Frank Zappa’s ‘200 Motels’ Movie Box Set to Be Released
Frank Zappa’s 1971 movie 200 Motels will be re-released as a box set, and it’s available for pre-order via a PledgeMusic campaign now.
Directed by Zappa and Tony Palmer, it features the Mothers of Invention, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Pamela Des Barres, among others. It was the first film to be show on two-inch analog videotape then transferred to celluloid; it’s been remastered from those original tapes to DVD, with a second DVD containing extras and exclusives.
“In 200 Motels, the film attempts to portray the craziness of life on the road as a rock musician,” a statement on the campaign page reads. “While on tour, the Mothers of Invention go crazy in the small fictional town of Centerville (‘a real nice place to raise your kids up’), wander around, and get beaten up in ‘Redneck Eats,’ a cowboy bar.
You can watch the original movie trailer below.
“In a cartoon interlude passed off as a ‘dental hygiene movie,’ bassist Jeff, tired of playing what he refers to as ‘Zappa’s comedy music,’ is persuaded by his bad conscience to quit the group, as did his real-life counterpart Jeff Simmons, who was fired for insubordination before the film began shooting. Simmons was replaced by Martin Lickert (who was Ringo’s chauffeur) for the film.”
Starr appears as Larry the Dwarf while Moon plays a Hot Nun and Des Barres is an interviewer. Other contributors include classical guitarist John Williams and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and award-winning choreographer Gillian Lynne, who later worked on Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Cats. “She always said that 200 Motels was the inspiration for much that she later incorporated into Cats,” the statement notes.
Two box set configurations are available fore pre-order, along with a basic two-disc pack, with more than four months remaining on the campaign clock.