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Sampo & Erhardt

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Episode guide: 609- The Sky Divers (with short: ‘Why Study Industrial Arts?’)

Short: (1956) A explanation of why boys should take shop class even if they think they’ll never need it.
Movie: (1963) Conspiracy and adultery abound at a small skydiving school.

First shown: 8/27/94
Opening: Tom’s planetarium show is disrupted
Intro: M&tB and the Mads compete in a swing choir competition
Host segment 1: Mike’s shop class doesn’t go well
Host segment 2: Crow puts himself in a “double jock lock”
Host segment 3: Tom bombs Crow
End: Crow and Tom struggle in their parachutes, letter, the Mads have switched to dodge ball
Stinger: “I don’t know. I feel real free up there in the high blue sky.”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (259 votes, average: 4.66 out of 5)

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• I love this episode. We now begin our descent into the works of one Coleman Francis. Those wondering how he got the idea he could direct probably need look no further than the extensive list of bit parts he played in Hollywood over three decades. One begins to imagine Coleman, having spent so much time on movie sets, watching actual directors work, that he began to think he could do it himself. How wrong he was. That said, this movie is probably the best of Francis’ oeuvre, which isn’t saying much, but still. You almost get caught up in it. Not quite, but almost. Plus you’ve got a classic short and a series of host segments where poor Crow suffers one hilarious indignity after another. All in all, a winner in my book.
• This episode is featured in Rhino’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol. 1.”
References.
• The Servo in the opening is the one they use in theater (or one like it), just as Timmy the Dark Crow was the Crow they use in the theater. When they paint ’em black they make better silhouettes.
• The swing choir sketch is a classic. I had never heard of “swing choir” growing up. Our choirs were more of the “stand stock still in a robe” variety. But with the advent of “Glee” everybody understands now.
• The achingly funny short was shown at the Museum of TV event in Los Angeles in ’95. I think mentioned in a previous entry that it was really an epiphany for me, since I had never watched MST3K on a big screen with such a large group before. The crowd was just roaring with almost deafening gales of laughter. I’d seldom been in a crowd of people all laughing so hard and loud before. It really was an eye-opener.
• Tom Servo is quite correct about the “I can’t pay you but I can put your name in the credits cast list.” Word is that is exactly what it was.
• Kudos to Jef Maynard for the sawn-in-half Crow. Another great creation.
• My theory on they “why” of this movie is that Coleman guessed that sport skydiving was so novel and exciting to watch, in and of itself, that it would captivate America, and they wouldn’t notice the almost total lack of a plot.
• The ditty “sex for sundries is fun” was an immediate hit among internet MSTies.
• In addition to swing choir, I had never heard of a double jock lock. Apparently none of the bullies in my junior high school had heard of it either, thank goodness!
• I like coffee. It became an immediate catchphrase.
• Callbacks: “He’ll never touch you, Terry.” (Teenage Crimewave) ”Manos!” “No Lupita!” (from Santa Claus). “Why don’t they look?” (Last Clear Chance).
• But beyond all the other internet MSTie sensations that this episode created, far and away the hugest was Petey Plane. For a few days there, it was almost all anybody could talk about in the forums.
• Tom’s dialog in segment 3 (“splash one!”) echoes videos of laser-guided missile strikes that were being shown on TV a lot at the time.
• Jimmy Bryant may have been the only moderately talented person in the entire movie. His stuff is actually kinda good!
• Mike assumes Ike didn’t know this was going on, but since this movie was made in 1963, and he hadn’t been president for years … well, maybe he still might have objected.
• Cast and crew roundup: Cinematographer Austin McKinney was production supervisor on “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Art director Mike Harrington also worked on “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…” Score composer John Bath also worked on “Red Zone Cuba.” Choreographer Robert Banas was an actor in “Daddy-O. In front of the camera: Titus Moede was in “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” Marcia Knight, Barbara Francis, Alan Francis, Ronald Francis were all in “Beast of Yucca Flats.” Frederic Downs was in “Red Zone Cuba,” “The Hellcats” and “Terror from the Year 5000.” Tony Cardoza produced and appeared in all three Francis films, as well as “The Hellcats.” Eric Tomlin is also in “The Hellcats” and”Beast of Yucca Flats.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Jim Mallon.
• Fave riff from the short: “And not a killer!” Honorable mention: “I can’t get this thing back in my pants, Earl.”
• Fave riff from movie: “This is typical of young directors: too many good ideas — or, in this case, none at all.” Honorable mention: “H.R. Haldemann on drums.”

