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Trivia / 200 Motels

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  • Deleted Scene: Only parts of Zappa's script were filmed due to time and budget restrictions, causing the film to feel very incoherent.
  • He Also Did: While they were in England for the film, Flo and Eddie spent one of their off days recording the backing vocals for T. Rex's "Hot Love".
  • No Budget: Made for $679,000. Shooting the film in England and on video were cost-cutting measures.
  • The Other Marty: Jeff Simmons quit as bassist for The Mothers days before filming began (Mark Volman even mentions this in one scene). After Zappa's ideas to have Wilfrid Brambell (see below) and Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) take the role of Jeff failed, it ended up going to Ringo Starr's chauffeur, Martin Lickert, who serendipitously knew how to play bass (though his bass parts got overdubbed later).
  • Referenced by...:
    • French comic strip artist Gotlib spoofed the album cover with characters from his Hamster Jovial strip, as seen here.
    • The film is also referenced in the 1974 animated adult film Down and Dirty Duck, where Mark and Howie also played the starring role. In one scene a huge Zappa head even appears on the horizon.
  • What Could Have Been: As with most of Zappa's film scripts the low budget (see Uncle Meat) made it impossible to bring all of his ideas in a proper and complete way to the screen. Had Zappa and Tony Palmer been able to film the entire story from beginning to end it might have felt more coherent and a bit better to understand. The final product as it is now is divisive among Zappa fans. Many feel it to be a confusing disappointment, especially since Frank himself is hardly in it.
    • Originally Wilfrid Brambell was also in this movie, but he felt it was all too crazy and left.
    • The "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" animated sequence was originally scripted to be live action, starring Jeff Simmons and two well-known rock figures as his Good Conscience and Bad Conscience. Zappa toyed with actually having Donovan as the Good Conscience, with Ginger Baker as the Bad Conscience. Another idea was Keith Moon as Bad as Pete Townshend as Good.


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