Four Rooms is a 1995 Black Comedy Round Robin Anthology film consisting of four segments, linked by a framing story: Ted (Tim Roth) is a young and rather loopy bellhop working at a once famous Los Angeles hotel that has fallen from grace and become a haven for criminals and creeps. On New Year's Eve, he ends up with an interesting set of clientèle as the only employee on staff. Hilarity Ensues.
Honeymoon Suite - The Missing IngredientA coven of witches gather for a ceremony to resurrect their petrified goddess. Four of them brought their ingredients, but the fifth failed to bring hers: semen. When Ted shows up, he happens to be the closest male available.Written and directed by Allison Anders.
Room 404 - The Wrong ManAfter some drunk people at an Ambiguously Gay disco party ask for ice and screw up their room number, Ted ends up entering the room of a man holding his Bound and Gagged wife at gunpoint. Mistaking him for someone else, he gets forced to partake in a particularly odd S&M game because the man has a "big fucking gun".Written and directed by Alexandre Rockwell.
Room 309 - The MisbehaversA Mexican gangster and his wife decide to leave their kids at the room for the night while they go to a party. Rather than call a babysitter, they pay Ted five hundred dollars to tend to them and make sure they don't misbehave. Finagle's Law immediately takes hold.Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Penthouse - The Man from HollywoodAfter a brief phone call to his boss to be let off for the night, Ted ends up making one last stop. Chester Rush is a famous director (played by Quentin Tarantino) holding a private party with some of his buddies from the business. After seeing an old episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents where a man bets his little finger he can start a lighter ten times in a row, they decide to replicate it. They want to pay Ted $1,000 to be the hatchet man.Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
This film provides examples of:
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Norman bets his pinky against Chester's car. He loses.
- Adam Westing: Antonio Banderas plays a parody of his usual Mexican Badass role.
- Advertised Extra: Marisa Tomei features quite prominently on the movie poster, and looks her usual classy self. In reality, she appears briefly in one scene as a disheveled drug addict.
- Anachronic Order: "The Wrong Man" occurs during the Time Skip in "The Misbehavers".
- Animated Credits Opening
- Berserk Button: Don't call Ted "Theodore".
- And don't call that whore a whore!
- Brick Joke: During "The Wrong Man", Siegfried is briefly distracted by a phone call. As Ted and Angelica talk, Siegfried can be heard into the background yelling something about needles at the caller. Later, during "The Misbehavers", which takes place at the same time as "The Wrong Man", the kids call a random hotel room to ask about the needle they found. They, of course, reach Siegfried.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Ted as a rule reacts to things in the goofiest manner possible.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Especially in "The Man From Hollywood". But hey, it is directed by Tarantino.
- Crying Wolf: The reason Ted doesn't believe the kids when they call him to report an actual emergency.
- Depending on the Writer: Ted's characterization changes quite a bit between segments.
- Enfant Terrible: The two kids in "The Misbehavers".
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: "The Wrong Man" and "The Misbehavers".
- How Unscientific!: Evoked by "The Missing Ingredient", which includes what is definitely magic in an otherwise realistic film.
- Humiliation Conga: After "The Misbehavers", Ted calls up his co-worker Betty to bring her up to speed (first having a conversation with her equally "loopy" roommate).Betty: [finally getting on the phone] Ted? What's the problem?
Ted: [eerily calm] Hello Betty. "What's the problem?" I haven't got a problem. I've got fucking problems. Plural. Wanna hear?
Betty: [disinterested] Sure.
Ted: [remaining calm] Well most recently, there's Room 309. There's this scary Mexican gangster dude poking his finger in my chest. There's his hooligan kids snapping their fingers at me. There's the putrid rotting corpse of a dead whore inside the mattress. There's a big fat needle, from God knows where, stuck in my leg, infecting me with God knows what. There's rooms blazing afire. And then there's me. Walking out the door. Right fucking now. Buenos noches!
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: "The Wrong Man" has a whole lot of penis nicknames.
- Impossible Mission Collapse: The whole segment "The Man From Hollywood" is this: ten or so minutes of Tarantino-style Seinfeldian Conversation as the Hollywood execs (and girl) explain the backstory of the situation at hand and convince Ted to help them with the bet (especially because they are all rip-roaring drunk and don't want to chop off more than was betted upon accidentally), followed by the bet lasting exactly one second as the lighter fails to work on its first flick and Ted immediately (and too quickly for someone to tell him to stop) performs his role as the "hatchet man".
- Insistent Terminology: It's not champagne; it's Cristal. And Cristal is not "good"—it's fucking good.
- Kubrick Stare: Antonio Banderas. Endlessly!
- Large Ham: Quentin Tarantino. Tim Roth. Bruce Willis. Siegfried.
- New Year Has Come
- Noodle Implements: The guests in "The Man from Hollywood" order a block of wood, a doughnut, a ball of twine, three nails, a club sandwich, a bucket of ice, and an extremely sharp hatchet. "As sharp as the devil himself." Unlike most examples of this trope, however, everything but the nails and twine gets explained: the doughnut is a snack for Chester, the club sandwich is Angelina's, and the ice, hatchet and block of wood are for the bet that the segment is REALLY about.
- The nails and the twine would probably have been use to restrain the hand that was going to have its pinky chopped off and prevent the one risking said limb from simply getting the hand out of the way if he lost or chickened out (like it was done on the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode that the executives got the idea from). That becomes useless, however, pretty quickly.
- Oh Crap!: In "The Man From Hollywood", when Chester informs Ted that "We want you to take part!" Ted (after three insane incidents already) sports this look...which is punctuated by someone blowing a party tooter.
- Oner: A 6 minutes long shot opens "The Man From Hollywood", immediately followed by an even longer 8 minute oner. And the start of the end credits, there's another, shorter 2 minute oner.
- Only Sane Man: Ted clearly considers himself to be this...and considering the characters surrounding him, he might not be too wrong on that.
- Prima Donna Director: Chester Rush, as played by Quentin.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ted plans to pull this after "The Misbehavers". And he immediately does on "The Man From Hollywood", a lot richer, a bit happier, and having chopped off the finger of a Hollywood big-shot.
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage: One of the rare female examples in "The Missing Ingredient".
- Shout-Out: The aforementioned episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which in turn was an adaptation of a Roald Dahl story.
- Signature Style: Each short is meant to communicate their writer/director's talents. Odds are very good one is not watching the film for the first two directors, though.
- The Cameo: Bruce Willis refused payment for his role in "The Man From Hollywood" as a thank you to Tarantino for casting him in Pulp Fiction. He wasn't credited because he violated SAG rules by doing the gig for free.
- Tranquil Fury: Ted when describing the events of the night to Betty. See the Humiliation Conga example.
- Understatement: At the end of "The Misbehavers", the father asks if his children misbehaved as all hell breaks loose in the room.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When investigating a smell coming from Room 309, the little girl removes the mattress to discover the "putrid rotting corpse of a dead whore." Ted then does his best Regan Macneil impression.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The party on the fifth floor appears to be like one of these.
- You're Insane!: Ted's reaction once Bruce Willis explains The Plan to him. "...You guys are DRUNK!" "Of COURSE we're drunk, Teddy—that's why we're here!"