Four Rooms (1995)

Four Rooms (1995)

Four Rooms was released around the time that Quentin Tarantino and Roberto Rodriquez were being lauded from every angle for anything. Even sneezing. The film, split into four distinct sections was written and helmed by individual directors (Allison Anders and Alexandre Rockwell and in addition to the aforementioned gentleman). There’s not an over arching narrative, just Tim Roth as the bellboy to hold it all together.

The movie might well be as good a distillation of Tarantino’s film history excess and dialogue style. His section – nor his compatriots – is perfect, but each is more than entertaining.

Honeymoon Suite - The Missing Ingredient (Anders)
The beginning of the film finds Roth as Ted the Bellboy being introduced to the ground rules of the job by his elderly predecessor. When Ted finds himself alone, a precession of woman arrive and are all escorted to the Honeymoon Suite. It turns out that the women are a coven of witches endeavoring to resurrect their fallen leader. Each witch has brought a special ingredient to aide in the process. One, though, has neglected to bring the semen of her lover – that’s where Ted comes in.

Room 404 - The Wrong Man (Rockwell)
In another story focused on the deviant sexual proclivities of some guests of the hotel, Ted receives a call to bring some ice up to a party. The only problem is the folks calling for the service are drunk enough as to not recall what room they’re actually in, thus sending Ted into trouble’s waiting arms. Upon entering room 404, Ted’s shocked to see a guy wielding a gun and a woman tied to a chair. The couple seems to be having a problem. And by dint of Ted’s arrival, it seems as if he might be the scapegoat. Bummer.

Room 309 - The Misbehavers (Rodriguez)
The Roberto Rodriguez scenario doesn’t boast specific sexual weirdness – till the end. Antionio Banderas does seethe tension, though. And when the debonair dad pays Ted a few hundred bucks to watch his kids for the evening, the bellhop enters into a deal that finds him running back and forth to quell any number of problems between brother and sister. Unfortunately, the scent lingering in the room that’s so troublesome to the kids turns out to be emanating from a disgusting source. But with Ted being amidst a roomful of flames when the parents arrive at the room again, the smell isn’t the biggest problem.

Penthouse - The Man from Hollywood (Tarantino)
This final segment – which includes Bruce Willis with a goatee – has perhaps been critiqued more than the other scenarios represented here in Four Rooms, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. Ted, brining an odd assortment of hatchets and the like upstairs, finds the character that Tarantino inhabits being at the height of talkativeness after having grossed some great sum of money from a recent film project (yea, the character’s pretty much Tarantino). The scene gets pretty in-depth with Hollywood, film and television references as the director displays his writing acumen. The ending, though, is swift and final.