h, those Mayas…always good for a laugh! Your Xoloitzcuintli has the runs after someone fed him dark cacao? Blame your Mayan friend. Somebody rearranged the colored feathers in your headdress to represent the gay flag? Look no further than your giggling buddy with the oblong head.
Sure, other pre-Columbian civilizations like the Mixtecs and Aztecs had evolved calendars, but the Mayan one—dating back to the 5th century BC and uncovered in the 16th century during the Spanish conquest of Yucatán—is the Britney to their Mandy Moore (somehow “It’s Mandy Moore, bitch!” doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?). Blame Turkish polymath Constantine Rafinesque-Schmaltz for helping decipher it in the 1830s, thanks to his decoding of Mayan script.
Described as an “erratic genius” by Economic Botany (the quarterly on everyone’s subscription wish list) Rafinesque, an autodidact, would later be in hot agua when his published interpretation of the Walam Olum—a historical migration narrative of the Lenape (Delaware) Native American tribe—would prove to be a hoax. But who cares about the fine print? The damn thing ends on Dec. 21, 2012, and gives us all a reason to be scared shitless.
It also provided those twisted masterminds over at the National Geographic channel (the same folks behind “Wicked Tuna” and “Rocket City Rednecks”) the opportunity to develop “Doomsday Preppers,” an entire series devoted to the paranoid—and often toothless—folk who prepare for the end of days by hoarding shelf-stable food and other supplies. “You’re never more than 20 feet away from a firearm in this house,” Kellene, a portly Utah housewife, says in a recent episode, as the camera follows her inside her pantry. There, she pulls a gun out of a large can of peas. “It’s my peashooter,” she chuckles.
“This is my everyday kind of weapon,” she continues. “They don’t make cans quite big enough for my doomsday weapons.”
Taking a page from her book, we here at SFR have scoured the city and have come up with our first (and last) local guide to everything apocalyptic. Ready to armaget-it-on with the best our city has to offer? Read on.
Edited by Enrique Limón
Featuring the writing styles of: Loren Bienvenu, Mia Rose Carbone, Jose V Chavez, Ryan Collett, Tess Cutler, Zane Fischer, Sterling Fluharty, Julia Goldberg, Justin Horwath, David Riedel, Alexa Schirtzinger and Robert Sobel.
The Essential Guide
Best one-stop shop to blow through your trust fund
Late Mexican ranchero artist (and proud Maya descendant) Antonio Aguilar said it best in his timeless song “Puño de Tierra,” when he stated that once dead, all he’ll take with him is a handful of dirt, so…why not live a little? To do so, look no further than Doodlet’s (120 Don Gaspar Ave.), the downtown shop chock-full of all the stuff you never knew you needed. Put on the spot to determine just how many items are in their colorful, gag-filled inventory, head toy buyer Melissa Poole said, “one million eighty two.” We believe her. Standouts include the “fabulous” flying, screaming monkey plush ($8.95), a sasquatch robotic hand perfect for those hard-to-reach places ($9.30) and an electronic yodeling pickle ($14). Poole’s must-have list for Armageddon survival? A pair of $5.95 mirrored, flip-up sunglasses with a dangling plastic mustache attached (“you’ll need them because of the solar flares,” she says); a cardboard “smile on a stick” ($2.85) that’ll come in handy “because you might not have half a face…and there you go,” and the pièce de résistance, a lifelike latex squirrel mask ($30) that will prove to be instrumental for going incognito. “There will probably be mutant activity,” she says. “You’ll blend right in.” -Enrique Limón
Best preview of what’s to come
Y’all want to know what the world is going to look like after the apocalypse? Just take a stroll through the Santa Fe Place Mall (classically referred to as Villa Linda). After walking past dejected, chain-smoking teenagers, you will enter through the front doors into a vision of hell. Sad-looking people will be peppered throughout the food court. They will be eating Famous Wok, Dairy Queen and Sbarro’s while their kids thoughtlessly ride the merry-go-round as the machine echoes out the same tune, like a broken snow globe, into the large and air-stifled room. Do not spend any more time in this part of the mall than you have to. If you take a left, you will be forced to confront the surreal horror of kiosk salesmen trying to hawk cell phone cases (will cell phones even work on Dec. 22?), while others try to buy your gold rings and necklaces (probably to trade for rodent masks). There is only one place in the entirety of the mall that offers a little respite from this post-apocalyptic nightmare: The Gap. Welcome to slim-fit, lived-in khaki hell. -Robert Sobel
