Ms. 45

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Ms. 45
Ms. 45 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Abel Ferrara
Produced by Rochelle Weisberg
Richard Howorth
Mary Kane
Written by N.G. St. John
Starring Zoë Tamerlis Lund
Music by Joe Delia
Cinematography James Lemmo
Edited by Christopher Andrews
Distributed by Warner Bros. (1981)
Image Entertainment (2000)
Drafthouse Films (2014)
Release dates
  • April 24, 1981 (1981-04-24)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $62,000

Ms. 45, also known as Angel of Vengeance, is a 1981 American low-budget exploitation film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Zoë Tamerlis Lund. Inspired by films such as 1973's Thriller - en grym film and 1974's Death Wish, the film is a rape and revenge story about Thana, a mute woman who becomes a misandristic spree killer (not strictly a vigilante) after she is raped twice in one day when going home from work. It was critically maligned on its theatrical release, but is now generally highly regarded among fans of underground[1] and independent film.[2]

It was acquired by Alamo Drafthouse Films in October 2013 and remastered in HD from the original negatives. The distributor released the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy in March 2014.[3]


Zoe Lund as Thana

Walking home from work, Thana, a mute seamstress in New York City's Garment District, is raped at gunpoint in an alley by a mysterious, masked attacker. She survives and makes her way back to her apartment, where she encounters a burglar and is raped a second time. Thana, her name an allusion to Greek god of death Thanatos,[2] hits this second assailant with a small sculpture then bludgeons him to death with an iron. She then keeps his .45 caliber M1911A1 pistol, dismembers the burglar's body, puts the pieces into plastic garbage bags and gradually disposes of them in various locations throughout the city. She begins to have frequent nightmares and hallucinations of the first assailant stalking her, and her mental stability begins to dim.

Thana is noticed by a young man on the street while she is disposing of one of the bagged body parts; retrieving the bag, he chases and frightens her. Fearing another sexual assault, she fatally shoots him. This event furthers her impulse for vengeance. Gradually, Thana transforms her appearance to become more seductive bait, and sets out to kill any man who harasses her. Near the end of the film, she dons a nun's habit and red lipstick to attend a Halloween party with her boss and co-workers. Her boss tries to seduce her and is killed; Thana then begins a shooting spree and targets many of the men present. Finally she is stabbed by a female colleague behind her back, but not before turning around to acknowledge who it is.



Many years later Zoë Tamerlis described how minimal the script was, which is uncharacteristic of Ferrara's later films.[4]

Home video[edit]

In 1983, the film was released on VHS by U.S.A. Home Video in its uncut form.

Ms. 45 was released on DVD in the U.S. on April 25, 2000, by Image Entertainment, but was reedited for DVD release. The reedit removes less than a minute total. The cuts include changes to the first rape featuring Ferrara's cameo, which is split by an insert shot from a later scene. The second rape is more drastically cut, omitting a line "This oughta make you talk, huh?" The climatic Halloween party shoot-out was also recut to remove an on-screen murder, which now occurs off screen.[5]

The uncut DVD / Blu-ray / digital copy is now available in the US, published by Drafthouse Films.



  1. ^ Pettersson, Ron (August 2002). "The Zoë Lund Cinematheque". Senses of Cinema. Archived from the original on 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b Mott, Allan (Nov 7, 2012). "Pretty in the Past: Zoë Lund". 
  3. ^ Savage, Chris. "Drafthouse Films to Unleash The Visitor and Ms. 45 onto Blu-ray & DVD". 
  4. ^ "Pretty in the Past: Zoë Lund". Nov 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bracke, Peter M. "the cut list - Complete archive". Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 

External links[edit]