living safe from all the nasty things that go bump in the night. What do you say, are you in?