200 Motels

200 Motels

Director: Tony Palmer, Frank Zappa Cast: The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel


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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."

Product Details

Release Date: 08/14/2018
UPC: 0760137131298
Original Release: 1971
Source: Mvd Marquee Collect
Sales rank: 6,828

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mothers of Invention Themselves
Theodore Bikel Rance Muhammitz
Ringo Starr Larry the Dwarf
Janet Ferguson Actor
Lucy Offerall Groupies
Pamela Miller Interviewer
Tony Palmer Actor
Frank Zappa Himself
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Actor
George Duke Member of Mothers of Invention
Howard Kaylan Member of Mothers of Invention
Keith Moon The Hot Nun
Don Preston Member of Mothers of Invention
Mark Volman Member of Mothers of Invention
Jimmy Carl Black Lonesome Cowboy Burt
Aynsley Dunbar Actor
Martin Lickert Actor
Ian Underwood Actor
Elgar Howarth Conductor

Technical Credits
Tony Palmer Director,Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Frank Zappa Director,Score Composer,Original Story,Screenwriter
David Alexander Asst. Director
Richard Alonzo Special Effects
Leo Austin Art Director
Herb Cohen Producer
Jerry Good Producer
Rich Harrison Editor
Bert Luxford Special Effects
Gillian Lynne Choreography
James Ruxin Editor
Elliot Solomon Score Composer
Nick White Art Director
Sue Yelland Costumes/Costume Designer

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