200 Motels

Rated R 98 minutes 1971

Frank Zappa's idea of musical comedy (1971), in which the Mothers of Invention are stranded in a studio-set state of mind called Centerville. The movie was an early video-to-film transfer, and much of it is ugly and amateurish, though not inappropriately. Zappa's most ambitious compositions (performed by the London Philharmonic) share screen time with nostalgic freak humor. With Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and—for some reason—Theodore Bikel.

Film Credits

Director: Tony Palmer and Charles Swenson

Writer: Frank Zappa

Cast: Theodore Bikel, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Ian Underwood and Aynsley Dunbar

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