Archive for zombies

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by Tom Austin-Morgan

The fifth instalment of the Pirates franchise hit the screen this week, the big question is: Did anyone other than Johnny Depp really ask for this film?

This is the second of the series not to be directed by Gore Verbinski, the fourth – On Stranger Tides – having been directed by Rob Marshall, who really pared back a lot of the extravagance that Verbinski packed into the bloated Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s EndSalazar’s Revenge has two directors, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, and as much as there is no real sense of different ‘voices’, it’s not entirely coherent either.

As far as these films go, this is basically ticks all the boxes: Johnny Depp doing his drunken Keith Richards/David Bowie as a pirate impression, implausible CG galleon battles, cursed pirate crews, a score that beats you into submission during the action set-pieces, returning characters, risqué jokes, basically everything you expect. The problem with Salazar’s Revenge is that nothing is quite right.

The CG is a bit ropey, especially the zombie sharks, the film was shot for 3D (which I didn’t even realise was still a thing) so there are lots of pointy things and explody things shooting towards you, and it always stands out when you watch in 2D. The jokes are more suggestive than ever, and the gender politics in the franchises universe are more draconian than ever (anyone remember there were women in high-ranking positions in the previous films? Even Knightly managed to become Queen of the Pirates! Here the single female character is branded a witch time and time again) the cameo from a famous pop star is even more clumsily shoe-horned-in than Keith Richards’ – which actually made sense. And Johnny Depp seems to have been given free-reign to basically just do whatever he wants while having fewer and fewer lines of dialogue. In fact, the dialogue he does manage to spit out is now virtually unintelligible as his drunken slurring has been turned up to 11 in this film, especially during the opening scenes.

Luckily, the talents of Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem manage to serve as balance to Depp’s mad ramblings, although Bardem is basically playing a pantomime villain. Newcomer Kaya Scodelariois a breath of fresh air as Carina Smyth, the woman of science trying to track down her absent father. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner, the son of Bloom and Knightly’s characters, he’s just as wet and weak as Bloom and Sam Claflin’s character from On Stranger Tides. This franchise really has a thing for tepid male supporting characters.

The plot centres around a cursed crew of Spanish pirates(?) who are set free after years being confined to some sort of cave and who are out to get the person who put them there in the first place: Sparrow. Various characters are looking for the Trident of Poseidon (which, the more it’s said, the stupider it sounds) that will break the curse. The list of people included in tracking down the Trident of Poseidon (see?!) includes the English, who want to use its power to rule the sea… but even though they’re set up to be powerful secondary protagonists they seem to get forgotten by the writers halfway through the film. Adventure ensues, a central character is killed-off and that’s about it.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge – and the franchise in general – is the movie equivalent of popcorn. It has no real calorific content, it’s probably not good for you, but it tastes quite nice at the time until you have too much of it and you start feeling sick, however you start to feel hungry again soon after finishing. Th film passes a couple of hours, but is completely forgettable and not very good. But at least Mr Depp will be able to pay some of his legal fees with the earnings, if the press is to be believed he’s going to need it, so expect many more adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow in the coming years.


Anywhere But Here, Episode 91 – Ebola vs. Josie Cunningham

Posted in Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2014 by Tom Austin-Morgan


On this shorter than usual episode, Ant and Tom tackle the Ebola outbreak and what it could mean for the world. Topics covered here include, how do you explain it to your child without striking mortal fear into them? How does the spread of Ebola compare to a zombie film? And how do we try to avoid it?

Even on a stripped down show like this one, Tom can’t leave Josie Cunningham alone, but this time – just to show he can be impartial – he tries to defend her by comparing the amount spent by taxpayers for her operations to the amount that would be spent on her as a single Mum on benefits. See how well that defense went by putting this podcast in your ears!

The result of the T-shirt design poll will be announced on social media this weekend and we hope to get the offer up and running very soon, so you can get yourself something nice to wear for Christmas.

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Anywhere But Here, Episode 42 – C U Next Tuesday

Posted in Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2013 by Tom Austin-Morgan


As it’s Remembrance Sunday Ant and Tom decide that, instead of a minute’s silence, they would play a poem by an American war poet called John McRae called ‘In Flanders Fields’. Ant then counterpoints this by highlighting a story of some soldiers who haven’t lived up to the reputation set down by their predecessors.

Things take a geekier turn for the majority of the podcast as Ant and Tom discuss Thor: The Dark World and varying opinions from themselves and some listeners. This also spirals out into how Marvel is branching out into TV with its upcoming deal with Netflix to air four separate shows based around Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones & Iron Fist which will all converge to an Avengers style TV show called The Defenders.

Ant then talks about all the cunts he’s had to endure this week including people parking in parent and child parking spaces and oversees scammers being abusive and harassing… oh, just to warn you; this episode contains a lot of instances of the word cunt, so if you’re offended by this word this episode probably isn’t for you. So don’t listen and be all cunty about it!

The boys finish off with the final ABC ever (perhaps); Ant talks about Zelda and Tom talks about zombies. Enjoy!

Here’s the poem by John McRae – In Fladers Fields:

And here is the wonderful HD quality version of us talking, enjoy!

Leicester City Council ‘not ready’ for zombie attack

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2011 by Tom Austin-Morgan

I can, unfortunately claim no responsibility for this story. I just thought I’d re post it word for word from the BBC website here

A worried member of the public has forced Leicester City Council to admit it is unprepared for a zombie invasion.

The authority received a Freedom of Information request which said provisions to deal with an attack, often seen in horror films, were poor.

The “concerned citizen” said the possibility of such an event was one that councils should be aware of.

“We’ve had a few wacky ones before but this one did make us laugh,” said Lynn Wyeth, head of information governance.

The Freedom of Information Act allows a right of access to recorded information held by public authorities.

Ms Wyeth said she was unaware of any specific reference to a zombie attack in the council’s emergency plan, however some elements of it could be applied if the situation arose.

Other submissions to the council have included requests for records of paranormal activity and haunted buildings within the city.

“To you it might seem frivolous and a waste of time… but to different people it actually means something,” said Ms Wyeth.

“Everybody has their own interests and their own reasons for asking these questions.”

She added high-profile cases, such as the MPs expenses scandal, has raised public awareness of the right to request information records.

Ed Thurlow, who runs zombie website Terror4Fun, said he felt a zombie invasion in Leicester was highly unlikely.

“I think perhaps [the “Concerned Citizen”] has watched films like 28 Days Later a few too many times.”

Here’s the original letter from the concerned citizen:

Dear Leicester City Council,

Can you please let us know what provisions you have in place in the event of a zombie invasion? Having watched several films it is clear that preparation for such an event is poor and one that councils throughout the kingdom must prepare for.

Please provide any information you may have.

Yours faithfully,

Concerned Citizen