179 Replies to “Episode guide: 609- The Sky Divers (with short: ‘Why Study Industrial Arts?’)”

  1. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    Earnest Short plus Terrible Movie plus non-stop BRILLIANT riffing. I’m in for 5.

    Agree with Sampo on quite a few things : Best COleman Film, yes. Jimmy Bryant : not terrible by any means. Swing Choir ? Creepy Gold.

    There are so may good riffs it’s hard to keep track, I tried making notes and I found myself transcribing the whole ep ( so i stopped ).

    What about girls young man !?

    I can see my earth from here !

    Heroin has hit this town in a big way.

    favorite is either the late film triple of John Lovitz ( that’s the ticket ), Patrick Picard Stewart ( make it so ) and Miss Irkutsk OR from the short… he’s a tooooool operater.

       6 likes

  2. Stickboy says:

    Oh yes. Coleman. This is one of the great episodes for me, too. And a short stuffed full with hilarious riffs.
    From the short, there’s a line that Tom says that kills me every time. It sneaks up on me, catches me unaware and leaves me rolling on the floor. “Extruded… plastic… dingus.” I don’t know what that means, but I break up every time.
    The movie is jam packed with weird characters that have no business being on film. But you can’t look away. Why does the tiny parachuting place draw such a crowd? And why does everyone who comes bring a prop and speak in riddles?
    Bizarre.
    I searched for a while for Petey Plane. Came up empty. It sounds like a kids’ TV show, like Thomas the Tank Engine. Is it?

       3 likes

  3. Joseph Nebus says:

    I do have to grumble a bit because I know that I’ve seen, most likely on Turner Classic Movies, a film that Skydivers was clearly a worn-down, not-quite-functioning copy of and now I can’t think of what it was. But surely part of Francis’s thinking was that a movie about the struggles over a small-town airstrip had been successful enough at least the once so maybe it would work again.

    There’s an odd precisely-right-nerdly-obsession moment: as two of the skydivers get on the plane in, I think it is, the party scene Tom riffs about the Gemini astronauts approaching the plane. And, yes, their outfits do resemble the flight suits Gemini astronauts used, and more so than those that Mercury or Apollo astronauts did. What Brain is paying that much attention to space history?

    The sawn-in-half Crow is an incredibly well-done effect and it’s all the more admirable that the two were operated together so naturally.

    My father, an all-around mechanically ept person, can’t get enough of Why Study Industrial Arts?.

       6 likes

  4. Sean says:

    The “gifted” girl in the dancing sequence that Crow drools over…she’s hot!!

    “Her helmet shifted!!!”

    “Someone with attention deficit disorder edited this film”

    Definitely in my top 5 of fav episodes

       2 likes

  5. Great ep, my favorite moment in the Swing Choir host segment was Crow’s enthusiastic, “I liked it!” in response to Forrester’s victory dance. It’s funny cuz they’re the same guy!

       3 likes

  6. GizmonicTemp says:

    This short holds a special place in my heart as it was the first MST short I even experienced (tear).

    Whenever I get to work in the morning, one of the first things I ask is, “Where is it, the coffee?”

       2 likes

  7. adoptadog says:

    “You know, it’s fun to have an idea.”

    One of my all-time favorite episodes: great host segments, great short, great riffing on the movie.

    Of all the Coleman Francis movies, this is the sunniest; there’s a lovely goofiness to the dance scene, the random characters showing up to watch the skydivers are so absurd (are skydivers really that fascinating?), and Francis as the inexplicable vigilante in the plane is priceless. Love the Petey Plane song, the “Sex for Sundries Is Fun” ditty. And as bad as the movie is, there’s actual dialog (“I like coffee”) versus V.O. Plus you have the music of Jimmy Bryant.

    I maintain that Coleman Francis was trying to say something in his films. I don’t think he had a clue WHAT he was trying to say, but still…there’s a strong sense of him trying to communicate his ideas about society. And I still think that Francis aspired to be a film maker, unlike Ed Wood, who just wanted to make movies. He didn’t know how to direct, I know, and that makes his films downright painful, but they make for wonderful MST episodes, and Skydivers is the best of them.

    “There, wasn’t that fun?”

