The Juice #2 – Panic! At the Coalmine

Welcome to The Juice, a monthly column at The Slice where we present to you a curated programme of films to tune into each month! This month our programme is Panic! At the Coalmine, exploring horror that centres the working class experience.

This edition of The Juice has been put together by Joel Whitaker and Andrea Cordoba

When you’re working class, a lot of the time if you don’t laugh you’ll cry. The same can often be said of horror films, with many franchises over the years eschewing the seriousness of earlier entries to embrace their silliness. The handful of films we’ve chosen have embraced this silliness, and along with that, have taken a stab at deconstructing negative stereotypes of the working class and instead redirecting the horror to the conditions, rather than the people themselves. 

My Bloody Valentine

Paramount Pictures

What is the key component to the slasher film? The final girl? The deep and meaningful way in which it interrogates the death drive, or penetration? No. It’s a sick villain who looks cool and kills people in wacky and terrifying ways. Friday the 13th, Halloween, Scream, this is the key thing that binds these classics. And Canada’s entry into the slasher canon is no different. Set in a sleepy mining town that had a tragic pit incident on Valentine’s Day, our killer took his vengeance a year later, making the town swear they would never celebrate again. But of course, a group of horny teenagers have something to say about that, and when they decide to throw a Valentine’s Day dance, our killer rears his head once more. Wacky kills, camp melodrama, and happy to relish its influences, My Bloody Valentine is up there for the most underseen and underappreciated calendar slasher.

Where to watch UK: Amazon – £2.49, Google Play – £2.49, YouTube £2.49, Apple – £2.49

Where to watch US: Prime Video (Subscription Required), Hulu (Subscription Required), Direct TV (Subscription Required), Epix (Subscription Required), Google Play – $2.99, YouTube – $2.99, Apple – $3.99

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Magnet Releasing

If there is one thing wrong with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre it is the way it perpetuates the “redneck” stereotype. What’s more scary than working class people, am I right? Since then many films have taken hillbilly horror and spun it to new heights, with probably the most notable example being Rob Zombie’s Firefly family. One film though takes a brave stance against this portrayal. It isn’t the rednecks that are evil at all. It’s the rich kids fleeing to the exotic Deep South for a vacation. And whether purposefully or not, the eponymous heroes of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil prove time and time again that presumptions always lead to some pretty messy places.

Where to watch UK: Amazon – £2.49, Google Play – £2.49, YouTube – £2.49, Rakuten – £2.49, Apple – £2.49

Where to watch US: Hoopla (Subscription Required), Roku (Subscription Required), Kanopy (Subscription Required), Magnolia (Subscription Required), Redbox – $0.99, Fandango – $2.99, Amazon – $2.99, Google Play – $2.99

Intruder

Empire Releasing

Man it really sucks to be a minimum wage employee, especially when disaster strikes and your coworkers start turning up dead am I right? Intruder is a late 80s slasher that follows a group of uber relatable 20-something year old grocery store employees as they work a night shift that turns deadly. This flick is filled with amazingly creative camera work, which makes total sense, it’s by Scott Spiegel and Sam Raimi! The kills are wacky, fun and fantastically gross, each one is built up with voyeuristic camera work in classic slasher fashion. The Raimi brothers are a fun addition to the cast, both Ted and Sam are a delight to see on screen as always. Elizabeth Cox plays our final girl, going head to head with our killer (I won’t spoil it but it’s really a very fun reveal) and it makes for a great fighting sequence. If you love fun 80s slashers but you hate the 9-to-5, this is up your alley. 

Where to watch UK: Pantaflix – £1.99

Where to watch US: Tubi (Subscription Required), Amazon $3.99

El Gigante 

A brutally pessimistic yet darkly comical exploration of the fight for the supposed ‘American dream’, consumption, and the ways migrants are viewed as disposable labor, all wrapped up in a gory Lucha Libre sequence. El Gigante is a 13 minute long short directed by Luke Bramley and Gigi Saul Guerrero, which follows protagonist ‘Armando’ as he makes his way across the US/Mexico border in hopes of a better life. His journey has nearly drained him to the core, he’s exhausted, dehydrated, and with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel; until a man shows up, illuminated by his car’s headlights, holding a water bottle out for him to drink. You would think that this would be Armando’s saving grace. But alas, this is horror, and looks can be devastatingly deceiving. Armando wakes up to find himself in a ring, with a DIY-Luchador mask sewn into his skin, and a Texas Chainsaw-esque family watching in fascination as he’s forced to fight against ‘El Gigante’. What follows is a messy bloody fight that will leave you squirming and wincing in your seat.  

Where to watch UK: Shudder (Subscription Required – Free Trial Available!)

Where to watch US: Shudder (Subscription Required – Free Trial Available!)

Programme Total Cost – £6.97/$7.97

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