Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If you go onto eBay and do a search for Ursula Andress movies, you won't find an even distribution of her work. ‘Secrets of the Sensuous Nurse’, for example, is rare and commands prices over eighty dollars. ‘Stateline Motel’, on the other hand, is for sale in every second listing, and can be picked up for ninety nine cents.

There is a reason for this. 'Stateline Motel', our third and final AndressFest '09 movie, isn't very good.

The curiously-named Fabio Teste has been incarcerated in the living hell that is the Canadian prison system: nothing but bilingual signs, maple syrup and socialised medicine for six months. When his sentence is finished, rather than physically deporting him back to the States the Canadian authorities merely inform him that he has 48 hours to get out of Canada, and apparently trust that he'll do the right thing.

He does not do the right thing. He gets picked up from the prison gates by Eli Wallach and driven directly to a local jewelry store, which they proceed to rob. Somehow I suspect that the whole rehabilitation part of the Canadian prison system didn't quite take with him.

While Eli disposes of the getaway car and flies back to the States, Fabio drives another car towards a remote stretch of the border with the jewels. He is, however, about as dumb as you would expect someone named Fabio Teste to be, and manages to crash the car near a tiny village. He's forced to stay the night at the local hotel while the car is repaired, and there he meets Ursula Andress, who is the wife of the proprietor and the only woman who could rock a Mickey Mouse T-shirt without looking like a superannuated Chinese schoolgirl.

Given that he's Fabio Teste and she's Ursula Andress, it's pretty inevitable that they'll get their nude on, and sooner rather than later. Cue the wocka-chicka-wocka music and the predictable closeups of Ursula's boobies. Fortunately I already knew that ‘Stateline Motel’ had a little nudita gratuito, and I'd prepared something to help maintain the high moral standards of the assembled AndressFesters.

We initially tried censoring Ursula's boobies, but that proved to be kind of boring, so we changed to censoring everything except Ursula's boobies, which was a lot more successful. Or at least more crowd-pleasing.

If you ever have the misfortune to be watching ‘Stateline Motel’, I can wholeheartedly recommend censoring Fabio Teste wherever possible.

But back, reluctantly, to the plot. After his night of steamy passion, artfully shadowed to conceal R rated body parts and traces of cellulite on Ursula's 37 year old thighs, Fabio discovers that his stash of jewels is gone. Ursula strenuously denies taking them. Fabio, having fallen hastily in love with this Mickey Mouse-clad temptress, is torn between his feelings and his $500,000 worth of gems.

Meanwhile Eli Wallach has grown crabby and impatient waiting for Fabio to arrive with the jewels, so he crosses the border again and tracks him down. Eli's character is supposed to be a murderous badass, but with his middle-aged paunch and loud mid-70s jackets, he looks like a neurotic lawyer who's escaped from a Woody Allen film. He's about as formidable as a baby aardvark wearing legwarmers. And about as attractive, too.

Eli Wallach, attorney at law.

But that's ‘Stateline Motel’ for you: an Italian playing an American, a Swiss playing a Canadian, and Eli Wallach playing anything other than a lawyer. No one is even remotely believable in any role. Even Canada didn't quite convince me that it wasn't really just New Hampshire with a funny accent.

In the end we discover that Ursula did indeed steal the jewels, but she was probably going to give them back to Fabio once she'd run away with him. Unfortunately before she can do this the jewels are stolen by the girl who does the cleaning at the hotel, and Ursula is strangled by Eli. The film ends with both Ursula and Eli dead, Fabio bereft of both his woman and his money, and the cleaning lady showing off her newly acquired jewels to her boyfriend.

Well, at least somebody ended up happy - that's pretty good for a 70s film.


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