Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Abel Ferrara|
|Produced by||Rochelle Weisberg
|Written by||N.G. St. John|
|Starring||Zoë Tamerlis Lund|
|Music by||Joe Delia|
|Editing by||Christopher Andrews|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. (1981)
Image Entertainment (2000)
Drafthouse Films (2014)
|Release dates||April 24, 1981|
|Running time||80 minutes|
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 and independent film.
It was acquired by Alamo Drafthouse Films in October 2013 and remastered in HD from the original negatives. The distributor announced that it would re-release the film in December 2013 and debut it on Blu-ray and DVD.
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, 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 harrasses 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.
- Zoë Tamerlis Lund as Thana
- Albert Sinkys as Albert
- Darlene Stuto as Laurie
- Helen McGara as Carol
- Nike Zachmanoglou as Pamela
- Abel Ferrara as First Rapist
- Peter Yellen as The Burglar
- Editta Sherman as Mrs. Nasone
- Vincent Gruppi as Heckler on Corner
- S. Edward Singer as The Photographer
- James Albanese as Nick
Many years later Zoë Tamerlis described how minimal the script was, which is uncharacteristic of Ferrera's later films.
Ms. 45 was released on DVD on in the U.S. 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.
The uncut DVD is now available in France, published by Aquarelle.
- Pettersson, Ron (August 2002). "The Zoë Lund Cinematheque". Senses of Cinema. Archived from the original on 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
- Mott, Allan (Nov. 7, 2012). "Pretty in the Past: Zoë Lund". xojane.co.uk.
- O'Falt, Chris. "Drafthouse Films Acquires Abel Ferrara's 'Ms. 45'". Hollywood Reporter.
- "Pretty in the Past: Zoë Lund". xojane.co.uk. Nov. 7, 2012.
- www.melonfarmers.co.uk. "www.melonfarmers.co.uk". www.melonfarmers.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- Bracke, Peter M. "the cut list - Complete archive". DVDFile.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-03-21.