Four Rooms

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For the Channel 4 television programme, see Four Rooms (TV series).
Four Rooms
Four rooms ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Allison Anders
Alexandre Rockwell
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Written by Allison Anders
Alexandre Rockwell
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Starring Tim Roth
Antonio Banderas
Jennifer Beals
Paul Calderon
Sammi Davis
Valeria Golino
Madonna
David Proval
Ione Skye
Lili Taylor
Kathy Griffin
Marisa Tomei
Tamlyn Tomita
Music by Combustible Edison
Esquivel
Cinematography Rodrigo García
Guillermo Navarro
Phil Parmet
Andrzej Sekuła
Edited by Margie Goodspeed
Elena Maganini
Sally Menke
Robert Rodriguez
Production
company
Distributed by Miramax Films
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Release dates
  • December 25, 1995 (1995-12-25)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million
Box office $4,257,354

Four Rooms is a 1995 anthology comedy film directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing one segment of the film that in its entirety is loosely based on the adult short fiction writings of Roald Dahl, especially Man from the South which is the basis for the last segment, Penthouse - "The Man from Hollywood" directed by Tarantino. The story is set in the fictional Hotel Mon Signor in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. Tim Roth plays the hotel bellhop, the main character in the frame story, whose first night on the job consists of four very different encounters with various hotel guests.

Plot[edit]

The film is set on New Year's Eve, and starts with Sam (Marc Lawrence), the previous bellhop of the Hotel Mon Signor, briefing his replacement, Ted (Tim Roth), about the job.

The opening credits are inspired by the cartoons of The Pink Panther Show, and features the scat song "Vertigogo".

Honeymoon Suite - "The Missing Ingredient"[edit]

Ted assists a number of unusual women with their luggage, which he takes up to the Honeymoon Suite. He learns they are a coven of witches, attempting to create a potion to reverse a spell cast on their goddess, Diana (Amanda De Cadenet) 40 years ago. In order to create the potion, each witch must place an ingredient into a large cauldron in a ritual. However, one of the witches (Ione Skye) has still to retrieve her ingredient - semen - which she is told she must retrieve in one hour. The witch manages to seduce an initially reluctant Ted and has sex with him in the cauldron. After he leaves, the witches complete the ritual and Diana is seen emerging from the cauldron.

Ted's phone call with the party guest[edit]

At the end of the segment, a guest from a hotel room party (Lawrence Bender) calls Ted at the front desk to get some ice. He is unsure about which floor the room is on, but eventually directs Ted to room 404.

Room 404 - "The Wrong Man"[edit]

Upon arriving at room 404, Ted finds himself in the middle of a fantasy hostage situation between a husband and wife. Siegfried (David Proval), the husband, maniacally accuses Ted (whom he calls Theodore) of having slept with his wife, Angela (Jennifer Beals). At gunpoint, Ted is made to participate in the scenario, with uncertainty about what is real and what is part of the fantasy. At one point, Ted is stuck in the bathroom window and the party guest from the beginning of the episode appears in the window above, uttering the word "ice" and vomiting. Eventually, Ted escapes just as a different party guest (Paul Skemp) appears, looking for room 404 and is greeted by Siegfried in the same manner as Ted was at the beginning of the episode.

Ambiguity of room number[edit]

It is not fully clear if these events take place in room 404 or in room 409. The party guests' room is on the above floor, which suggests Siegfried's room is indeed room 404. Adding to this uncertainty, the room door reads "40-", with a faint outline of what appears to be a missing "4" or "9". However, Siegfried answers the phone at one point, which is later revealed to be a call connecting to room 409.

