200 Motels Vhs Cover200 Motels Vhs Cover200 Motels Vhs Cover
Cover Title
200 Motels
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Original Title / Year
200 Motels (1971)
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Videonut324 on 04/30/2014
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Less a movie than a purposely crude series of musical vignettes and inside jokes for die-hard fans, Frank Zappa informs viewers in the opening scene that "Touring can make you crazy, ladies and gentlemen, and that is what 200 Motels is all about." The rest of the plot-less production is filled with more self-reflexive reminders, as the close-up eye and tape recorder signal that Zappa is watching everything his bandmembers are doing. Reasonably, the Mothers of Invention make up the cast, notably Jimmy Carl Black, who repeatedly remarks how he just wants to quit the band and go play real music, have a beer, and get laid. The character of Jeff, played by Martin Lickert, was written for bassist Jeff Simmons, who actually did quit the band just prior to shooting. Other cast members include real-life groupies appearing in some bizarre nudity sequences, along with the Who's drummer Keith Moon as the Hot Nun who overdoses on drugs. Ringo Starr appears as Larry the Dwarf and lends some humorous narration, but that does not clarify any of the proceedings. The action supposedly takes place in Centerville, which is really a kind of poorly dressed set guarded by soldiers. The scenes are randomly assembled and interspersed with performances, including the songs "Lonesome Cowboy Burt," "Magic Fingers," and "Strictly Genteel."

200 Motels is a 1971 American-British musical surrealist film cowritten and directed by Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer and starring The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr.[2] The film covers a loose storyline about The Mothers of Invention going crazy in the small town Centerville.[2] A soundtrack album was released in the same year. As of 2009, 200 Motels was restored / commented on by Tony Palmer and is currently available on an England-sourced for-retail DVD.

United Artists' press kit for the film stated "For the audience that already knows and appreciates THE MOTHERS, [it] will provide a logical extension of our concerts and recordings."[8] The film premiere was shown at Doheny Plaza Theater in Hollywood, California to mixed reviews.[14]

Release Date: November 9, 1971

Distrib: United Artists