"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...
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A concert movie showing a performance by the much-loved 1973 incarnation of the Mothers of Invention. An incredible cast of musicians treat us to a selection of blistering, pointillist jazz... See full summary »
Napoleon Murphy Brock
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,
Using takes and rehearsals discarded from the original edit plus interviews made during the shooting, Zappa reconstructs the bizarre story of 200 Motels, one of the most problematic ... See full synopsis »
Phyllis Smith Altenhaus,
BBC Symphony Orchestra
"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
Larry The Dwarf:
[to the viewers]
Hello there. When you go on tour with a musical group, it's possible any town could look seem this. Whether it's large or small, busy or nothing happening in it. The reason for this is quite simple. As a musician, if you consider the normal pattern of modern civilized life, it's on the outside of your own. He doesn't build things. He doesn't work regular hours like a decent, God-fearing citizen. And the life he leads in many ways seems useless and irrelevant to those who prefer ...
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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 »
It is a long time since I saw this film, so am really going off memory - however I am certain that if I say this is one of the most off-the-wall movies ever made, few who have seen it would disagree!
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were an excellent bunch of musicians who had evolved into a bit of send-up on the side by the time '200 Motels' was released. This means it falls rather heavily between being a rock musical or a comedy tour film a la Spinal Tap. Ringo Starr appears as Larry the Dwarf. Keith Moon appears as a nun (now, that's scary!); while, for reasons unknown, Theodore Bikel is there throughout as the spaced out Dave (Bikel was in 'My Fair Lady' as the star pupil amongst other mainstream features).
In good company amongst features such as 'Head' (The Monkees) and 'Born to Boogie' (T-Rex) I suppose '200 Motels' is very much of its time but looks silly and dated all these years on.
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