Best place to loot
Apocalyptic chaos in Santa Fe will undoubtedly be a result of a consumerist feeding frenzy: looting the Plaza. Heavyset tourist couples from Texas will hurry downtown, with the drunk husbands dueling over “Injun” paintings they never wanted to pay for in the pre-end days while their wives, frothing at the mouth, will be choking each other with the turquoise necklaces their husbands never bought them. Previously unsuccessful artists will fight to put their unseen artwork in broken window displays of galleries, as gallery owners will shout the names of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings between sobs—“Pineapple Bud! Oil on canvas!” As you hear the screams of Democrats from the capitol, upset that Gov. Susana Martinez’ administration didn’t let them participate in her plan to drill for oil under the Roundhouse, be sensible and make your way to the rear of the Five and Dime General Store (58 E San Francisco St.), where somewhere, its magic Frito pie recipe is stashed. Despite what all these fools think, Frito pies will be the post-apocalyptic currency—roughly as valuable as booze. Loot all the Fritos and other useful supplies before quickly escaping to the Sangre de Cristo foothills to build a new society—one that is free of the trappings of tourism, costly artwork, self-serving government and short on toilet paper. -Justin Horwath
Best place to save your hide
Anyone looking for a safe place to survive Armageddon in Santa Fe will have to do some digging. For a city so close to Los Alamos, bomb shelters and fallout shelters are surprisingly well hidden. Half a decade ago, just as the Cold War was heating up, our civic leaders spearheaded a civil defense campaign. If you check out the website of the New Mexico Supreme Court Building (237 Don Gaspar Ave.), you will see it was designed as a fallout shelter in the 1950s. There is also a little-noticed bomb shelter on the New Mexico West Capitol Campus (2600 Cerrillos Road). Most or all of the remaining atomic shelters in our city were built underground, on residential lots for private homes. Once the public shelters fill up, enterprising survivalists will have to stage sit-ins at city and county offices to confiscate old blueprints submitted for residential building permits, so they can identify and commandeer home bomb shelters. This will take some creative searching, since a fair number of fallout shelters may be masquerading as wine cellars. Last of all, don’t forget to execute pantry raids for canned goods and bottled water that will last you through the coming storm. Is that you, Kellene? -Sterling Fluharty
Best last hurrah
You kept a macrobiotic diet and fermented your kombucha just so—and all for what? Go ahead and treat yourself like there’s no tomorrow (’cuz chances are there won’t be) to a crazy night at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon’s “Apocalypse Party” (142 W Palace Ave.) on 12/21. Take it from someone who survived their Halloween bash; these people know how to throw down. Attendees are encouraged to “dress for the end,” and prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Whiskey made you feel frisky? A week later at The Lodge (744 Calle Mejia), Zircus Erotique Burlesque Company presents “Tits the end of the world…literally the only show in town,” a night dubbed as “a post-Apocalypse burlesque tale full of tease, tassels and tumultuous turmoil.” And if your debaucherous tank isn’t full, I suggest a stroll through one of the 12 booths at Arcade News (2821 Cerrillos Road). Is that gentleman at the booth next door moaning from radiation exposure or sheer ecstasy? There’s only one way to figure it out, cowboy. Best part is, if you manage to live another day, the free clinic is only a short bus ride away. –EL
Best place to watch Mother Earth kick the bucket
