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Film Review – Goal of the Dead

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In the middle of a zombie apocalypse:

– “Don’t shoot! I’m a footballer!!”

– “For Caplongue or Paris?”

It’s a day of firsts. This is both my first ever film review on this blog, and the first and probably last time I’m ever going to admit that I like a horror flick! Albeit with a lot of caveats…

The first one is that this movie was – Two. Hours. Long. A good forty minutes too many. Half an hour in I was wondering how on earth they were going to pad this out for another ninety…

It was a pretty straightforward plot – Fictional French glamour club Olympique de Paris is travelling to the small provincial town of Caplongue for a cup tie with the local side. It’s a homecoming for a veteran player by the name of Lorit, who started his career with Caplongue and whose departure was seen by the locals as a betrayal and a sell-out. His former team mate, Jeannot, is still at Caplongue, blames Lorit for the fact he hasn’t amounted to much, and has been waiting for this fortuitous revenge opportunity for decades. Unfortunately he is injected with contaminated steroids that carry a zombie virus which is subsequently spread to almost everyone in the stadium during the game via people vomiting on each other. Yummy!

Obviously I’m not much of a horror fan at all so you should probably take this whole thing with a grain of salt, but when I saw this on the shelf at JB Hi-fi I couldn’t help but grab a copy. I mean, look at it! How could you not? I had to find out how it “scores a lot of points for a zombie soccer movie”.

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Bearing in mind I’m no connoisseur, nonetheless I figure a zombie flick needs to do one of two things – scare the crap out of you or make you laugh your arse off.  A feat no movie of this kind has ever managed to do for me. Goal of the Dead was no different although I did have a good chuckle in a few places…

For starters, you’ve got to love a zombie that stops mid rampage to play space invaders…

But the satirical highlight for me was undoubtedly the Paris coach, who clearly fancies himself as a gifted motivational speaker. Hopelessly surrounded by zombies and about to get eaten,  he yells “GIVE IT YOUR ALL!!!!” – it’s possible you have to see it to get the humour but I LOLed.

For a movie like this to scare you, above all it needs to make you care about the characters. You have to sweat whether they live or die, and one of the issues I had with this film was I didn’t particularly care one way or the other about most of these people. The one exception was Lorit, who despite his obvious foibles was a fairly likeable douche in a ‘hopeless case’ kind of way…

One thing I didn’t ‘get’ was the way the film was split into two halves – like a game. As the ‘Second Half’ started I thought it was going to be a prequel of the first and take us somewhere interesting, but alas, after a promising minute or two it just carried on where the ‘First Half’ left off. In my opinion it was just a pointless excuse for a football reference that made for an unnecessary let down.

At the end of the day though, while I sound hypercritical the truth is this was a reasonably good watch. I say give it a go. It’s a French zombie football movie for goodness sake and it may appeal to your sense of humour a bit more than it did mine.

Three stars.

P.S. Just to be clear, this film is in French with English subtitles.

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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