Monday, March 20, 2006

AndressFest (Part 1)

I'm pleased to report that AndressFest '06 was a complete success. I had eight guys in my living room, shovelling popcorn into their gobs, guzzling champagne, and watching Ursula Andress cavort about in a range of bikinis and light negligees. If that doesn't meet the criteria for success in AndressFest '06, I don't know what does.

We began at the beginning; Ursula's breakout role as Bond girl Honey Ryder in 'Dr No'.

This was the first true Bond film, and while many of the aspects of the winning formula are in place, there's no Aston Martin, there's no Q, and instead of the traditional 'naked-girl-silhouettes-writhing-about' in the title credits there's a look I like to call 'M&Ms Gone Wild'. But once Sean Connery utters his famous "Bond, James Bond" line just before scoring with a beautiful woman, you know precisely where you are.


James Bond, doing what he does best.

It's 1962, and James Bond has been dispatched to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a British agent. With his usual capable confidence he loses a tail, takes out a luckless kidnapper, and has a hotel waiter mix his martini shaken not stirred... which the waiter does with a look of intense glumness, and with a lot more swirling than shaking, since he realises he's making cocktails for a philistine. I mean, who shakes a martini? Come on!

In due course, Bond comes to realise that the missing agent has met with foul play, and the same name keeps coming up - Dr No. It's time for Bond and his Disposable Black Sidekick to investigate what's going on out on the island of Crab Quay.


"Ever feel like you're about to be sacrificed at the whim of the Great Scriptwriter?"

By now, Bond has bagged a number of bimbos who are quite demonstrably not Ursula Andress. It's not until he's out on the island that Ursula is introduced, in what must be one of the most famous Bond scenes ever; emerging from the surf, singing a little song, wearing a white bikini with a hunting knife tucked into her belt.

honey rider

"So, you're called 'Honey Ryder', eh? Well, it's not up there with 'Pussy Galore', but it's not bad for a first effort."

Of course it's not long before Bond and Honey are captured, and the Disposable Black Sidekick has met the inevitable grisly end of all Disposable Black Sidekicks. Bond and Honey are taken to Dr No's suspiciously well-appointed underground lair, where they are drugged, given some new clothes, forced to endure early 1960s interior design, and finally introduced to "Chinese" criminal mastermind Dr No.


Oh please. David Hyde Pierce is more Chinese than this guy.

As this is the first Bond film, it's not surprising that Dr No doesn't realise the vital importance of properly killing 007 when you have the chance. Naturally Bond escapes from his cell down the air ducts, kills a guard, steals his uniform, sneaks into Dr No's control room and turns the large wheel marked 'Make Island Explode'. It's not saying much for your criminal mastermind credentials when you can be thwarted by a martini-swilling Scotsman.

There follows many scenes of panicked guards, workers and decorative ladies fleeing in random directions. Bond rescues Honey and they escape in a commandeered motor boat, only to have it break down on them just outside the blast zone. What's a British secret agent to do with a nubile blonde all alone in the middle of the Caribbean? Well duh. Cue much pashing and fading to closing credits.

Ursula didn't have much to do in 'Dr No', other than look good in skimpy outfits and run around trying to avoid being shot, blown up or manhandled by uncouth guards. Still, the movie was a good introduction to the Andressian oeuvre, and nowhere near as dire as our second AndressFest '06 movie, 1963's 'Fun in Acapulco'... more of which tomorrow.


Blogger Eric B. said...

Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress on the same screen at the same time? In the colloquial that the kids find so amusing these days: "My head asplode".

12:51 PM  

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