Let’s face it: while everyone’s out looting the Five and Dime, hunkering in their bomb shelters, drinking themselves into a tizzy or all of the above, the most appealing thing about the end of the world will probably be the cool light show that comes with it. For the most part, Santa Fe’s a flat little city, but a few choice locales offer some killer views (pun intended). First up, for the classy bunch, there’s the iconic Bell Tower Bar at La Fonda Hotel (100 E San Francisco) right over the Plaza (closed in winter, but conquerable once law and order takes its leave). Splurge on some Dom Perignon champagne ($270 but, hey, it’s the end of the world, so splurge like there’s literally no tomorrow) and a couple of lamb shanks ($35), and relax while everyone goes nuts on the streets down below. Hit up the Rooftop Pizzeria (60 E San Francisco St.) or the Cantina at the Coyote Café (132 West Water St., also closed in winter) for some more optimal viewing. Still not feeling the city scene? Take a quieter route up to the Cross of the Martyrs and enjoy a 360-degree view of the city—and hey, you’ve probably got greater chances of meeting Jesus there anyway. For ultimate serenity and a great view of the chaos all in one, the endless hiking trails throughout the Sangre de Cristo Mountains could be your best fail-safe (if there ever was one). –Ryan Collett
Best man to hit up for a fine feathered friend
So, you managed to survive the end of days. Now what? Chances are you’ll be hungry and, since the 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts on St. Francis will be nothing but a glazed memory, you’ll have to fend for yourself. Fear not, chosen one! Corrales-based bird-of-prey specialist Lars Sego has got you covered. As the head of falconsforsale.org, he is the Southwest’s leading provider of trainable falcons (which will undoubtedly be useful in foraging your next meal). Sego is the first to point out that the road to falconry is a tedious one. “Don’t get started. It’s a long and time-consuming process,” the master falconer warns. “It’s not like a dog that you just throw food out for.” Still, if you’re hell-bent in living out your inner Beastmaster fantasies, get ready to partake in an apprenticeship, pass a facilities inspection at the hands of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and also trap a wild hawk. As far as how much one of these babies will run you? Without specifying, Sego says it “runs in the thousands.” Bet you wish you hadn’t blown through your savings at Doodlet’s now, huh? -EL
Best DIY entertainment
Although you’ll probably spend most of your time foraging for grubworms and fighting off hyenas once the world ends, you’re bound to have some downtime, too. And since there won’t be anywhere to plug in that Xbox or charge that iPhone, it’s high time you found some creative ways to entertain yourself. As a starting point, visit Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St.) to stock up on all those long-winded classics you’ve been meaning to read—Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and maybe even Haruki Murakami’s latest, 1Q84. If you don’t know how to read, or hope to un-learn it post-apocalypse, we recommend simpler pursuits, such as a Slinky ($5.99) or Rubik’s Cube ($11.99) from Merry Go Round Children’s Store (150 Washington Ave.), which also sells useful items such as a lemon clock ($5.99) and a rubber-band gun to help you fend off the competition ($15.99). If a Rubik’s Cube offers insufficient intellectual stimulation, blow the rest of your cash on the single ancient, gorgeous, nearly indestructible (for around $20,000, it had better be!) marble chess set from Seret & Sons (224 Galisteo St.), but keep in mind you may be playing against yourself. If you do have a partner in survival, consider going super-retro with a copy of the Kama Sutra, plus some lingerie from Underpinnings (150 Washington Ave.). Really, it was electricity that ruined all the fun. –Alexa Schirtzinger
Best bitchin’ toys to bunk with in your bunker
Trix aren’t just for kids, and neither are toys. Moon Rabbit Toys (112 W San Francisco, Ste. 212C) supplies some indispensable entertainment for the grim days ahead of us. Employee Will Culbert gives us his expertise on end-of-the-world toys: The Drinking Bird ($8), a birdie that periodically dips his head into a glass cup and drinks the contents, would be something “to stare at” while waiting for the end. Keep yourself busy with the Treasure Chest 3D Puzzle ($20) and, once it’s finished, you can “hide your precious belongings” inside of it. In order to protect yourself from other hidden fortresses, pick up the Trebuchet ($30), a mini-catapult to fiend off would-be crazed toy-hoarders. -Jose V Chavez
Best old-school gym to pump some iron at to get in shape in record time so you can cast off would-be looters who are out to get your rationing supplies and mad Fritos with your bare hands because, look at you, you’re like a Mad Max/Arnold Schwarzenegger hybrid now and all the scattered, puny and laughable specimens that comprise the human race are servant bastards who have survived merely to obey your every command because you’re basically like Susana Martinez and they are merely your blue power suit dispensary?
