Frank Zappa’s cinematic legacy
November 26, 2020 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Apart from 200 Motels, what were the most essential/important feature films Frank Zappa was involved in making?

I’m looking for films he produced/scored/appeared in, preferably during his lifetime. I’m not looking for soundtrack appearances or Behind the Music-style cable documentaries made after his death, unless they were especially notable or well made. (This is for an article about Alex Winter’s Zappa documentary.)
posted by pxe2000 to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
He made a brief appearance in the Monkees movie Head.
posted by FencingGal at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Baby Snakes. It's part concert film, a bunch of behind the scenes stuff, and bizarre animation.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:27 AM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

tv: he was on the mike douglas show, and did a killer performance.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:30 AM on November 26, 2020

Not to come off like a smarty pants, but did you check his IMDB page?

There's tons of stuff that doesn't fit your criteria there, but you can weed through it. I also remember a great little documentary he produced called "The Amazing Mr. Bickford" which was about the man who did the crazy claymation and such in Baby Snakes. Bruce Bickford was a really talented artist, and Frank did the instrumental soundtrack to a lot of his stuff.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:42 AM on November 26, 2020

Hi SoberHighland. I did check his IMDB page, and I had a hard time separating the wheat (feature films like 200 Motels) from the chaff (music videos and talk show appearances). Since there are a few Zappa fans here, I figured I’d ask which of his film works were considered important. Thanks for letting me know, though!
posted by pxe2000 at 8:57 AM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding Baby Snakes. What a trip.
posted by Splunge at 10:26 AM on November 26, 2020

In 1962 he did the score for The World's Greatest Sinner (Wikipedia link).
posted by Superfrankenstein at 10:58 AM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Uncle Meat, much of which is from roughly the same era as 200 Motels. It's like the in-joke you don't quite get.
posted by sageleaf at 12:04 PM on November 26, 2020

Thirding Baby Snakes.
posted by james33 at 4:58 AM on November 27, 2020

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