609. The Skydivers (1963)

The Skydivers (1963). Frank summed it as “kinda like Manos without the lucid plot.” Love Triangles, Acid in Parachutes, the FAA, Francisland is everywhere. Bleak living, pained faces, liquid comfort. Show choirs, “Uranus”, shop class. “This Is downright Hitchcockian…” “Robyn Hitchcock.” “I wet 'em!”, “They should set a place for Eraserhead.” “Let’s do the Sky Diver!!!” or “a National Geographic Special”?

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Boy, Coleman Francis can sure do bleak and misanthropic. Of the three he directed, I can sit through Beast of Yucca Flats because of the baffling narration and solid use of Tor, but I can’t do Skydivers or Red Zone Cuba.

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[eerie silence]

[everyone has left the theater]

[it’s the end of the movie]

[you think it’s over]

[and then]

Servo: WHO WILL TAKE ME TO THE BIG PLACE?!

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Yeah I concur… Beast is my “favorite” of the three just because Tor is always watchable and that narration is utterly bizarre… Skydivers is rough but not quite as nihilistic as Red Zone Cuba… who’s only redeeming element is “Night Train to Mundo Fine”

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100%.

Beast I will always love for “flag on the moon”. RZC left me with no impression whatsoever except for Coleman’s batch. The Skydivers had coffee in it. I think maybe it also had skydiving, but I’m less certain about that.

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For awhile, I kept confusing this one with Starfighters.

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I could see that! I have the identical problem involving The Big Sleep (1946) and The Big Heat (1953). I’ll mean one and say the other. I have to correct myself and my Canadian friend loves it when it happens. Lately I’ve nipped it in the bud but still… It’s annoying. :sweat_smile:

Skydivers has coffee, Starfighters has refueling.

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yet another Coleman Francis abomination that steamrolls Mike and the bots. There is no defense for me as a viewer. As the credits rolled I turned off the episode forgetting that there is light in the world.

Season 6 took a piece of my soul.

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Season 7 took mine. No Frank, the stilted Mad segments. I’m tempted to post a thread on it. Eventually. Season 6 is dour and rather unsettling. The experiments were increasingly depressing once Joel departed. An observation. Nothing more. The show appeared to be at a peak in Seasons 5 and 6 and Frank’s absence, the Comedy Central gig winding down, and the toll of The Movie just before all played their part.

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Season 7 was rough for a lot of reasons but the movie choices didn’t make me want to die.

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Oddly, to me, Mike + Trace in Season 5-7 is probably the peak of MST - yet I don’t rewatch them a lot. Though yes, the energy is definitely different once they’re revived on Sci-Fi. The tedious narrative host segments of Season 8 are mitigated by a string of really great riffed movies.

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Nor me. The riffing and SOL sequences were in line alongside past seasons. The Deep 13 stuff is what suffered. Seemingly.

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the ‘is it 11:30?’ SOL segment from Beast of Yucca Flats is my pick for worst Mike skit… as if Beast of Yucca Flats wasn’t painful enough.

but I hear ya… the Pearl and Dr. F segments were awful in Season 7. I was shocked when I first saw those… I started with the sci fi era and still think Pearl is the best Mad ever but wow that was bad.

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It’s like it’s two different Pearls. In fact, I’ve pondered posting a thread titled The Two Pearls on that very subject.

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I know a lot of folks who agree with you.

Sci Fi era is my fav era so I’m a big mike fan… I also think Kevin Murphy is the MVP of the series.

but I’ve always said the movies are the real stars of the show and my god is Season 6 packed to the gills with unwatchable dull garbage. It’s clear they were hitting the bottom of the barrel of what movies they could easily get the rights to through CC (confirmed by interviews later).

Mike also wasn’t as good in the CC years IMO. He has openly talked about how much his headache issues were bothering him (peaking in season 6) and the insane medication he was experimenting with to get through.

Trace and Frank start doing a ton more of the cringy ‘domestic couple’ humor and I greatly dislike that. General low energy riffing for movies that lack energy themselves and it’s grueling.

There are highlights of all eras though… several best of all time episodes from those seasons… heck Samson Vs the vampire women is in my personal top 10 and it’s from season 6. So I’m not a complete hater.

But overall… Season 6 is the lowpoint for the show for me (besides Season 1). Sci fi era they had access to a whole new crop of films, renewed energy, and thankfully let the hate fly at the movies that deserved them.

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I look at it as two different pearls. The pearl is the sci fi era is Pearl in another universe. Just like the Crow from Sci fi era.

The CC era crow and pearl don’t exist in the universe that sci fi era does.

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Though the remaining continuity (whatever there is of it) stays basically in place for Mike, Servo, and everything else.

I always thought of the bots as being different Crows and Toms. We’ve seen before that the SoL has multiples.

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yeah… they turned into beings of light and went to the SOL. crow’s yellow being of light didn’t go with them. Crow was already on the ship.

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