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The 100




Four Rooms
(1995)
Reviewed by Arno Mikli
Rating: 8 Beans

his alleged comedy consists of four woefully bad and unfunny short stories , all set in the same hotel on the same night and featuring the same character, a bellboy named Ted (Tim Roth).

This reviewer shares Leonard Maltin's difficulties in trying to work out which is the worst. Let us consider each one in turn. All four are garnished with rancid language and/or 'adult themes', to put it mildly.

The first one is about a witches' coven (two of them played by Valeria Golino and Madonna) who for reasons unknown decide a hotel room is the ideal spot for one of their rituals. Before they begin, they discover that they are missing a vital ingredient for their witches brew - to wit, some human semen. Guess who gets to be the fellow who provides them with this ingredient? We don't get to see Ted's actual seduction take place - but as soon as they get this item, the story (such as it is) ends.

The second one tells the story of how Ted gets involved in an argument between a psychotic couple (Jennifer Beals is the missus ). This sickening little confrontation does not bear repeating, though one repulsive vomiting scene from a hotel window remains unforgettable.

The third story tells us how Ted gets pressganged by a sinister-looking South American character (Antonio Banderas) into looking after his two children whilst he and his wife go off to party. Following some gross moments in which we see one of the kids suck his own toes , matters come to a head when the three of them discover the body of a dead prostitute under one of the mattresses. Actually, things do get macabrely funny here when the sinister papa comes home to find Ted holding the corpse in one hand and a syringe in the other.

The final story appears to be either a blatant ripoff or a woeful parody of a Roald Dahl classical short story called "Man from the South". Ted gets involved in a situation where a handful of imbeciles are engaged in a bet where , if a cigarette lighter does not light several times in a row, the owner of that cigarette lighter loses a finger by having it chopped off with a meat cleaver. Those playing these illustrious individuals include Bruce Willis and Quentin Tarantino. Jennifer Beals makes an unexplained and unnecessary reappearance in this segment as another one of these morons. Unlike the Dahl classic, there's no suspense at all. The cigarette lighter fails on the first go, its owner promptly loses a finger and they all go running screaming off to get medical attention. And that's it. End of story....and end of film.

Honorary mention must also be made to a brief between-stories segment where we see Ted complain about his woeful night to a sceptical Marisa Tomei.

This reviewer feels that , despite some strong competition elsewhere, the worst of these stories is the third one, featuring the two kids and the dead prostitute. That toe-sucking scene was positively gross, and unequalled by anything else in this ignoble chunk of celluloid.

All in all, this film was a sad waste of a good cast and a utter failure as a comedy. It is to be avoided at all costs.






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