       7 likes

  8. jjb3k says:

    “Why Study Industrial Arts?” might just be the best short ever. It’s one of those things I show to people who’ve never seen MST3K before, to demonstrate what the show did best. “Yes, one of THESE in every home!”

    One bit from the short that always makes me laugh is when we see some kind of huge printing press or something, and Crow imitates the screams of someone caught inside it (“OW! WHOA! T-TURN IT OFF! OWW-GUHH…”). Possibly one of my all-time favorite Trace riffs.

    The movie itself keeps up that steady stream of hilarious riffing. The film is just a big ball of nothing, so the Brains are able to zero in on tinier details and not get bogged down with plot, and the riffs just come at a breakneck pace. It’s great!

    “It seems like they forgot to have things happen in this movie.”

       5 likes

  9. I LIKE IT VERY MUCH says:

    Come on kids! Let’s sing the Petey Plane song!

    No mystery why this was included on Rhino’s volume one set. I actually made a mstie out of a friend at work (resturant) who would gather us all after work for a party. Whenever he made the announcement for such, I’d yell out Tom Servo’s line in the Photographer geek scene: “WILL THERE BE MASHED POTATOES!?”. That quickly became a catch-phrase between us and soon enough he began borrowing my tapes (some never came back – #516).

    I can thank this episode for sparking my interest in Jimmy Bryant. (even the ahh-soo tune – like it or not it’s hard to get out of your head).

    The dance party scene is my favorite :
    (Mike’s line – “it’s this town’s passion play”), the gibbering, saluting Scotsman plus of course the big busty (may I cut in) blonde.

       6 likes

  10. Horace Rumpole says:

    My stock reference for bad acting is “We’re looking for people who can read. Lines, and interact with others.”

       10 likes

  11. Dave says:

    Sampo, I would take issue with your assessment that this is the best of the Francis films. I mean, I would take issue, but the absolute quality is so low that the relative quality is impossible to judge. It’s like trying to decide which is the best disease: cholera, malaria or Spanish flu. “Yucca Flats,” naturally, is cholera.

    That said, I agree that this is an excellent episode. The movie is bad, sure, but it’s the right kind of bad: good bad (as Dr. F puts it for another episode: “good for us, bad for you, Joel.”) The short, though innocuous on its own, is perfect for that little thing they had going ten years ago, and the riffing is top-notch.

    I love the simple earnestness of the short. “We’ll need actors. People who can act. And with… and read lines with others.”

       1 likes

  12. Wes says:

    I love the Swing Choir sketch. The closest I experienced to that in high school was being involved in Forensics, (competitive public speaking in several category types) A bunch of drama kids competing against each other – oh the drama! Trace is absolutely brilliant in this.

       3 likes

  13. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I guess “swing choir” is what we called “glee club” here in NJ. I was in the latter and it proved that I have no talent for singing.

    As for the ep, good short/feature combination. Yeah, “Skydivers” is bad, but I agree it’s the relative best of the Coleman Francis triad.

    Favorite riff from the short: the all-too-creepy “I drive the nails into the soft, yielding wood.”

    Favorite riff from the feature: the whiny “You mean I did the druggist for no reason?”

       3 likes

  14. I'm evil says:

    I’m with Sampo–never heard of Swing Choir. I’m pretty sure any male involved in such an activity at my high school would have been beaten senseless repeatedly. Dr. F and Frank have me in stitches with their entry though–a definite classic moment and in my top five host segments. (And I agree with the judge’s decision.)

    Can’t go against the tide on this one–both the short and the movie are (as Dr. F would say) FABULOUS! I like the dodgeball segment at the end as well: “STAY IN THE CIRCLE!!!”

    Some great riffs:

    I’m making this for the Grand Wizard.

    It’s Marlo Thomas in “That Guy.”

    You folks were in the vicinity so we’ll have to kill you.

    The dangers of a sky diving-based economy.

    They were in danger of having something actually happen.

    You’re unit ever get windburn? Chapped?

    H.R. Haldemann on drums.

    And from the host segment: DAMN YOU SERVOOOO!!!!

    Oh, and I’m glad I’m not the only who thought Jimmy Bryant was talented.

       1 likes

  15. Sitting Duck says:

    That guy in the short does rather make shop class sound kinky.

