8.0/10
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17 user 4 critic

Baby Snakes (1979)

Rock artist Frank Zappa hosts a concert in New York City. This movie contains tons of on-stage footage, off-stage footage, and animation.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Himself
Adrian Belew ... Himself - Guitar
Tommy Mars ... Himself - Keyboards
Terry Bozzio ... Himself - Drums
Kerry McNabb ... Himself - Soundman
Ron Delsener ... Himself - Concert Promoter
Bruce Bickford ... Himself - Animator
Robert Leacock ... Himself - Bickford's Cameraman (as Rob Leacock)
Ed Mann ... Himself - Percussion
Warren Cuccurullo ... Himself - Backstage Fan (as Warren Cucurullo)
Chrissie Martin ... Herself - Cuccurullo's Girlfriend (as Chris Martin)
Klaus Hundsbichler ... Himself - Bickford's Film Editor
Roy Estrada ... Himself - The Mexican Pope
John Smothers ... Himself - Zappa's Bodyguard
David B. Ditkowwich ... Himself - Brooklyn For Zappa (as David Ditkowich)
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Storyline

Rock artist Frank Zappa hosts a concert in New York City. This movie contains tons of on-stage footage, off-stage footage, and animation. Written by Dan Priebe <av313@detroit.freenet.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Give yourself up...you are completely surrounded by Policemen..." See more »


Certificate:

R
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Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film had particular trouble finding a distributor. Frank Zappa tried to interest Untied Artists, the company that released 200 Motels (1971). Fearing that they were about to be embroiled in the Heaven's Gate (1980) fiasco, they turned him down. Other studios followed in United Artists' footsteps, fearing that Zappa's trademark cinematic style had lost considerable appeal in post-'70s pop culture. Several European distributors told Zappa that there might be interest if it were cut from its original 168-minute running time. The film was cut to 90 minutes and still there were no takers. Even after Bruce Bickford's sequences won first prize at a French animated film competition, there was no interest. Eventually Zappa took it upon himself to distribute the film independently via his own Intercontinental Absurdities production company. The film ran 24 hours a day at the Victoria Theater in New York City and made a handsome profit. See more »

Quotes

Frank Zappa: [referring to a stuffed animal's ass] We're gonna call this part "Burbank".
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie goes on for 10 minutes after credits are over. See more »

Connections

Edited into Video from Hell (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Snakes
Performed by Frank Zappa
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User Reviews

 
A MUST for Zappa Fans!
29 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Excellent late 1970's concert footage from Zappa and his crazy band of extremely talented musicians. An absolute must see for any Zappa fan and an adequate introduction for those unfamiliar with the genius of Frank Zappa. This footage centers around a New York City concert from '77 so it doesn't totally encompass the many complex layers and personalities that Zappa emulated over the years, but it still provides a nice document to one of Frank's more accessible periods. It helps if you're a huge Zappa fan to begin with, which I am, so to me this footage is a treasure. A couple of points, though, just to be a bit objective: Others have mentioned the claymation, which for claymation is really some of the coolest I've ever seen, but I can only watch that stuff for a few minutes before I'm bored with it. It's cool and it's wild and it fits right in with Zappa's strangeness, but it's still only claymation to me. I'd just as soon watch some trippy computer generated psychedelic images to be honest. There's probably only about 15 minutes of it or so in the whole film anyway, so it's no big deal.

I would have also preferred a set list that had more guitar work in it, but we still get some great tracks including "San Ber'dino," "Muffin Man," "City of Tiny Lights" and the amazing "Black Napkins." Take a real good listen to "Black Napkins" and try and tell me this guy wasn't at least as good, if not better, than Hendrix himself. Overall, this is a great film for those that are already into Zappa. For those that aren't familiar with him, this film gives you a good idea of what it was like to see him in the late 1970's (his performances, style and content constantly changed over the years, so Zappa in concert in 1977 is a LOT different than Zappa in '69 or '73 or '85 ... you get the picture). Narrow thinkers and those with closed minds might want to stick with Dave Matthews or whatever else the corporate labels are spoon-feeding you on commercial radio these days. Man, do we need Zappa now more than ever! Can you image the way he'd rip into Brittney and Bush and O.J. Simpson and all the crap we're putting up with in the world today?? Long live Frank Zappa!!


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