An anthology film that probably looked a lot better on paper, Four Rooms features four talented directors slumming it as they each tell a story taking place in a different room of a five-star hotel on New Year’s Eve, all linked by an ever-mugging, cartoonish bellhop named Ted (Tim Roth, slumming as well). Allison Anders’ “The Missing Ingredient” has a coven of witches checking into the Honeymoon Suite to perform a ritual to reverse a curse put on their goddess; the “missing ingredient” for their potion is semen, and one guess as to who they get it from. Alexandre Rockwell’s (wait, who?) “The Wrong Man” has Ted being forced to participate in a fantasy hostage situation between a weirdo husband and wife (David Proval and Jennifer Beals), a scenario that involves the bellhop narrowly missing someone’s vomit coming from the floor above (as you can see, this film is truly the epitome of good taste). Speaking of vomit, Ted explosively upchucks when he sees what he describes as a “dead WHORE!” in the bed of Room 309 in Robert Rodriguez‘s “The Misbehavers,” the director’s pre-Spy Kids portrait of youngsters getting into grown-up trouble (which features a fun, Gomez Addams-style performance by Antonio Banderas as their dashing father). The worst of the four stories takes place in the Penthouse: Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Man From Hollywood” is a rambling, obnoxious endurance test featuring a movie star (Tarantino himself, ugh) and his entourage indulging in alcohol- and coke-fueled bets with rather macabre conditions. Tarantino and Rodriguez would later find much greater success with their drive-in double bill, Grindhouse; everyone else stayed far away from any variation on this type of format following this disaster.
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