       2 likes

  16. I LIKE IT VERY MUCH says:

    RE: #2 Stickboy –

    I believe the “extruded plastic dingus” reference is from The Coen bros. film “The Hudsucker Proxy” where Paul Newman’s character refers it to Norville Barnes’s (Tim Robbins) invention (which they later call the “Hoola-Hoop”)

       3 likes

  17. jon says:

    Yeah, this is probably in my top-3 episodes. The only thing I don’t love are a few of the host segments. Other than that, it’s pretty much a perfect MST episode.

       1 likes

  18. rcfagnan says:

    Clearly, the only way of obtaining acid is to sleep with a chemist. There is no other way to get it. Sex for sundries IS fun. I love the short, not so much the movie. It isn’t that the riffs aren’t funny, it’s just that the dull, tedious films are hardest to watch for me and Coleman Fracis’ movies (and “Starfighters” for that matter) are among the prime examples.

       0 likes

  19. Cliff Weismeyer says:

    I can verify and #13 and #16. Having moved from the Midwest (Michigan) to the East Coast (DC), I can assure you that “swing choir” and “glee club” are the same beast, which- like the Devil- has many names. As for “extruded plastic dingus,” it is from Hudsucker and a great euphemism that sounds dirty but isn’t.

    Glad to see debut of the great and powerful Coleman Francis on MST. You can have your Ed Woods and Hal Warrens, I’ll stick with the creator of Griffin, Joseph Javorski, the Scottish guy and “Tom Boerwinkle.”

    You have to hand it to Coleman, even in this, his comparatively light hearted movie, he can incite despair and crush souls like few other directors could dream of. Skydivers gives us the despair of failed marriage, accidental death, adultery, poverty, and hopelessness, and the horror of Tony Cardoza as a leading man/sex symbol. And, he intertwines it with a rollicking party populated by characters too freaky for David Lynch.

    This is a terrible, awful, horrid movie, yet I agree that it is probably Coleman’s best. What does that say?

    One of the best episodes, that’s what!

       9 likes

  20. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    I absolutely love this episode. While it’s still Coleman Francis, and just as horribly put together, and at many points just as dark and depressing, it’s got a certain charm that REALLY elevates it in my book. The kooky mix of characters at the jump party take the cake! And Jimmy Bryant? C’mon! Fascinating film, and that’s even without the riffing!!! The short is one of the best, too.

    Faves
    “The loneliness of the long-distance greaser.”

    “Where is it, your coffee?”

    “I’m really gung-ho about that idea.”

       7 likes

  21. R.A. Roth says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why that suicidal guy’s car door kept flying open, and while in the hell did Coleman Francis think this gag would make movie gold. As a rule, a door with a bum catch isn’t that entertaining.

    Randy

    PS Also, I submitted a change to the annotated site:

    Where the hell is my old fashioned?
    An old fashioned is a drink containing bourbon, Angostura bitters, sugar, and club soda.

    While correct, you are missing the real anecdote. This is an ode to line spoken by Jim Backus in the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” He plays a booze hound airplane owner Tyler Fitzgerald. Mickey Rooney (Dingy) and Buddy Hackett (Benjy) enlist him to fly them to Santa Rosa, to beat the others to the money under the “Big W”. Tyler asks them make him an old fashioned. Upon failing to meet his demands, Tyler says something similar to “Where the hell is my old fashioned?” then gives the wheel to Benjy who then accidentally knocks Tyler cold.

       2 likes

  22. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    “I’m still trying to figure out why that suicidal guy’s car door kept flying open…”

    I’m not sure about that either. There’s a whole lot of quirky things in this movie that I think are hard to understand. It’s sort of like the group of interesting folks at the dance party. Let’s See:

    Scotsman, Gigantress, roller-skater in puffy miniskirt, polka-dot bikini girl, Iggy Pop, odd Camera club guy, Man with guitar at the ready, creepy kids…anywho, were these people actors dressing up like that, or were they actual people who just showed up? Part of the mystique of a Coleman Francis film, I guess…

       4 likes

  23. Lou Stoolz says:

    Coleman Francis ordering drinks on the plane while trying to gun down the fugitives always crackes me up…as does “Michael Landon’s face.” :lol:

       2 likes

  24. Kris says:

    This episode is about as close to perfect as MST could get without it being illegal. The short is probably the highlight: I’ve probably seen it fifty times and I still laugh so hard it physically hurts. The guys just nailed the unintentional creepiness of it to the wall.

