MEALS FOR MONSTERS: SANTA SANGRE (1989)
By Jenny Orosel
I have to preface this by saying just how much I love Alejandro Jodorowsky. The man is insane. Beautifully, wonderfully insane, and it’s reflected in his movies. Watching one of his movies is like going to a four star restaurant in a foreign country—you may not understand all of what you’re consuming, but my God, it might be one of the best things you’ve ever consumed. That’s how I feel about his movies. And it thrills me to come up with a delicious meal for SANTA SANGRE (1989).
SANTA SANGRE was the last movie Jodorowsky directed (well, there was one work-for-hire the year after, but he refuses to acknowledge it, so I shall not) before moving into the realm of comics. Our hero, the young Fenix, grew up in a circus but has been in a mental institution since, years earlier as a child, he saw his father cut off his mother’s arms before killing himself. He stayed there in willing silence until his armless mother helps him escape. They make a good living doing a mime act, but Mom’s got a grudge and, since she doesn’t have the hands to do it herself, forces the sad Fenix to murder beautiful women for her. It sounds like a simple slasher flick. However, this is nothing like any splatterpunk you’ve seen before. There’s enough blatant symbolism to make Freud weep. Temptation is a running theme (the family mime act is about the Garden of Eden), poor Fenix has strange hallucinations of white doves and giant snakes growing from his crotch. And the ever-present holiness of blood.
It makes sense that, for a cocktail, to mix up a few Santa Sangrias:
Cheap red wine.
Drop a handful of the chopped fruit into the glass. Fill half with red wine and half with seltzer water. Enjoy.
The opening scene of Fenix in the institution shows them trying to get him to eat a meal like a normal person. When that fails, they offer him a whole fish, which he devours. While I’m not going to have you serve up anything with a face or eyes, I think fish would be an appropriate main course:
BLOOD ORANGE BAKED COD (serves four)
4 pieces cod
2 blood oranges
1 stick butter
Salt, pepper & dried parsley to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter. Juice one of the blood oranges and mix with the butter. Dip each piece of cod in the mixture, coating it, and place in baking pan. Drizzle some of the excess onto the fish. Salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Slice remaining blood orange and place one slice on each piece of fish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with rice, potatoes or toast.
With all the temptation symbolism, it should come as no surprise that apples are in a number of scenes. Why not, for dessert, have some apple dumplings?
GARDEN OF EDEN APPLE DUMPLINGS: (serves four)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed if frozen
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon
1 beaten egg with a splash of water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel and core the apples. Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Place the apple in the center of the pastry, fill the core hole with the sugar/cinnamon mix, and sprinkle a little extra on top. Bring the corners up, pinch them closed and seal up the sides. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush the egg over the dumpling and bake at 425 for ten minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve warm.
If you’ve heard of Alejandro Jodorowsky but never seen any of his movies, this is a great one to start with. It has all his signature style and weirdness, but the plot is the most linear of any of his movies (minus that one film-that-shall-not-be-named). If you’re willing to sit through a little weirdness, you won’t be disappointed. Or, at least, you’ll have a yummy meal to get you through the night.
© Copyright 2012 by Jenny Orosel