The Skydivers

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The Skydivers
Directed by Coleman Francis
Produced by Anthony Cardoza
Written by Coleman Francis
Starring Kevin Casey
Eric Tomlin
Anthony Cardoza
Marcia Knight
Titus Moede
Keith Walton
Paul Francis
Jimmy Bryant
Harold Saunders
Music by Stock music
Cinematography Austin McKinley
Lee Strosnider
Edited by Bob Lusby
Distributed by Crown International Pictures
Release dates
November 13, 1963 (USA)
Running time
75 min.
Country  United States
Language English

The Skydivers is a 1963 film directed by Coleman Francis. It stars actress Kevin Casey as Beth, Eric Tomlin as Joe, Anthony Cardoza as Harry, and Marcia Knight as Suzy. The film contains performances by influential Nashville guitarist Jimmy Bryant.

After being forgotten for three decades the film got a second life in 1994, serving the basis for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode (during which TV's Frank describes it as like "Manos without the lucid plot"). At one point, the film was the lowest-rated of all time on the Internet Movie Database.[citation needed]

Plot summary[edit]

Harry (Anthony Cardoza) and Beth (Kevin Casey) Rowe run a small skydiving facility in an unnamed desert town. One day, a woman named Suzy Belmont (Marcia Knight) and her brother Phil (Phil Triola) comes around, claiming to be looking for the Rowe's plane mechanic Frankie Bonner (Titus Moede). Beth claims that Frankie was fired for being drunk on the job, but feels that Suzy didn't come down just to see Frankie. As she walks away, Beth can't help but feel that her husband is having an affair with this floozy. It turns out that Harry is, but is still keeping it a secret from his wife. One evening, they receive a letter from Harry's friend, Joe Moss (Eric Tomlin). Joe wants to visit and is looking for a job. Beth recommends to Harry that Joe could easily fill Frankie's position, to which Harry gives his consent that it's okay with him.

Soon after, Frankie returns to the skydiving school, but is caught by Harry attempting to sabotage a plane. After being accosted, Frankie demands Harry stay away from Suzy. Harry agrees, but warns Frankie that he'll break both his legs if he comes back to the facility.

Eventually, Joe Moss arrives, and is greeted by Harry and Beth. The little reunion is soon short-lived when a man named Pete (Paul Francis) arrives, and wants to do a dangerous skydiving stunt. Harry warns Pete that this could get the FAA involved with them, but Pete claims he can do it. However, before he can pull his chute, Pete panics and plummets to the ground. This incident causes the FAA to shut down the Rowe's facilities. Harry drives into town to a local bar, where after drinking a beer, he encounters Suzy outside. She attempts to woo Harry, who instead calls her a 'broad.' A fight breaks out between the two of them, in which Harry eventually walks away.

Incensed at what Harry said, Suzy then plots revenge by convincing love-struck Frankie to help her put acid in Harry's parachute when he does a skydive jump once the skydiving facility reopens. Frankie is unsure, but still goes along with it.

Eventually, the facility reopens, and numerous people come out to see the skydivers. However, trouble is brewing inside the Rowe's home when Harry suspects that Joe may be having an affair with Beth. Harry soon makes up with his wife, and Joe stops attempting to get acquainted with Beth. However, on the evening of a particular night jump, Suzy and Frankie sneak into the hangar and pour acid on Harry's parachute. When the jump is made, Harry's chute rips and he plummets to the ground.

Some witness report seeing Suzy and Frankie running away from the preparations room. Joe gets in his car and soon after catches up to them. However, some men from the FAA give chase in a plane and in a car. In spite of the lack of any direct evidence that they were responsible and no legal proceedings, the two are immediately gunned down without warning by the authorities as they drive away from the facility.

In the aftermath, Joe takes his leave of Beth, who is giving up running the skydiving facility. As Joe drives on his way, Beth takes her own leave of the facility. The curiously grim end credits feature names and head shots of the actors set to total silence.

Alternative titles[edit]

The Skydivers is also known as Fiend from Half Moon Bay and Panic at Half Moon Bay.

DVD releases[edit]

  • The MST3K version of the film (accompanied by the uncut version, included as a bonus feature) was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Collection, Volume 1 DVD set.

External links[edit]