    “And I feel real good, because I’m a craftsman!”
    Mike: “And not a killer!”

    I grew up in Boston. I participated in swing choir in high school. I’m very, very sorry.

       5 likes

  25. Lou Stoolz says:

    I also have a theory that Nicolas Cage is the illegitimate son of Tony Cardoza.

       0 likes

  26. jjb3k says:

    Another missed anecdote from the Annotated MST site:

    I think they’re going for the Quiet Man movie fight record.
    The Quiet Man is a 1952 movie starring John Wayne as a boxer who retires to Ireland and falls in love.

    That it is, but the reason it’s referenced here is because it has one of the longest fistfight sequences in cinema history.

       2 likes

  27. fireballil says:

    Ah, yes. Coleman Francis. A definite 5 star episode. Some of my thoughts:

    I felt sorry for Crow. First he gets sawn in half, then gets himself in that double jock lock, then shot up by Tom for no good reason. Poor ‘bot.

    When Crow says, ‘No one had to buy me a car,’ he was referencing when The Killer Shrews, where Joel got Tom a car, but all he got was a pair of sensible pants. This is a rare example of the show referencing itself outside of the riffs.

    I was in swing choir in junior high and high school, although we called it show choir. We never wore the costumes worn here, though. And I still have no idea what Dr. F’s dance was. He looked like a chicken for a few seconds.

    The short was also a hoot. It almost made me convinced that we need this…until I saw the end where the coach had his ‘disciples’ as Mike called them.

    Fave short riff: Joe: ‘It’s fun to have an idea.’ Mike: ‘There, wasn’t that fun?’ It was the way he said it.

    Fave movie riff: Tom, after Suzy left the druggist: ‘Ever since he went to the barter system, things have been great!’

    I wrote a short review for TV.com, see it here.

       6 likes

  28. crowtdan says:

    “A string of poloponies” a great reference to the Honeymooners. “Phil Rizzutto!!” “We’re poor, but clean” The grandma of death! Jimmy Dorlocks!!! I think this was worn out on my VCR. Good thing I have two copies. Pure heaven.

       2 likes

  29. Burke says:

    “This is the last time I let a dart choose where I go on vacation.”

       6 likes

  30. Kitty Reed says:

    One my most absolute favorites, in fact, I’ll plug in here right now at work.

    “I was born to wild! My mother said so!”

    I remember swing choir and it was (is?) as dorky as Mike & Dr F made it look.

    A few years ago, I had the flu with bad bad chest congestion. While I lay dying, I put in Skydivers. When Crow sawed himself in half and then the halves argued whose fault that was, I started laughing, then coughing so hard and deep that I cleared my lungs. Who says there are no miracles anymore? :)

       8 likes

  31. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    We called it jazz choir when I was in school, and we didn’t have to wear such puffy outfits. Still just as dorky, though. There’s a reason they call it scatting…

       3 likes

  32. pearliemae says:

    Love the movie, the short not so much. Maybe I need to see it again. Can anyone explain to me the “double jock lock” thing. Is this a real prank that you guys pull on each other? No one has to admit to anything, but I would like a little explanation, I’m puzzled. Or just stupid. And, I forgot to mention last week in our discussion of worst actresses – the femmey fataley in this one. It’s hard to know where to start. But she does glower pretty well.

       0 likes

  33. pearliemae says:

    Oh, also…”Love’s Pit Barbecue”.

       1 likes

  34. John says:

    One of my all time favorite episodes! Medium/petite basically nailed it.
    I can only speak as an intermediate guitar player, but in his day, Mr. Bryant did indeed send many young musicians home to practice.

       3 likes

  35. badger1970 says:

    8th Grade Glee Club (forced at gun point from my Mother circa 1982); Leonel Richie “All Night”. Aaaaaahhhhhhhhrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh.

    While I do enjoy this episode, the short was marvelous, and basically introduced me to MST3k, Coleman Francis can suck the joy of life even from a saint.

       1 likes

  36. MikeK says:

    Five out of five stars.

    This is a great episode. It is the best of the Coleman Francis films. The short is a classic, really an ideal example of the kind of short that’s worthy of riffing.

    The host segments are all good, but my favorite is Crow’s table saw accident. I really any time that Trace makes Crow shriek in pain or fright. He does it very well. The Swing Choir sketch is good, but is anyone bothered by the pants that Mike, Dr. F and TV’s Frank are wearing? I think they go above and beyond to look as dorky as possible.

