Lawrence Bender’s Four Rooms Still a Hit Over 20 Years Later

The 1995 comedy, mystery, suspense and adventure film Four Rooms, has as much variety as its multiple directors.

Set at the fictional “Hotel Mon Signor” in Hollywood, the film opens with a newly hired bellboy, played by Tim Roth receiving instruction on his job duties from the exiting Marc Lawrence, cast as Sam.

Four Rooms is as its title describes is a compilation of the vignettes of stories in four different hotel rooms.

The first story is an amusing tale of a coven of witches who have gathered to invoke their goddess Diana and remove a curse through a magical ceremony. While all of the older coven members have brought their necessary ingredients, the newest member, played by Ione Skye, still needs to collect hers, male “essence,” and time is running out.

Skye acts quickly, seduces Roth and the story ends with Diana emerging from the cauldron at the center of the room.

Lawrence Bender, the film’s producer makes a brief cameo as the desk manager who calls Roth, directing him to his next assignment.

In Room 404, a couple engaged in some extremely dangerous role play draw the bellboy into their fantasy accusing him of having committed adultery with the wife, played by Jennifer Beals.

Right before he is punished, in a pretty humorous scene, Roth escapes through the small bathroom window.

Antonio Banderas and Tamlyn Tomita hire Roth to watch after their misbehaving children. The kids refuse to go to bed and get into all types of mischief in the hotel room, opening a bottle of champagne and even setting the room on fire.

Several hours later Banderas and his wife return, finding the room filled with flames and smoke with Roth unable to control the children who are drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes culminating in a mysterious woman’s body popping out of a suitcase.

By this point, Roth is ready to quit. However, the manager convinces him to stay for one last room service.

The Penthouse suite is occupied by the segment’s director Quentin Tarantino, who is promoting the benefits of Cristal while he gathers the props delivered by Roth as part of a wager the group is going to see through.

Tarantino has bet one of his guests the he will not be able to successfully light a Zippo lighter ten consecutive times. What Roth is needed for is to execute the part of the bet that results if the would be performer is unable to complete the lighter tasks.

Roth initially refuses but when the deal is sweetened by offering him $1000 for his part, he has a change of heart.

After one attempt, Paul Calderon fails and Roth chops off his finger and counts his money with a satisfied grin as he walks off the hotel property.
This is one of Lawrence Bender’s better productions. He was able to bring together separate directors with different stories to tell and weave them together into a very entertaining plot with a story that doesn’t lag and keeps the audience entertained and involved throughout.

Jewish-born, Bronx native Lawrence Bender has won three Academy Award nominations for Best Motion Picture and several awards for his films.

Lawrence Bender’s other productions include Nancy Drew, From Dusk til Dawn, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction.

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