Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Four Rooms (1995)

Extremely uneven, bizarre omnibus film -- in four segments, directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, respectively -- following the misadventures of hapless Ted the bell-hop, played by Tim Roth as a kind of weird cross between Peter Sellers and Jerry Lewis. In the first segment, he gets involved with a witches' coven; in the second, he becomes the unwilling participant in a pyschosexual role-playing fantasy; in the third segment, he has to look after two mischievous kids left alone in their hotel room, which they proceed to destroy; and in the fourth, he takes part in a dangerous re-enactment of the story "Man from the South" with a deranged Hollywood star and his entourage.

None of the segments really live up to their potential, with many of the situations confusingly set-up and poorly executed, no doubt hindered by the limited amount of time granted to each one. Tarantino's episode is the longest, and also the best, though it still feels rushed and underdeveloped. It was an interesting idea to bring together four emerging directors of the period to contribute to an anthology film, but the clash of styles and tone between the episodes result in a wildly inconsistent misfire.

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