    So many good riffs, but here are a couple of my favorites.

    Servo: “There is no bleaker landscape than that of the rural airport.”

    Servo: “Will there be mashed potatoes!”

    Oh, and that assembly of oddballs at the end of the movie alone makes me glad that Coleman Francis existed. It’s a good example of my lack of true hate for the people that make these movies.

       4 likes

  37. Some favorite riffs that pop to mind:

    “I put them in my underwear.”

    “The piercing scream of a fraishman…”

    “They should set a place for Eraserhead.”

    “WHO WILL TAKE ME TO THE BIG PLACE?!”

    And if I remember correctly, this is the ep with one of my all-time favorite riffs: “It won the ‘Palme de Butt’ at Cannes.” I’ll bet whoever came up with that was well-pleased with themselves.

       2 likes

  38. Nip says:

    My favorite… when the camera comes past a skydiver who’s cheeks are flappin’ in the breeze… for some reason every time I see that and hear the sound effect, I break out laughing….

       0 likes

  39. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    This film was my proper introduction to Jimmy Bryant. There’s a 3-cd anthology of his tunes called Frettin’ Fingers, and it’s just awesome. It has both “Ha-So” and “Tobacco Worm”, the two songs used in the film. I find it a total crack up when Harry goes into the bar, and Tobacco Worm is just finishing. He heads to the jukebox and plays the SAME SONG. I’m assuming that Coleman Francis had to pay some sort of licensing or royalties, and didn’t want to pay too much.

       3 likes

  40. H says:

    A great episode for so many reasons. First, the movie: Coleman Francis- that says it all. The short- goofy, uncomfortable, confusing, just plain great. The host segments are good as well, especially the opening. I know they’re cheap but I can’t get enough Uranus jokes.

       2 likes

  41. Dyne says:

    So much to say about this one.

    Short:
    * Alternate title: “All I Ever Needed to Know in Life I Learned in my Industrial Arts Class.”
    * Believe it or not, my shop teacher in junior high showed this to us in class. He only realized how cheesy it is after I showed him the MST’d version.
    * I have never seen anyone in real life obsess over ANYTHING the way Joe does over his tools during the first couple of minutes.
    * Sadly this short doesn’t have a lot of relevance these days because there aren’t a lot of manufacturing jobs inside the country as there were in the 50s.
    * Favorite riffs: “The piercing scream of a freashman” – Mike. “TURN IT OFF!” – Crow. “I put a patio in the living room” – Servo.

    Movie:
    * I was so scarred from Manos that I nearly didn’t watch this the first time after Frank’s description.
    * The only episode I can think of where Snuffy Smith is referred to in a riff (several other classic comics covered in multiple episodes include Family Circus, Andy Capp, and Cathy “Aaack!”).
    * Called riff: “What’s Benji doing in this movie?” – “Hey, look, Benji got an Oldsmobile!”
    * I coined the term “optical illusion dress” to describe what Suzy’s wearing when she attacks Harry outside the bar (Crow describes it as “going through the time tunnel).
    * It was a tough call in deciding between the “Coffee? I like coffee!” vs. “Time for go to bed!” T-shirt for my brother for Christmas last year. Tor won out but the coffee line is still his favorite part of the movie.
    * Favorite riffs: “Let’s see now, am I a chicken? Well I don’t have a comb, or a gizzard, but sometimes I ingest gravel to grind my food-” Mike. “Excuse me we’re filming a James Bond movie. Could you move please?” – Crow. “We do have frontier justice in this town, right” – Servo.

    Host segments:
    * Squirting milk out of your nose is more painful that it looks.
    * We didn’t have double jock locks in my high school (which was a combination Jr/Sr high), rather the seniors would duct tape the 7th-8th graders to the flagpole.
    * No swing choir either. I’m another one who hadn’t heard of it until seeing this. At least it gives a demonstration rather than the lack of example from Operation Double 007.
    * Favorite segment: Crow sawing himself in half for “Industrial arts, because the future belongs to the skill.”

