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Frank Zappa - 200 Motels (The Movie) CD (album) cover

200 MOTELS (THE MOVIE)

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.85 | 43 ratings

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ClassicRocker
3 stars Unfortunately I only had one chance to watch this film (the library needed it back), but I can definitely say it has one of the most incoherent plots (if you can call it that) I have ever seen. And that's not a criticism, merely a fact. To put it simply, the entire movie is crazy, from the first scene to the closing group song. Close to half of the movie is the MOTHERS OF INVENTION playing songs with avant-garde fade effects and backwards/repeating tape sections, sometimes rocking and other times cacophonous, while the rest consists of odd skits and an excellent animated section (featuring hilarious voices reminiscent of the squeaky one in The Adventures of Greggery Peccary).

200 Motels is introduced as essentially about a band on the road (and how its members are driven to insanity). The cameos and special guests are great, including RINGO STARR as Larry the Dwarf (forced to dress up like ZAPPA by the man himself because he's a creep!), and KEITH MOON as a harp-playing nun who is encountered by Larry and his 'special' lamp. My favorite irregulars were two of the highly-entertaining stars, Mark Volman and Howard Kayland, former members of the Turtles who toured with ZAPPA under the moniker of Flo & Eddie. (On a side note, Mark Volman seems to be the inspiration for the 'Jack Osbourne' look!)

200 Motels is difficult to comment on further, as it is so indescribably off-the-wall and unlike any other film I have seen in structure and content. I really enjoyed it, and fellow Frank Zappa fans should see the movie at least once (unfortunately it's only on VHS, as there probably isn't a large enough demand for MGM/United Artists to put it on DVD).

My issue with rating 200 Motels is that for fans of Zappa, it deserves an excellent four stars, but overall as a film it wouldn't appeal to the non-Zappa fan and probably only warrants two stars. Thus, I must average it out and submit a good, but non-essential.

Once again,

Frank Zappa fans: ****

The sane portion of society: **

ClassicRocker | 3/5 |

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