Mandrill’s Gym (708 W San Mateo Road). -EL
Best way to soothe the savage jaguar demons
According to some interpretations of Mayan cosmology, Dec. 21, 2012 marks not the ending of all life, but the beginning of the next great cycle. Unfortunately, most people won’t be permitted to experience this new age. Demonic minions released by the creator deity Alom will likely use this cosmic transition as an excuse to annihilate the vast majority of us. With Camalotz (aka “Sudden-Bloodletter”) leading the beheadings, I intend to do everything in my power to curry his favor. One way is through traditional Mayan music. If you have a gourd, a long stick and a dried gut string (and who doesn’t?), you can make a crude instrument that mimics the sound of the jaguar (sample here). Interestingly, the ones made by ancient Mayas disproved a long-held musicology belief that stringed instruments did not exist in pre-Columbian Latin America. Those who don’t have any dried gut handy, or aren’t into the whole DIY thing, might want to check out some of the traditional folk instruments for sale at Jackalope (2810 Cerrillos Road). Wooden flutes, hand-drums and clay pipes were all used in Mayan religious ceremonies. With a little practice, you might be able to get B’alam Agab (Night Jaguar), B’alam Quitze (Smiling Jaguar) and Iqi B’alam (Dark Jaguar) dancin’ instead of devourin’. To be safe, don’t take the price tag off your new flute or ocarina—that way, you’re at least leaving open the possibility that Xecoctovach (“Face-Gouger”) will halt his gouging in order to go buy one of his own. –Loren Bienvenu
Best amulet to lead you to the great beyond
“That’s a tough one,” Susana, the shopkeeper of Yerbería Santa Fe (1532 Cerrillos Rd.), says. One step inside the store and you’ll instantly be transported to a land where potions, spells and magical herbs rule supreme. Tired of being the subject of gossip? Susana suggests lighting a Tapa Boca (Shut Up!) candle. Other variations, like the Miel de Amor (Love Honey) and Flor del Dinero (Flower of Money), have similar efficacy and run $5.75 a pop. For a stronger, all-over effect, the Imán amulet kit includes a magnet, “special” salts, perfume and a yellow sachet. “It attracts everything good—luck, fortune, love—and brings abundance,” she says. Need to pull out the big guns? Limpias, or cleansings, take place on Wednesdays. The personal experience, Susana explains, involves tarot oils, flowers, an egg and a coconut. Eat your heart out, Arcade News! -EL
Best last nom-nom
I don’t believe the world will end on Dec. 21. That said, I do plan to eat these meals before I die, so why not compress them into one delicious, impossible day? Breakfast: Although Chez Mamou (217 E Palace Ave.) is new, its decadent Croque Madame ($8.75) is unrivaled. Second Breakfast: Every day should have a burrito in it, and for my last day on earth, I pick the carne adovada burrito ($6.95) from Posa’s El Merendero (1514 Rodeo Road)—simple, classic and so yummy. Lunch: By now, I’m feeling uncomfortably full, but I need a burger. I’m going to Tomme (229 Galisteo St.), where they’re small but packed with flavor. Afternoon Tea: This really isn’t tea at all; it’s merely an excuse to insert one more session of meat and alcohol into the mix. It wouldn’t be a last-day-on-earth without a leisurely visit to La Boca (72 W Marcy St.), where the wine flows and the morcilla (blood sausage, $11) seems appropriately apocalyptic. Cocktails: Considering it’s December and I can’t go to the Belltower at La Fonda, I’ll stick to an old favorite: a Manhattan ($11) at The Palace (142 W Palace Ave.). Conveniently, I’ll be able to attend their apocalypse party while I’m here. Dinner: I’m tempted by Geronimo’s legendary elk tenderloin, but Luminaria (211 Old Santa Fe Trail) has incomparable ambience, plus amazing beef tenderloin ($39). Dessert: Kakawa Chocolate House (1050 Paseo de Peralta) has closed by now, but considering the world’s ending, I’m breaking down the door for some rose caramel truffles ($3.50—well, free, since I’m breaking down the door). Nightcap: Secreto Bar at the Hotel St. Francis (210 Don Gaspar Ave.) for my last Negroni ($9). Total cost: around $100. Total experience: To die for. Heh. –AS