       8 likes

  42. eric from NJ says:

    lots and lots of caffienation in this really great ep! this movie has it all. a silly plot, unlikeable characters, and tons of great riffs (with a really funny short to boot!) :razz:

       0 likes

  43. Ryan says:

    Thankfully, I was never the victim of them, but has it occured to anyone that school yard bully staples are awfully…uh…”deviant”? Jock locks, pantsing, nipple twisters, towel snapping. I’m sure Freud had something to say about that…

       5 likes

  44. Spector says:

    Ah, Skydivers, another of the first few episodes I saw that got me hooked on this show. This one is in my top ten MST3K episodes. Just a great episode from start to finish, great host segments, a wonderfully cheesy short and an even worse movie.

    Some of my favorite riffs, from the short:

    “Someone got a doctorate in industrial arts?”

    “Now you hear the word “sinkhole” mentioned a lot in this neighborhood but it’s really nothing to worry about”.

    “The feeling of chaps with no pants!”

    “I’m putting a patio in my living room”.

    “The piercing scream of a freshman”.

    “No students arms were harmed in the making of this film”.

    And from the movie:

    “Coffee? I like coffee!”.

    “It’s the Petey Plane Show! Petey Plane…Petey Plane…”

    “H.R. Haldeman on drums”.

    “Heroin has hit this town in a big way!”

    Those are just off the top of my head. This was such a funny episode, and as Sampo points out it’s the “best” of the Coleman Francis trilogy…if such a statement can actually be made. :wink:

       4 likes

  45. Omega says:

    I decided to take a look at all the bit parts Coleman Francis has done and was quite shocked he was in This Island Earth. Its weird they didn’t comment on this for the movie but I guess it might have confused audiences who didn’t watch the show. Still I would have loved a Coleman Francis reference in MST3K the Movie.

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  46. Cubby says:

    My favorite riff, and it’s one of my all-time faves:
    There’s a jazzy piano score, and they cut to Tony Cardoza, hands below the frame, working frantically. Mike murmurs, “Play it, man.” [Cardoza brings his hands to his face] “oh.”

    Also, Crow’s summation of the plot. “A stranger comes to town, touches no one’s life, and leaves.”

    I love this episode, and I’ve gotten to the point where I find myself studying the locations. Does anyone know quite where he filmed this? It doesn’t seem as far in the desert as Beast of Yucca Flats, but I’m not very familiar with eastern California. Especially not wherever he shot this 45 years ago.

    A quick poke around the internet and I’m saddened to learn that Love’s Pit Barbecues, once a large Southern California chain, have all closed.

    Sad really.

    I still don’t understand what choreographer Bob Banas did on this film.

       4 likes

  47. #46: The now-long-gone Quartz Hill Airport in Palmdale, California. More info: http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_PalmdaleS.htm

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  48. Roman Martel says:

    “Skydivers” is one of my favorites. It’s got the perfect storm of goodness: short, film, and funny host segments.

    We didn’t have swing chorr at my high school, just regular choir. It was pretty… interesting. Luckily the outfits weren’t nearly as bad. To this day my wife and I will say in our best Frank voice “…too late, they’re already here.”

    The short is great. So many quotable lines, and nearly all of them perfect for any situation. “Tooool Operator” is very handy, but I’ve also been known to say “We can use the toaster or the lamp!” a few times in my life.

    The movie is so inept, so bizarre it is somehow boring and yet facinating in it’s dullness. The coffee subplot (can it be called that?) is so random you can’t help but laugh. The wife’s hair – you can’t turn away from it. The dance scene – the giantess is hypnotic. And that ending – Coleman gunning people down. Ironic that he would be gunned down himself in “Red Zone Cuba”.

    I completely agree with adoptadog, Coleman was trying to say something in his movies. He had a theme in each of them. But his skills just weren’t up to the task of conveying the theme. Especially in this movie. But in my mind, he was trying his best. I feel a bit bad for him.

    But I also enjoy the results of his labors, this and “Red Zone Cuba” are two of may favorites – dull and facinating all at the same time. I would never have thought that possible. Thanks Coleman!

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  49. Roman Martel says:

    Oh yeah, and when I was a kid there used to be Love’s Pit Barbaque near my grandparents house. We never went there, but I distinctly remember some cheesy local ads for the place on TV during baseball games or even morning cartoons.

    Hey kids you love Popeye and you’ll love Love’s! (not a real ad, but come on – BBQ comericals during cartoons?)

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  50. Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES, this is one of the best; certainly in the top five, hands down.

    Clearly, the skydivers did their own acting.

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