#13. The Skydivers

13. The Skydivers (1953) - Season 6, episode 609
"You know, the fact that they skydive doesn't make me like them."

A love triangle at a sport parachuting business leads to jealousy, betrayal, and murder. Based on the Sweet Pickles book.
Famous for:  
Being one of the worst movies ever made, yet somehow being the best movie that Coleman Francis ever made. And also, coffee.

We all like coffee

My favorite riff:
 Asking me to pick my favorite riff in a Coleman Francis movie is like asking me to pick my favorite bite of a delicious cheeseburger. They're ALL good.

However... here are five personal favorites of mine that only could have come from a Coleman Francis episode.

Suzy:  Will I see you tomorrow?
Mike:  Well, you'll have to ask the editor.

"Um, seems like they forgot to have things happen in this movie."

Joe:  Coffee? I like coffee.
Mike: And thus we peer in the complex inner workings of this character.

[After one scene inexplicably ends, and cuts to a new scene]
"What the...? Someone with attention deficit disorder edited this film."

And then there's this last one, which pretty much sums up the magic of Coleman Francis movies in a nutshell.

Unidentified character on the left: "Wonder how high they're gonna jump."

Unidentified character on the right:  "I don't know."

Crow:  Boy, they really captured that kind of situation, didn't they?
[Tom Servo starts laughing.]

Comments:  Hunker down, folks, 'cause I got a lot to say about this one.

Mainly because Coleman Francis is my all-time favorite MST3k director. 

"Why are they sitting in a refrigerator box?"

Coleman Francis movies are so consistently bad, in such a consistently amateurish way, that it's almost not fair letting the MST3k guys sit there and take digs at them. The movies are SO dumb and SO unintentionally funny, just on their own, that you would probably sit there and laugh at them even if there weren't any riffs.

And what's hilarious is that The Skydivers is actually THE BEST OF THE THREE COLEMAN FRANCIS MOVIES(!)

Crow: Her helmet SHIFTED!
Mike: She didn't fasten her chin strap!

Spectator: Why... it looks like they're rasslin'!
Mike (as the other spectator):  I think they're leather boys, dear.

Seriously, there are SO many weird things going on in this movie. I mean, aside from the typical Coleman Francis incompetence and wackiness.

You know, like continuity errors every five fucking minutes. And characters randomly edited into scenes that they aren't actually in. And night shots that you can tell are actually day shots.

Like this shot... which goes from night to day, and then back again, in the middle of a sentence

And here's Anthony Cardoza basically CGI-inserted into a scene

Oh yeah, and then there's this part of the movie.

Where Coleman Francis actually switches boats IN THE MIDDLE OF A SCENE, and he doesn't think anyone will notice.

"Now it's a scow! The boat is a shape shifter!"

And now, here's the really fun weird bonus stuff.

On TOP of all the usual Coleman Francis amateur bullshit, how about these unanswered questions that come up as you are watching Skydivers?

Why is the guy holding a chicken in this scene?
And come to think of it... what's with grandma in the Huckleberry Finn hat?

Why would you take two characters who we know nothing about, and who look and dress exactly alike, and have them fistfight in the dark?
Did it ever occur to you we might not be able to tell what is happening?

Why the fuck does a Scotsman in a kilt show up in the big dance scene?


Why do you do these things in your movies, Mister Francis?

The inside of Anthony Cardoza's nose

The Skydivers is SO funny, and the movie is such a godawful shitty mess, that I easily could have put this episode in my top five. I really do think it's that good. In fact, my wife says this is her all-time favorite MST3k episode.

"Tell your little brother thanks for the helmet."

"Honey, even if a hairstyle is in... it may not be the right one for you."

Skydivers isn't my favorite MST3k episode. Hell, it isn't even my favorite Coleman Francis MST3k episode (Red Zone Cuba is). But by god, I'll defend it against people who claim that Coleman Francis movies are too dreary to ever make good MST3k episodes.

I know he's the most polarizing MST3k director of them all, but I just love him.

His movies are sooooo consistently stupid and bad. They're incredible.

Beth:  Harry, let's go out and join the party.
Mike:  No, let's stay in the crawlspace.

I don't know how anyone could watch this episode and not find it hilarious.

"Ooooh, someone's got a pantload."

Other personal favorite things about this episode:  Okay, I gotta point out two other things.

The first thing I gotta point out is this wonderful Coleman Francis trademark. Where a bunch of actors enter a scene, and they say nothing as they walk over to stand on their marks. And then, when they're on their marks, NOW they start talking.  

It's most noticeable in this scene, where Mike actually calls the movie out on it.

[The first actor finally starts talking]
Mike (laughing): We'll start the scene HERE.

And finally, I have to point out this riff. Where Crow is SO annoyed by characters we don't know just randomly entering and exiting scenes, that he gets all sarcastic when a car drives up to the camera, and we have no idea who's inside.

This sums up the experience of what it's like watching any Coleman Francis movie.

Crow (super sarcastically): Oooooh, I wonder who this is gonna be.

Trivia: Here's a fun fact for you. At one time, The Skydivers was the lowest rated movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database. Which, again, is pretty amazing when you realize that Coleman Francis made two other movies (Red Zone Cuba, The Beast of Yucca Flats), and both of them are even worse. The Skydivers is actually Coleman Francis's masterpiece.

He made three movies in his career, and this piece of shit was his Citizen Kane.

That's incredible.

*duck fart noises*

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