Last great pig-out
Just like your mom warned, sweets will be the death of you (never mind that raging asteroid headed toward Earth), and the fine folk at Todos Santos (125 E Palace Ave, Ste. 31) will gladly offer to be your pallbearers. Why not cleanse your palate with the Gianduioso ($12)—an Italian toothpaste-like tube full of chocolate and hazelnut paste—perfect to satisfy any dental hygienists who persist in nagging about post-apocalyptic brushing? Perhaps indulge in “The Clock is Ticking” gift set ($68)—a box covered in book pages, filled with a baker’s dozen of select chocolates (“lucky No. 13,” shop owner Hayward Simoneaux points out), ribbon-wrapped with a plush clock. You’re gonna need Lady Luck on your side, so to pay tribute to her, try the chocolate milagros, or miracles ($12-$30), shaped to resemble everything from a limb to a pregnant belly. Made with fine Valhorna chocolate, they’re also decorated with edible gold or silver leaf—effectively turning your droppings into a Hansel and Gretel-like crumb trail for potential rescuers to find you. “If you don’t eat them, they won’t work,” Simoneaux warns. -JVC
Last great place to jerk it
So, it’s doomsday, once and for all. Well, it’s been a memorable 4.54 billion years. Good job, Earth, a hearty pat on the back! And look at you, the lone-ranger cowboy, wearing your washed-up Levi’s, your bent Stetson—a real apocalyptic swashbuckler, chewing jerky like cud. Hell, it’s high in protein and practically all the sustenance you’ll need in this solar-flared climate. And, as any respectable lone ranger knows, the best jerky belongs to Sophia. “We’re the only people that hang,” says Sophia Rodarte, owner of Carne Seca de Santa Fe (1604 St. Michael’s Drive), “all-naturally hung-dry.” Can your Slim Jim say the same? Doubt it. And there’s a process, y’know…sliced, spiced and marinated for 24 hours in garlic and chile and pepper. For $31 per pound, you can mix and match your jerky as you like. And perhaps, on your sojourn ’cross the land carrying a bandanna-satchel of beef jerky (or one of Rodarte’s gift baskets, if you’re fancy), you’ll come into contact with those darned flesh-eating cyborgs you heard about on NPR and you’ll fling your jerky toward the ravenous metal being, because you heard they’re real suckers for all-naturally hung-dry beef jerky. Whoa, that was a close one. –Tess Cutler
Best items to put inside an SFR time capsule
This special issue is a product of many cheap-whiskey-infused editorial meetings, even-cheaper-whiskey-fueled brainstorming scrums and many generic-Ibuprofen-fueled writing sessions. Naturally, we’d like for future civilizations to appreciate our efforts in putting it together, so we decided to incorporate it in a Reporter-themed time capsule. But, what else to include? Perhaps our landmark June 26, 1974 first issue? Maybe Dave, the office fish, or a flower vase, half-filled with soup, which is currently taking up prime real estate in our communal fridge. Yes, a vase. Filled with soup. Cleaning out former music writer Alex De Vore’s desk, however, I stumbled across a glass jar filled with odds and ends that make sense only to him and decided to go with that instead. So yeah, Martians, go nuts trying to figure out what mankind was all about by analyzing a collection of “non-skid” paperclips, a packet of Theraflu, one AAA battery (working), a Flip camera instruction manual (but no Flip camera), a device that both current music writer Loren Bienvenu and myself agree is a “pube brush” and an already-fossilized collection of mustard packets. Human kind: 1, Aliens: 0. -EL
