FRANK ZAPPA 200 Motels

98 Minutes • R • No Passes


Film Info
Event Type:Concert Movie
No Passes
Release Year:1971
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Tony Palmer and Frank Zappa
Cast:The Mothers of Invention, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Jimmy Carl Black




This comic rockumentary-style musical imparts the experiences of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention during a prolonged (and largely imaginary) road tour. This roisterous fable is brought to the screen in a number of colorful and improbable episodes without a strong narrative connection, but is accompanied by music composed specifically for the film by Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The musicians are inspired to bring poetic justice to Centerville, a Midwestern town which is too bland to continue in existence. Among the dramas enacted is the defection of one drummer, the firing of another, and Zappa's announcement to the band and film crew that he would hire the next person to walk in the door, a man who proves to be Ringo Starr's chauffeur. Folk musician Theodore Bikel plays in a number of different roles, and Ringo Starr appears briefly, disguised as Frank Zappa. The Who drummer Keith Moon also makes an appearance.




 The incidents are often outrageously irreverent. The comedy is fast and furious, both sophisticated and sophomoric.



It assaults the mind with everything on hand.'

Roger Ebert