200 Motels/Fun Facts
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- The film's closing credits are superimposed over its own expense reports.
- Frank Zappa appears in this film, but only as a musician. The closest role to "Frank Zappa" as a film character is Larry the dwarf (who thinks he's Zappa), played by Ringo Starr; occasionally, a cutout figure of Zappa appears.
- The film influenced the title of the BBC TV series 500 Bus Stops starring comedian John Shuttleworth
- The bulk of the musical soundtrack for this film was recorded live as the film was shot (with the exception of the torchlight procession scene during the song "Penis Dimension"); a sharp departure from the traditional method of recording the music beforehand and lip-synching during filming.
- The oft-repeated claim that the film was shot in the same studio as 2001: A Space Odyssey is incorrect. That film was shot at a different, MGM-owned studio on the outskirts of London. The iconic black monolith seen in the film is a visual reference and mock-up, not the actual prop. All the properties from 2001 were destroyed at Stanley Kubrick's request after the filming was completed.
- The film Dirty Duck (aka The Down and Dirty Duck), an X-rated animated film directed by Charles Swenson and starring Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan), was another Murakami-Wolf production. The film's characters evolved from the "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" animation sequence Swenson created for Frank Zappa's film 200 Motels. The plot concerned a straight-laced blue collar worker named Willard who meets a duck, who decides to take Willard on a raunchy adventure.
- The role of Jeff was originally intended for Mothers bassist Jeff Simmons who quit the group just prior to filming. Needing a replacement, Frank Zappa hired Wilfrid Brambell. Within a few days, Brambell walked off the set in a rage and Zappa had to replace him. During a crew meeting, Zappa announced that he would give the part to the next person who walked into the room. Martin Lickert, who was Ringo Starr's chauffeur, was thus cast in the role upon returning from the limousine with a pack of cigarettes for Starr.
- The movie was shot on videotape, at Pinewood Studios, London, England.
- Unlike most movie musicals, the soundtrack was recorded live as the film was shot, instead of recording the soundtrack beforehand and then lip-synching during filming.
- People offered parts in the movie included Vivian Stanshall, Mick Jagger, 'John Lennon', Pete Townshend, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Idle.
- Frank Zappa originally wanted Christopher Lee to play Rance Muhammitz.
- While Frank Zappa appears extensively in this film, either conducting the orchestra or playing his guitar, he neither sings nor speaks.