Best places to hit up to avoid starring in Mad Max’s Thunderous Dome or Night of the Giving Head
Though it is difficult to imagine life after the world ends, when we imagine ourselves there, likely we imagine ourselves in clothes. If not, we’re probably thinking that the world will end up like some post-apocalyptic porno flick. But realistically, once it’s finito, hazards (fire, toxic chemicals, sharp objects, zombies) may abound—and you’ll want to protect yourself. So here are some second-skin suggestions for the end of the world—or for the beginning of a new one. Both Double Take (320 Aztec St.) and Goodwill (3060 Cerrillos Road) will no doubt help you end on a sustainable note. If you figure, “Hell, the world is ending and I might as well blow my wad” (no direct reference to the abovementioned porn titles), spend some Fritos at Barkin’ Boutique (510 N Guadalupe St.), a retail gem that not only provides you with all the clothing you might need, but also benefits the Española Valley Humane Society. Did we mention it sells cats, to boot? During a recent visit, Caesar, a snowshoe; Unique, a sassy red torby; and Albus, a domestic short-haired, were all waiting for adoption. Think about it: when the world ends, you’ll definitely want a killer clowder (“clowder” meaning ‘group of felines’) to protect you. Should one of your furry steeds succumb to a falcon attack, you can always save its skin and fashion yourself a ritzy fur hat. You led a full life, Albus. -Mia Rose Carbone
Best final museum experience
Think landscapes and folk art were everything our cultural institutions had to offer? Think again. Meet the badass of the bunch, the [probably still standing] Bataan Memorial Museum (1050 Old Pecos Trail)—which sprung as a tribute to veterans of the infamous Bataan Death March. It now honors the legacy of the New Mexico National Guard and its involvement in every single conflict since 1598 Acoma War to the present Operation Enduring Freedom. In it, you’ll find all sorts of goodies, like a Civil War uniform (and its corresponding accessories), two AK-47 assault rifles and a 1916 swagger stick to keep it gangsta. Is your imagination running wild yet? The museum’s outdoor “Vehicle Park” houses everything from a UH1 Huey chopper to an M38 Jeep and—the daddy of them all—an M42 Duster anti-aircraft tank. Rick Gonzales, groundskeeper and tour guide, says that, in compliance with state and museum regulations they’re all non-operational, but the glimmer in his eye when he says the tank is outfitted with a Cadillac engine hints otherwise. We’re calling your bluff, Rick. If only we had a couple of paperclips and a few mustard packets, we could go all MacGyver on these bad boys and get the hell outta…hold on. De Vore, you’re a fuckin’ genius. -EL
The Essential Lists
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
Caused a premature immolation of Zozobra
You know how when Santa Fe’s most pagan effigy is groaning forever and those frickin’ fire dancers can’t seem to wrap up their schtick and the whole crowd is shouting “burn the mother fucker!” but it just ain’t happening? I always wished some ninja badass would hang upside-down from a tree and drop a flaming arrow right in Zozobra’s face. And I always wished that ninja badass would be me.
Gone skeet shooting at Bishop’s Lodge
Santa Fe has a fancy resort with so much property that you can go bust targets within a bicycle ride from downtown. Imagine strapping your shotgun to your bike rack and crackin’ clays all afternoon and then running your bicycle lock through the trigger guard on your 12-gauge so you can lock bike ’n’ gun to a fence while you get your post-pull cocktail on. I guess I was always scared that one of the angry hikers on the other side of the ridge would have been my mom.