Room 309 - "The Misbehavers"[edit]

A husband (Antonio Banderas) and wife (Tamlyn Tomita) go out to a New Year's Eve party and leave their two children, Juancho and Sarah (Danny Verduzco and Lana McKissack), in the hotel. Ted is paid $500 to keep an eye on the children by the stern father, who orders them not to misbehave. As Ted is responsible for the entire hotel he cannot actually stay in the room with the children, but instead instructs them to stay in the room and watch television. After Ted leaves, the children soon begin to squabble and proceed to both explore and vandalize the room, and manage to explode a bottle of champagne in the process. They call Ted for toothbrushes, at which point he arrives and attempts unsuccessfully to put them to bed by putting ointment on their eyelids. After they wash their eyelids and summon him back to the room once more, Ted arrives at a scene of mass chaos: One painting in the bedroom has a target scribbled on it in lipstick-That Juancho and Sarah use to play darts with the syringe., Juancho has a cigarette in his mouth, Sarah has the bottle of champagne in her hand, the television is set to an adult channel, and the children have found the corpse of a dead prostitute (Patricia Vonne) stuffed under the mattress. While Ted tries to quell the chaos in the room, Sarah stabs him in the leg with a syringe when he repeatedly uses the word "whore" and Juancho accidentally sets the bedroom on fire with his cigarette. At this point, the children's father arrives, carrying his passed-out wife, and, looking around the room, asks Ted, "Did they misbehave?"

Ted's phone call with Betty[edit]

After the events of room 309, an unsettled Ted calls his boss, Betty (Kathy Griffin), to quit for the night, as his shift has ended. After a prolonged conversation with Margaret (Marisa Tomei), Ted gets Betty on the phone and quits, but a call from the Penthouse comes in. Betty reasons with Ted and convinces him to tend to their needs, due to the importance of continued Hollywood business to the hotel.

Penthouse - "The Man from Hollywood"[edit]

The penthouse is currently being occupied by the famous director Chester Rush (Tarantino) and a group of his friends, which includes Angela from The Wrong Man. The party requests a block of wood, a doughnut, a ball of twine, three nails, a club sandwich, a bucket of ice, and an extremely sharp hatchet (Rush specifically requests a hatchet "as sharp as the Devil himself"). After getting acquainted with Chester and his friends, Ted is asked to take part in a challenge: Chester's friend Norman (Paul Calderón) has bet he can light his Zippo cigarette lighter ten times in a row. If he succeeds, Norman will win Chester's car, but if he fails, Norman's pinky will be cut off. Ted is asked to "wield the hatchet" and cut off Norman's pinky, should he fail. Ted initially tries to leave, but Chester persuades him to stay by offering $100 up front and another $1,000 if he performs his assigned role. Norman's lighter fails on the first try, and Ted chops off the finger, sweeps up all the money, and leaves the penthouse. While the credits are rolling, Chester and company are seen frantically getting ready to take a screaming, agonizing Norman to a hospital. Bruce Willis also appears prominently in this scene, yet is not credited in the movie.

Cast[edit]

"The Missing Ingredient"[edit]

"The Wrong Man"[edit]

"The Misbehavers"[edit]

Betty's house[edit]

"The Man from Hollywood"[edit]

Production[edit]

The role of Ted was originally written with Steve Buscemi in mind, but he had to pass on the part due to scheduling conflicts and Buscemi's Reservoir Dogs co-star Tim Roth eventually took his place.

The film was originally going to be called Five Rooms, with Richard Linklater contributing a segment, but he eventually withdrew before production began.

The reason Bruce Willis was not credited was because he violated Screen Actors Guild rules for acting in this film for no money. He appeared for fun and did it as a favor for Quentin Tarantino, and acting for free violated SAG rules. SAG agreed not to sue Willis if his name was not included in the credits.

Crossovers between rooms[edit]

The four segments are shown chronologically, except for "The Misbehavers", the events of which both precede and succeed the events of "The Wrong Man".

