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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Frank Zappa's 200 Motels

Posted by on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 8:29 AM

As part of my Intentionally Dull Weekend™, in which I smoked pot, unpacked stuff in my new home, and worked on Capitol Hill Block Party blurbs, Sunday night I sat down with Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, which is apparently a film about how dropping truckloads of acid can make you go crazy. Perhaps because I was not on a truckload of acid, I made it about 20 minutes in, right around the time they tear the head off the stuffed version of Zappa. I can't imagine what state of mind it would require to make me finish the whole thing.


Comments (12) RSS

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Thats the first time you've seen it? Been out for awhile mon.
Posted by derkle on July 5, 2011 at 1:26 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 2
If you've never lost your mind, you'll find it difficult to digest this film.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 5, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
This movie is not for the sober, I rate this flick five psychedelic mushroom caps.
Posted by Kelly L on July 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Mahtli69 4
Frank Zappa thought drugs were stupid.
Posted by Mahtli69 on July 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 5
@4 is correct.

This isn't how you lose your mind after a truckful of acid. This is how you lose your mind in general. His particular impetus was the surreality and blur of touring and road life.

If people choose to think its due to an acid trip, I'm fine with it.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM · Report this
a) There's some really great music in there, including the biggest contiguous chunk of Frank's early orchestral work, and

b) The animated sequence with the hotel bathmat is delightful.
Posted by eptified on July 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM · Report this
"200 Motels" animator the amazing Mr. Bruce Bickford still lives in the Seattle area.
"Baby Snakes" a Frank Zappa concert film of sorts, also with Bickford's animation, is available as a DVD.
Posted by suzy creamcheese on July 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM · Report this
John Scott Tynes 8
Let's face it. It's no HEAD.
Posted by John Scott Tynes on July 5, 2011 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Centerville, it's really neat!
I always fall asleep during that movie.
Posted by mr pinky on July 5, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
The acid trip effects are partially Zappa abusing the new advances in videotape technology. I believe it was the first feature-length film shot entirely with video tape. There is some great music in there, though the muddy quality of the sound makes you sleepy. Also some cameos from Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel and several of the GTOs including Pamela Des Barres if you are interested in pop culture from that period.

@9 I always fall asleep during The Wall also
Posted by T-Bone on July 5, 2011 at 5:53 PM · Report this
United Artists funded about half of what Zappa needed to make his movie, so had the other half been shot, it would have been more coherent. It has nothing to do with dropping mushrooms. Zappa was virulently anti drugs. It's about how touring and living from hotel to hotel can make you crazy. The soundtrack is much better than the movie.
Posted by Rocketboy on July 6, 2011 at 5:15 AM · Report this
Centerville .....a nice place to raise your kids.......
Posted by Chillavision on July 6, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this

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