Taken better advantage of some of the largest brains on the planet…
…before they were eaten. I’ve got more than a few culture notches on my belt, but I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never taken a workshop at St. John’s or attended a lecture at the Santa Fe Institute. If challenged to list the amenities and opportunities that make Santa Fe a better town than whatever hipster-berg is hot at the moment, those two activities would be at the top of my list. Can dilettantes be zombies?
Made a better argument that history is more important than the appearance of history
Apparently the world actually will end before I understand why building fake adobe structures is tolerable in our historic districts, but building real adobe structures that don’t look the same as the fake structures is outlawed. I always meant to stand up for traditional materials and techniques as the real indicators of history, but that was back when things were still standing.
Base-jumped off the Eldorado Hotel
Sure, I would have died because being one of the tallest buildings in Santa Fe is like being one of the smartest members of the Tea Party. But a glorious leap toward the rising sun and quick, definitive death is a better way to go out than being torn limb from limb by panicked sheeple who want to get their hands on my stash of canned bacon.
Let the Credits Roll
Whether you fear the four horsemen of the apocalypse, nuclear strike, zombie hordes or Michele Bachmann’s inevitable rise to power, there are plenty of ways to ride out the end days. And to prepare, watch these movies and drink that homebrew your friend Eddie has been yammering on about for the past year (if the world ends, you never have to again; if it doesn’t, you’re on your own). Some of these flicks are about the end of days themselves, some are bad enough to make you wish for the end of days and some are just great movies you should see before you die.
Good luck, fellow humans!
The world effectively ends in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), a zombie movie that doubles as great cinema with a sly commentary on our rotten consumer culture. For extreme blood and guts, watch its bad-ish sequel, Day of the Dead (1985). To scare yourself shitless, nothing beats Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002).
If you have three hours and 21 minutes to spare, watch Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), a fascinating and epic character study in which even the slightest changes in routine have drastic consequences.
In Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Red (1994), the world doesn’t end, but there is a giant storm and all the portentousness that goes with it. This sort-of love story sums up Kieślowski’s career, and Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irene Jacob are perfect as two people redeemed by an unconventional friendship.
Like a little end of the world with your end of the world? Try Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011). Kirsten Dunst stars as Justine, a woman suffering from severe depression, who embraces the impending collision of the planet Melancholia with Earth while her family freaks out. It’s von Trier at his most restrained—and not, coincidentally, his best.
The little-known Last Night (1998) takes a different tack: The sun is growing and will consume the Earth. Yikes! Just how do these Canadians deal with it? Politely. A pre-Grey’s Anatomy Sandra Oh is excellent, and director David Cronenberg appears in a supporting role.
Bad movies and bad endings:
For many, Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate is the apocalypse of boredom. This nearly four-hour epic perverts American history and features a drab lead, but the new Criterion restoration reveals the awesomeness of Vilmos Zsigmond’s photography, even if the story is a yawn. There are fine supporting performances from Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges and a pre-wobbly-voiced Sam Waterston.
How bad is the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle End of Days? A Catholic priest questioned by Ah-nuld’s cop says he’s never heard of St. Thomas Aquinas. At least Gabriel Byrne, as Satan, punches Udo Kier through the head. This movie is so egregious it’s unreal.
So Miracle Mile (1988) isn’t bad, but it has one of the more downbeat endings of any film about nuclear Armageddon, which always gets it in trouble at viewing parties. Anthony Edwards—with hair!—gets a call and is told the world is ending via nukes. Part of the drama is derived from figuring out whether the call is legit. And then—spoiler alert—the world ends, badly.
Remember Cloverfield (2008)? It kinda sucks, but two things redeem it: Lizzy Caplan’s head explodes and TJ Miller is the camera operator.
If you’ve made it this far, you should know Eddie’s homebrew contains Soylent Green (1973), and SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE OF PEOPLE. As an over-actor, Charlton Heston is sorely missed.