There are some connections between the four segments:

  • In "The Wrong Man", Ted recalls the witches' ritual in "The Missing Ingredient" with the expression "weird voodoo thing".
  • Ted can be seen with the two cherries from "The Missing Ingredient" at the beginning of "The Misbehavers".
  • Sarah in "The Misbehavers" calls a random room to ask a question. The man who picks up happens to be Siegfried from "The Wrong Man".
  • Angela appears in both "The Wrong Man" and "The Man from Hollywood".
  • When calling his boss, just before the beginning of "The Man from Hollywood", Ted recalls the events of the first three segments.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film did not fare as well with critics as it received a 14% "Rotten" rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[1] James Berardinelli of ReelViews described the film as "one of 1995's major disappointments".[2] Hal Hinson of the Washington Post said the film "asserts itself as a goof so laboriously and aggressively that you almost feel pinned back in your seat".[3] Most reviews agree that "The Misbehavers" is the best of the rooms. Tim Roth was praised by critics and audiences for his performance as Ted.

The film won a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Madonna).[4]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $4,257,354 in only 319 theaters.[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

Four Rooms: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 1995
Genre Lounge music, soundtrack
Length 49.20
Label Elektra/Asylum
Producer Mark Mothersbaugh
Carl Plaster
Combustible Edison
Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology
Four Rooms
(1995)
Desperado
(1995)
Quentin Tarantino film soundtrack chronology
Pulp Fiction
(1994)
Four Rooms
(1995)
From Dusk Till Dawn
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [6]

The soundtrack to Four Rooms features a score composed and performed by contemporary lounge music band Combustible Edison, co-produced by Mark Mothersbaugh. Additional music is by Juan García Esquivel.[7][8]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Vertigogo (Opening Theme)" (Combustible Edison) – 2:35
    • Tracks 2-11 from "The Missing Ingredient":
  2. "Junglero" – 1:54
  3. "Four Rooms Swing" – 2:11
  4. "Theme From 'Bewitched'" (Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller) – 1:01
  5. "Tea and Eva In The Elevator" – 0:55
  6. "Invocation" – 1:26
  7. "Breakfast At Denny's" – 3:57
  8. "Strange Brew" – 0:27
  9. "Coven Of Witches" – 0:59
  10. "The Earthly Diana" – 0:36
  11. "Eva Seduces Ted" – 2:10
    • Tracks 12-17 from "The Wrong Man":
  12. "Hallway Ted" – 0:31
  13. "Headshake Rhumba" – 0:41
  14. "Skippen, Pukin, Siegfried" – 0:29
  15. "Angela" – 0:46
  16. "Punch Drunk" – 2:57
  17. "Male Bonding" – 3:06
    • Tracks 18-25 from "The Misbehavers":
  18. "Mariachi" – 0:29
  19. "Antes De Medianoche" – 2:45
  20. "Sentimental Journey" (Written by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer, performed by Esquivel) – 2:39
  21. "Kids Watch TV" – 2:03
  22. "Champagne and Needles" – 2:06
  23. "Bullseye" – 1:01
  24. "Harlem Nocturne" (Written by Earle Hagen, performed by Esquivel) – 2:30
  25. "The Millionaire's Holiday" – 2:13
    • Tracks 26-29 from "The Man from Hollywood":
  26. "Ted-o-vater" – 0:39
  27. "Vertigogo (Closing Credits)" – 5:33
  28. "'D' In The Hallway Credits" – 0:25
  29. "Torchy" – 0:16

References[edit]

  1. ^ Four Rooms at Rotten Tomatoes
  2. ^ James Berardinelli (1995-12-25). "Four Rooms review". ReelViews. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  3. ^ Hal Hinson (1995-12-25). "Four Rooms". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  4. ^ HeadRAZZBerry (2005-12-04). "The (Not So) Sweet Sixteenth Annual RAZZIE® Awards (for 1995)". Golden Raspberry Award. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  5. ^ "Four Rooms". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  6. ^ Four Rooms at AllMusic
  7. ^ "Soundtrack: Four Rooms". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  8. ^ "Four Rooms- Soundtrack details". soundtrackcollector.com. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 

External links[edit]