Baby Snakes (1979)

by | May 21, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Baby Snakes (1979)
 
Starring: Frank Zappa
Studio: Eagle Eye Media
Video: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio: DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Extras: Baby Snakes Trailer, Commercial Spot (2), Roxy Trailer
Length: 164 minutes
Rating: ***1/2 (Zappa fans), * (everyone else)

Take a trip as Agent “Musique Fann” to infiltrate the mind of the evil
FZ. This disc is written, produced, directed, and music composed by
Frank Zappa. Animation sequences are done by Bruce Bickford and music
is performed by Terry Bozzio, Roy Estrada, Adrian Belew, Ed Mann,
Patrick O’Hearn, Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf, and Frank Zappa. In the
beginning of the disc are cartoon images, acid-trip style claymation,
and shots of the band scoring the claymation sequences. It is clear
that Zappa has a huge axe to grind with Warner Bros., which he manages
to mention every chance he gets. There is even a warning at the
beginning of the DVD to suggest that the powers that be may be alarmed
at the material presented. The film is about “people who do stuff that
is not normal.” At points there is weirdness including a talking police
car and scenes with a female blow-up doll. From the middle on, there is
more music interspersed with the claymation. The music is
progressive/alternative rock ala Jeff Beck—in other words, guitar-based
rock of the late 70s.

In
the middle of the live performance, Zappa brings up members of the
audience to do all sorts of crazy things—it’s like a circus—and watch
out for the poodle story! Along with the disc is a cool booklet that
has a small file with information about the disc, Frank Zappa, and
pictures—it reads like a dossier. It also has reviews, the infamous
“No-D” glasses with a description of their use, and a section by FZ
discussing the composition. There is nice use of surround sound on the
5.1 mix, and if you can tolerate all the weirdness the music isn’t bad.
I still have trouble getting the “Baaaaaaby Snakes” hook out of my
head. Enter at your own risk.

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