Run, Hide and Seek
1. Dress appropriately. I spent the entire last zombie apocalypse wearing a pink dress I bought years ago at Mira (101 W Marcy St.). A super-cute pink dress, but not exactly the right ensemble for kicking ass. Personally, I think Santa Fe-based clothing company Pain Adds Color should be the official go-to wardrobe for the coming zombie apocalypse.
2. Avoid elected officials. This, actually, is good advice, regardless. But particularly during a zombie apocalypse, steer clear of anyone who has been sworn into office. I have personally witnessed the zombie transformations of City Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Chris Calvert, along with former County Sheriff Greg Solano. I have seen Mayor David Coss become a zombie twice, which is pretty crazy even within a mythological framework. Why are politicians such easy targets for the walking dead? You tell me.
3. Open a new music venue: Many of the inherent challenges in sustaining a viable music venue should be neutralized during a zombie apocalypse (see No. 2 in particular). But don’t wait for the zombie apocalypse on this one—join up with Meow Wolf PAC now to help make this happen. And swing by the Santa Fe Music Alliance holiday fundraiser Dec. 16 at the Cowgirl (319 S Guadalupe St., see No. 8) while you’re at it.
4. Feed the meter. So it’s a zombie apocalypse and you’re downtown and miraculously find a parking spot. You think: Hey, it’s the end of the world; I won’t get a ticket. Yes, you will.
5. Eat light. If I had to choose my last meal, it would probably be a breakfast burrito from Horseman’s Haven Café (435 Cerrillos Road). But no one wants to take a giant nap in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Instead, head over to Body of Santa Fe (333 W Cordova Road). What better way to avoid becoming a cannibal than by eating raw and vegan? Plus, you can grab a yoga class to stretch out after you spend 15 hours hiding in the trunk of your car.
6. Find protection. At the first sign of zombies, I am heading to Undisputed Fitness (915 W Alameda St.) to cower behind Heather McKearnan for protection. If by some chance, everyone at Undisputed has already been turned, then just say goodbye. You’re toast.
7. Avoid emergency personnel. You know that expression, “There’s never a cop around when you need them”? This one of those times when saying that expression will result in your immediate death. You don’t want to go anywhere near cops, emergency techs or anyone on the front lines trying to help victims displaying mysterious bite marks. According to SFR’s previous consultations with epidemiologists and other professionals, these folks are the first to go. Instead, swing by Herbs Etc. (1205-1201 Cerrillos Road), stock up on herbal immune boosters and then grab yourself a machete.
8. Bar hop. Yes, it’s cold outside and the world is ending: all the more reason to support local musicians as they play their hearts out one last time. Also, you’ll need to bar hop since, at some point, the zombies will burst in and ruin the party. I spent the last zombie apocalypse at the Cowgirl and had a lovely time—and found it easy to escape through the back door. The Underground (200 W San Francisco St.) also seems like a good place to hole up, as zombies are sure to have trouble navigating the stairs and you can attack them as they fall.
9. Find Zane Fischer. I can’t really be anymore specific than this, other than to say I make it a point to track down Zane during any sort of emergency due to his stockpile of…um, organic vegetables. Plus, his award-winning house would make a great place to hide out. Or so I’ve read.
10. Help rebuild. Sure, it’s tempting to cower in the shadows weeping over the devastation. But, hey, one person’s zombie apocalypse is another’s opportunity to make Santa Fe an even more vibrant community. Mix Santa Fe is seeking your input about how you’d like to help Santa Fe rebuild after the zombie apocalypse. Thoughts?
Julia Goldberg is SFR’s former editor, a coordinator of MIX Santa Fe, and the author of “My So-Called Apocalypse”—a 30-minute Santa Fe-based zombie film, available on Amazon, which premiered at The Screen in April 2011 and was an official selection of the Atlanta Horror Film Festival. Zombie Coss image by Ursula Coyote.