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From Straight to Bizarre2011

Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and Los Angeles' Lunatic Fringe

  • 3.8
In 1968 Frank Zappa set up the Bizarre and Straight record labels. FROM STRAIGHT TO BIZARRE reviews the astonishing music that came out on Bizarre and Straight and reveals the background, operations and the lives of the musicians, performers and management who made these labels the legendary reality they became. Includes rare footage, archive interviews and (of course) the music that made it all worthwhile.

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What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

4 members like this review

Lots and lots of detail... a real inside look at Zappa as an artist interacting with American culture in his own remarkable way. Even though I had a good sense of Zappa as a producer, this film definitely expanded my view of the breadth of Zappa's vision and interests beyond being a musician/performer.

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Member Reviews (18)

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top reviewer

Lots and lots of detail... a real inside look at Zappa as an artist interacting with American culture in his own remarkable way. Even though I had a good sense of Zappa as a producer, this film definitely expanded my view of the breadth of Zappa's vision and interests beyond being a musician/performer.

4 members like this review
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top reviewer

This movie captured in stunning detail an important moment is musical history. Up until now Zappa's legacy has not been fully appreciated. This was a great movie that broke down and explained that crazy period of cultural flux. The record labels seem less important than Zappa's contributions as a producer. I loved the segments on Alice Cooper and have never seen much of the footage that was in this movie. A must see movie for anyone who was alive and listening to these bands.

4 members like this review

I have all this music and this is one of the best docs on that scene, well done!

This is a Frank Zappa that is seldom talked about, and it is a bit different than his famous persona. Just as featured here are the acts that were on his Stright and Bizarre labels. This all combines into an explanation of Zappa's perspective and the freak movement that gives the whole era meaning that would otherwise be lost on many. I was captivated.

2 members like this review

Interesting documentary about a period of Zappa's career as a producer when he was involved in his Bizarre/Straight record label. Lot's of good information about these more obscure artists and releases. Captain Beefheart is well covered. I was greatly influenced by Zappa and many of the releases on these labels while growing up. I still have some of the original albums that are now unavailable.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

This documentary answers many old questions that I have had about Zappa and Beefheart in their early days. It also leaves many of my more subtle questions unanswered. Maybe those answers are out there, but I would imagine it would take a series of documentaries to answer them all. I guess that is what I get for being a fan. I also kinda understand that along with this unique, obscure music mysteries must abide. We are not meant to understand genius, madness, creativity and, perhaps, jealousy. I am glad this much has been told, tho. "From Straight To Bizarre" is a good, strong addition to the world of musical historical documentaries. It is an entertaining look back for those of us who have loved this noise for a long time and it is a good educator for those who would like to know more.

1 member likes this review

Great show. Lots of interesting information about some very interesting artists of the late '60s and early '70s. Most of whom don't receive a lot of recognition for contributions made.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

I was a little disappointed the film had barely any one on one discussion with Zappa, and many of the other artists that which were discussed so heavily in this film. That being said, there were some classic moments with Capt. Beefheart, Alice Cooper, and other artists, that make this film a must see for fans of these artists. The films is definitely worth watching, for there are quite a few magical moments caught on film.

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top reviewer

Intriguing movie, but could have used some more performance moments from the various artists involved and less talking heads.

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top reviewer

A very unique season of music business/creative history*** Frank Zappa was The Mother/Father of Musical Invention ****

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top reviewer

Too long and low budget but nice idea to document the Zappa run Bizarre label. More enjoyable for a fan than average film goer.

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top reviewer

Great storytelling. A long anthology of some of the most bizaar-ness of the late 60's scene. Zappa was more involved and influential than I realized. Interviews are woven nicely into the fabric of narration and rare bits of artistic performance. Very informative. I learned a lot. Interesting story. Enjoyed it. -Biggo

Have enjoyed Zappa my entire life, I had no idea he was such a force of freedom and creativity for other musicians and freaks. I realize I am comfortable being me because of his music.

Interesting story of the times

loved it

loved it!

This is a must see film for fans of Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and early Alice Cooper. It's long, at 160 minutes, but worth it.

i still play my vinyl copies of these wonderful works of art.

I really enjoyed this film. While I knew quite a bit about the history of Zappa & Beefheart during this period, the stories of the other acts were largely new to me.

this certainly fills in some of the blanks, love all this music

bet my wildman fisher lp would be worth something now

merry go round dada lives!