"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the... See full summary »
A blind, but deadly, gunman, is hired to escort fifty mail order brides to their miner husbands. His business partners double cross him, selling the women to bandit Domingo. Blindman heads into Mexico in pursuit.
Due to be crowned King of the Netherworld by his mentor Merlin the Magician at a monster's convention Count Downe, the son of Count Dracula, falls in love with the beautiful but human Amber... See full summary »
Abandoned by his father at an early age, Jim MacLaine seems to have inherited the old man's restlessness. Despite his apparent intelligence, Jim decides not to take the exams that would ... See full summary »
In a Copenhagen hotel, disparate lives intersect through accident or fate: A stewardess desperate for intimacy. An immigrant obsessed with revenge. A hotel manager lost in despair. A wife ... See full summary »
The McMartin family's lives are turned upside down when they are accused of serious child molestation. The family run a school for infants. An unqualified child cruilty "expert" videotapes ... See full summary »
In a little over an hour, 'VIDEO FROM HELL' provides a preview of current and projected Honker releases, including 'BABY SNAKES', 'THE TRUE STORY OF 200 MOTELS' and 'UNCLE MEAT' (all 1987 ... See full summary »
Phyllis Smith Altenhaus,
"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the Mothers and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, is a tale of life on the road. The band members' main concerns are the search for groupies and the desire to get paid. Written by
George S. Davis
[as a TV show host, holding a microphone]
Hi Larry, its good to have you back on our panel!
Larry The Dwarf:
[holding a magic lamp]
Hi Dave, its really great to be back on your panel!
I'm sure the people at home would be interested to know why such a large force as you is all dressed up like Frank Zappa. Tell us Larry, whats the deal?
Larry The Dwarf:
He made me do it, Dave. He's such a creep. He's making me hold this aladdin.
And why is he making you do that, Larry?
Larry The Dwarf:
He wants me to fuck the girl with the harp.
[...] See more »
The closing credits are super-imposed over a number of production-related documents, including sheet music, scripts, shooting directions, memos and expense reports. See more »
Beautiful Music in a Layered Environment...."do you worry a lot?" worry no more...
There is in 200 Motels an expression of insecurity matched by delusions of grandeur creating an atmosphere of low self-esteem. I realize musicians can provide a service that seamlessly blends with our lives, intensifying drama and fun, but seeing 200 Motels again at Anthology Film Archives I remember that the point of composing is to add something new to what's already out there...
Some composers innovate while sounding pleasing, their music blending well with other music of the times... Acceptance may be the composer's most comfortable accomplishment...It is encouraging when people like your music, and perhaps you have also delivered something advancing the possibilities of sound... Zappa was completely capable of fitting in while being innovative and original. He's actually a very successful pop star, and his material was always somewhere within the mainstream of commercial distribution.
He represents the universal reflexive response to rejection: reject! He wasn't accepted because why? He could have stepped into the orchestral shoes of the universally acclaimed Guy Lombardo! What a nice guy easing us into a new year with pleasing sounds.
Anyway, in my rejected adolescent insecurity I wasn't appreciating Muzak. I wanted to hear beautiful explosive sounds, and at the time, 1960's-1970, harmonic innovation was part of pop music, primarily through Burt Bacharach, but also with The Beatles, The Fifth Dimension, The Mamas and the Papas... Other innovators of the time include Edgar Varese, Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio, Karl Stockhausen... for me the most accessible of radical orchestral composers is Leonard Bernstein. George Gershwin of course passed away at a young age (38) at the height of his innovations and discoveries...so again with Frank Zappa at 53. It appears that musical innovators are not long for this world and it's amazing what they accomplish in their short lives.
The point here is that 200 Motels pushes away the refined classical crowd with a sense of vulgarity...the funniest outcome will be that a tuxedoed audience will jocularly sing along with the lyrics in the songs....
200 Motels offers great performers and musicians interpreting Frank Zappa's writing, while spoofing his plagiarizing leadership, and they especially deserve to be recognized and glorified... and yes, Frank Zappa, through great effort, offers a path for the advancement of musical composition... I wish making the movie was less contentious... It is beautiful and inspiring.
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