Film: The Skydivers

Described by Mystery Science Theater 3000 as "like Manos without the lucid plot", The Skydivers is less a horror movie and more a very dull soap-opera, about the employees of a small parachuting club.

The "plot" involves the eponymous skydivers getting away from their bland, loveless marriages with bland, loveless affairs, watching Coleman Francis's extended family go-go dancing, and either killing, dying, or suffering total mental breakdown as a result of all the deaths. They even skydive, occasionally.

Apparently to make up for the almost dialogue free The Beast of Yucca Flats, the film consists almost entirely of stilted dialogue punctuated by midair footage of parachutists. That would be fine, if the dialogue wasn't all like this:

Beth: Do you want some coffee?
Joe: Coffee? I like coffee!

Still, Skydivers is merely "poor" by comparison with the final film in Coleman Francis' trilogy... Red Zone Cuba.

For tropes and specifics relating to the MST3K version, please see the episode recap.


This film contains examples of:

  • Downer Ending: Beth loses her husband and their failing business.
  • Dull Surprise: Tony Cardoza as Harry. The Agony Booth article linked below has a picture of him with his various moods.
  • Femme Fatale: Suzy, who manipulates love-struck Frankie into helping her murder Harry.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The actress who plays Beth is apparently named Kevin.note 
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Beth wears the Jackie O hairstyle, while Suzy wears a modified Lulu cut.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Tony Cardoza, the ubiquitous actor/director/producer. Aside from producing and starring in Coleman Francis' movies, he also produced Hellcats. He got his start co-producing Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Beth at least is cute in a "small town, small dating pool" way. Suzy doesn't even make it into that category. She's supposedly the sultry temptress of the parachuting camp and beautiful enough to drive men to murder. In fact, in the words of The Agony Booth, "by the looks of it, I'd say Suzy's had three, maybe four kids, is about 40, wears granny panties, and has been hitting the donuts, hard". According to Michael J. Nelson, "I bet she smells like Marlboros and Arpege and Juicy Fruit and body odor."
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: In some weird way, anyway.
  • Male Gaze: Many shots of the black girl's nice butt wiggling back and forth in front of the camera.
    Servo: Now this here is the butt of choice.
    Mike: Yeah, it won the Palme D’Butt at Cannes.
    Servo: Heh Heh. Can
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Inverted; this film makes guys jumping out of a plane look boring.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Everyone in this movie. Affairs are built and lives are destroyed around cups of coffee. Par for the course for a Coleman Francis movie, they all revolve around coffee.
  • Once per Episode: A vigilante gunning down someone from a plane? It must be a Coleman Francis film!
  • Product Placement: One scene has a very obvious van in the background advertising a local restaurant. The camera actually seems more focused on the van than the characters. The fact this is done during what's supposed to be a tense and emotional scene makes it extremely jarring.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Beth's "Panic!" or "Panicked!" as a skydiver plummets to earth without opening his chute, maybe. It's very hard to tell if she's describing the guy or reading her own stage direction.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Suzy invents a stupid plot to kill Harry because she's angry at being jilted, pretty much. Despite the fact she's apparently wealthy and she has another man who's willing to do anything for her, while Harry has a stale marriage and a three-man sport parachuting business. She has nothing to gain from his death, but she does it anyway.
  • Rich Bitch: Suzy. Her "paw" gave her everything, but she's still "mean".
  • Silent Credits
  • Shown Their Work: To be fair, the skydiving is 100% accurate, including the target fixation scene, which is a real danger to skydivers. (Considering the film was shot around a real skydiving school, it should be.)