Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE SKYDIVERS - Jimmy Bryant - "HaSo - Stratosphere Boogie" (1963)

Tonight's feature is a extra special film I waited five years to see, so I hope you're as excited to hear about it as I am to write about it, written and directed by the Orson Welles of 'Z' movies, in stature if nothing else, Coleman Francis, with music by the freakin' fenomenal Jimmy Bryant, it's time to take off with those krazy people known as, "The SKYDIVERS!"

Lucky me, I got my copy of Jimmy Bryant's record at a garage sale, and didn't have to pay the full retail price for it! Can you say Hell Yeah!?

This film seeks to explore the world of a group of people known as skydivers, a culture of misfits not unlike carnies minus the carnival!!

Producer Anthony Cardoza gets a starring role as Harry Rowe, because that's the best thing Coleman can offer him for putting up the money! Besides being a skydiver, Harry has other problems........

.....Female problems! Harry Rowe's girlfriend Suzy is on the left, and his wife Beth is on the right. Beth was played by Kevin Casey in this, the only movie she was ever in! Imagine that?

IF Coleman Francis ran the government today, we wouldn't be in debt! That's how brilliant the man was, instead he wasted his time making movies!

The best film makers fill in wherever needed, and even use their family if that's what is necessary, Coleman Francis was no exception! Spend as little as you can, and hire as few as possible!

Suzy! Always causing problems! See, the guy in the top shot is Suzy's lover Harry, but the guy with 'Suzy' tattooed on his arm is Suzy's boyfriend Frankie Bonner! Frantic Frankie was played by Jerry Warren stalwart Titus (Rat Pfink a Boo Boo) Moede! Slutty Suzy was played by Marcia (IMPULSE) Knight, who was also in another Coleman Francis classic, "The Beast Of Yucca Flats!"

The action is really getting hot and heavy!

Basically "The Skydivers" is about people jumping out of planes, and ultra super sexy chicks! Where I come from, sharing some BBQ and a beer with this gal would be considered to be heaven on earth!

There's a minimum of 15 or 20 minutes of skydiving footage, so the added bonus is there's plenty of time to get up and make yourself a Margarita, and go to the bathroom, and you don't miss a thing! That's some accommodating film making! Coleman knew how to share the love!

Finally, we get to the meat of this subject, Jimmy Bryant and the Night Jumpers, with Jimmy on guitar, bass player Rue Barclay, drummer Junior Nichols, and Harold Hensley on the sax!

The multi-talented Jimmy Bryant, aka "The Fastest Guitar in the Country" worked his way up from the very bottom, and played with everybody from pedal guitar player Speedy West to The Monkees! Heavy smoker Jimmy succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 55!

Wild airport parties like this were frowned on back in the day, and then the hippies took over and they didn't need airplanes to fly anymore!

So after Jimmy Bryant you probably thought there was no place left to go, but remember, this is a Coleman Francis film, so bring on the Rollie Maiden!

I call this painting, "T-Bird In The Desert!"

If you knew Suzy like I know Suzy, Oh, Oh, Oh what a girl! Too bad Coleman and Andy Warhol never got a chance to work together!

I really do hate being redundant, but who else could get this good of a shot out of literally nothing?

The story is actually quite meaningless, because what this is, is a piece of history, a snapshot in time that Hollywood and all it's zillions of dollars could never capture so perfectly! It's "The Skydivers!"


TABONGA! said...

I learned to love this flick from watching my MST version -

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Well, I guess you and me are the only ones!!

KD said...

I first saw this film long before MST existed, on the late late show in the '70s. I later bought the pricey first MST DVD box set just to get the un-MST-ed version of THE SKYDIVERS. Still later, I had a nice email correspondence with Mr. Anthony Cardoza, and we chatted for a few weeks about how difficult it is to make low-budget films at all, be they long or short. A very nice guy!

RIP, Mr. Cardoza!

EEGAH!! said...

I'm really not quite sure why, but I've never been able to get into any of the MST treatment films. These people like Anthony Cardoza worked too hard on these cheapass films for me to be able to enjoy them being made a mockery of. I forgot what movie it was, but I also bought an MST DVD just because that was the only way I could get a copy of the original movie!

KD said...

Agreed, my friend. I also bought WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN on the MST DVD, because it had the non-MST version on the flip side of the disc. Poor dear Katherine Victor (RIP) worked too hard on those Jerry Warren movies, only to be made fun of by MST in every one she worked on.

I always felt sad that she never got to work on a real cool sci-fi b-movie, like the ones my Arthur Pierce or Ib Melchior, aside from CAPE CANAVERAL MONSTERS, which she loved despite its cheapness. At least Phil Tucker had a little bit of imagination, unlike Jerry Warren. Still, I gotta hand it to Jerry Warren for even getting so many films made.

I wrote a feature film script in 1991 for Katherine Victor and Angus (PHANTASM) Scrimm, both of whom agreed to play the leads, and my friend Edward (THE BRAIN) Hunt had agreed to direct, but alas, the financing fell through. That was my sole brush with a real feature film production...

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