‘The only thing worse than a hooligan… is an undead hooligan’
Goal of the Dead is a 2014 French comedy horror film directed by Thierry Poiraud and Benjamin Rocher. It stars Alban Lenoir, Charlie Bruneau, Tiphaine Daviot, Ahmed Sylla, Bruno Salomone, Patrick Ligardes, Xavier Laurent, Sebastien Vandenberghe.
For the Olympique de Paris soccer team, this away match scheduled against Caplongue was merely supposed to be one last chore before the end of the professional season. Yet no one could ever have imagined that an unknown rabies-like infection was going to spread like wildfire, turning this small town’s inhabitants into ultra-violent and highly contagious creatures. For Samuel, the former golden boy who is nearing retirement, Idriss, the arrogant wunderkind, Coubert, the team’s depressed coach and Solène, the young ambitious journalist, this will turn into the most important confrontation of their lives.
While the rabid supporters prowl about Caplongue, which is in a state of ruin, another nightmare begins for Sam. Barricaded in the police station with other survivors, he has to face the young Cléo, his grumpy father, and Solène, who hasn’t forgotten him this time. Meanwhile, Idriss and Marco, hidden in the stadium and looking for a way to escape, are also settling a few scores along the way…
Goal of the Dead is an utterly horrible viewing experience. It takes forever to get going, concentrating instead on its paper-thin, entirely hateable characters for the most part and feeling very much like a tedious sports movie.
Things don’t improve when the zombie action kicks in, as it offers nothing we haven’t seen a hundred times before, only shot in a rather murkier manner with terrible characters that you won’t have any investment in, failed attempts at humour and directorial pretensions that I you suspect Poiraud and Rocher think will amaze the viewers – but we’ve all seen slow-mo bullets before and a bullet-time exploding head just looks awful.
The whole thing – even the football match – takes place in some fashionably but creatively dead semi-darkness, which presumably covers up a multitude of ineptness but makes the film about as aesthetically pleasing as a mud pit.
David Flint, Horrorpedia
“Originally released in France as separate movies, they’ve now been combined into a single feature that suffers under the weight of all the material, especially for such a throwaway concept. But Goal of the Dead is also a more intelligently realized venture than many a broad Gallic comedy or action flick, and as such deserves some recognition abroad…” Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
“Lashings of eye-popping gore are on show, and it’s all filmed – mostly under stadium floodlights – in a highly stylised manner, although the smoke screen from the flares being lit up during the big match climax does make it hard to catch some of the undead action, especially one of the film’s highlights – a human head being used as a soccer ball.” Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep
“Gory? Yes. Funny? Occasionally, though often a little too smug to appeal (it’s all a tad obvious too: splitting the film into two distinct halves, as per the beautiful game, for example). Endearing? Well, the footie scenes are well-choreographed and performances are above par, but there’s very little heart beneath the sheen.” Stuart Willis, The New Flesh: 21st Century Horror Films A – Z, Vol.1