Sometimes, you can find amaz­ing things on inter­net forums.  Your Humble Reviewer’s favorite find of this nature in recent mem­o­ry is a post that Paul Talbot recent­ly made at the Mobius Home Video Forum about Survive! Talbot is a favorite around Schlockmania head­quar­ters for his amaz­ing books on the Mandingo phe­nom­e­non (Mondo Mandingo) and the Death Wish series (Bronson’s Loose).  He has applied the same mix­ture of sharp writ­ing and jour­nal­is­tic detail that informs his books into a con­cise but info-packed essay on this noto­ri­ous film’s back­ground.

But first, a lit­tle back­ground for those who don’t rec­og­nize the title: Survive! is an infa­mous Mexican pro­duc­tion helmed by the father and son team of Rene Cardona Jr. and Sr.  It offered an unfor­get­tably tawdry treat­ment of a real life sto­ry about South American foot­ball play­ers who resort­ed to can­ni­bal­ism when their plane crashed in a remote, snowy area of the Andes moun­tains.  The film was import­ed to America dur­ing the sum­mer of 1976 and became a sur­prise box office hit.

Behind any good schlocky hit lies a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry and Talbot has put togeth­er a riv­et­ing essay on the film’s his­to­ry and how it was reworked for an American audi­ence.  You’ll dis­cov­er that the peo­ple behind its English-lan­guage ver­sion would go on to make Grease and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as info on a big­ger, more pres­ti­gious Hollywood treat­ment of the sto­ry that was aban­doned because of Survive!‘s sur­prise domes­tic suc­cess (Hollywood would have to wait until the 1990’s for its ver­sion of the sto­ry, Alive).

The end result is edu­ca­tion­al and enter­tain­ing all at once — and like Talbot’s film-relat­ed books, it gets Schlockmania’s high­est rec­om­men­da­tion.  Click this link to check it out: