A young, voluptuous New York City woman is intensely shy and unable to speak. Her naive beauty provokes the aggressive attention of all men. One evening while walking home, she is assaulted at gunpoint and brutally raped b... more »y two thugs. Her enormous fears, which had driven her inward before, now push her to an outward course of action. After killing one of her assailants, she cuts his body into pieces and disposes of the parts, one by one, at various spots in Manhattan. She carries her dead assailant's .45 automatic, initially for protection, but ultimately for unrelenting revenge against all males. Men, keep your legs crossed for this frightfully erotic thriller that delves into the life of a nubile young maiden out for blood.« less
DVD is EDITED - What Is Wrong With Image Entertainment ?
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/07/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot believe that IMAGE has released an edited print of Abel Ferrara's great early exploitation flick, MS. 45. What is wrong with them? This 1981 movie about a very shy Manhattan woman who gets raped and abused and eventually fights back was originally released with an R rating and the old VHS release from USA Video was the uncut R rated version as well. So why is the new IMAGE version edited? Not only are both of the rape scenes near the start of the film edited, but the climactic shooting confrontation scene at the end of the movie is also cut. IMAGE calls this the "R-rated" version, but it clearly IS NOT. They should be ashamed to release such a travesty. This DVD has NO EXTRAS (not even a trailer) and it's not even the complete movie! Why even bother? Once again, IMAGE proves that they have no idea what the DVD audience is looking for. Another big "F" in my book."
This DVD release is edited.
Jeff Nation | Frisco, Texas USA | 07/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This version has been edited. The film was released in 1981 with a MPAA rating of X. Current distributors of this film have released the R version. Two minutes of the film are cut (rape scenes). The original can be found on VHS only by Xenon Entertainment. They are out of print but copies can be found ...The lead character (Zoe Lund) in this film also wrote the screenplay for "Bad Leutinant" with Harvey Keitel and she is in a scene in that movie also.Zoe Lund died in 1997 at 37 years old and was a herion junkie."
A Feminist Taxi Driver
R. Grubb | Minneapolis, MN USA | 01/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Ms. 45 a few months ago and was completely blown away by it. I understand it's been edited, and I assume I saw a version that had been cut. But I can assure you that it's still worth seeing.
Thana is a mute seamstress who is sexually assaulted not once, but twice, on her way home from work. When I read the description, I thought this sounded a bit overly dramatic and far-fetched. However, the way it plays out in the film is very believable, both in the way it is portrayed, and the way it effects Thana in the rest of the film.
Thana is walking home and gets attacked and raped in an alleyway. While we can still see feel genuine sympathy for Thana as the victim, we can also see how truly pathetic the rapist is, in his desperate need to have power over another person. Zoe Tamerlis does not speak, since her character is mute, but suggests more than enough with her facial expressions. Thana is in shock, and returns home to pull herself together. Once she gets to her apartment, she sits down on her bed, and the first thing she sees on the floor is a foreign pair of boots. Another rapist has entered her apartment. She has already been violated on the street where she is vulnerable, and before she is able to recover from the initial shock, she is violated further in her apartment, her own space.
Thana manages to kill the second rapist in her home, and takes his gun with her when she goes out the next day. She disposes of his body by cutting off a piece at a time and dumping it. As the corpse gradually disappears, so does Thana's composure. She begins to use the gun to kill men, first retaliating when she feels threatened, then going out in search of them, using herself as bait.
"Ms. 45" isn't so much of a feminist revenge fantasy as it is a feminist portrait of a victim turned anti-hero. In one scene, Thana walks through a park, and a group of men encircle her with the obvious intention of gang raping her. She surprises them by turning 360 degrees and killing them one by one. However, there are a few instances in which the intentions of the men she kills are not so obvious, and she seems to be killing innocent men as well as would-be rapists. The point of this is not to say that what Thana is doing is right and just, but to show the effects of sexual assault on the female victim. Women and girls who are sexually assaulted and abused by males often feel threatened by all men. This movie illustrates how sexual assault effects how female victims view men and interact with them.
The reason why I call this a feminist film is not because it glorifies her actions of revenge, but because it follows the story of the female victim from beginning to end. In most slasher movies, we usually see one or more women who are killed for voyeuristic purposes, which many feminist film theorists consider mysoginistic. The female victim looks attractive, and keeps the audience entertained by dying a violent death before she is ever developed as an actual character. In "Ms. 45," the male attackers themselves are the ones who never become further developed, and Thana is the one we follow, the one we care about.
Zoe Tamerlis is perfect as the mute Thana. Although she never speaks, her face shows the gradual transformation from shrinking violet to femme fatale killing machine. Portraying Thana as a mute is a brilliant move on part of Abel Ferrera. Rape is the most underreported crime, and Thana's inability to speak symbolizes perfectly a sexual assault victim's inability to express what happened to her.
"Ms. 45" is considered an exploitation movie. If it is, it's the one of the finest, most real, and most sensitive exploitation movies I've ever seen. Feminist exploitation cinema, just like the Jack Hill classic, "Switchblade Sisters.""
Not your typical feminist revenge film...
maldoror_de_sade | the HI state | 02/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Abel Ferrara's second major film (after Driller Killer, also rereleased on DVD), which has just been released on DVD, is the controversial "Ms. 45." The picture transfer is well done, really crisp and clear...you couldn't tell it was made 20 years ago except by hairstyles and clothes. The sound is not the greatest; some parts are hardly audible. And, there are no extras at all in this edition; no trailers, commentary, interviews, nothing. But as for the movie itself, those who are into revenge films will find it a pleasant surprise.The late Zoe Tamerlaine (who has an uncanny resemblance to Denise Richards) stars as Thana, a sexy mute woman, who is the victim of rape and burglary. She survives, killing one of the rapists. But she doesn't call the cops...she instead takes the dead rapist and starts sawing up his body, later disposed in garbage bags. She then takes his 45 caliber, and this is when the movies gets really crazy. Her world becomes very delusional, and Thana starts shooting guys out of paranoia. But progressively she becomes even more trigger happy, and starts to kill any guy who advances on her, even when he is posing no immediate threat to her. The movie climaxes with a very wild, bloody shootout. "Ms. 45" has been quoted as Ferrara's "Taxi Driver"; Ferrara's direction is a less-gritty Scorsese, displaying New York through funny dialogue and scenes. The movie will satisfy gorehounds, and it will keep the viewer interested in this gory black comedy from start to finish. "Ms. 45" has been banned in many countries, and it had to be cut to get an "R" rating. Ferrara's excellent direction is a huge accomplishment this being only his second major film, and it places "Ms. 45" much higher than other feminist revenge films (eg I spit on your grave). After watching this movie, you'll see where they got the idea for "American Psycho"..."
Exploitation at its Finest.
Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 12/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Good exploitation films should upset the apple-cart, cross over the line, and upset community censors. Many of Abel Ferrar's best films: King of New York, Bad Lieutenant, Fear City and The Addition do just that. His best film however remains this very low budget 1981 effort which fuses the most effective parts of Taxi Driver and Death Wish, with I Spit on Your Grave. It was his second legit. film (after Driller Killer).While 'I Spit..", was made in sub-Herschell Gordon Lewis fashion and is a nearly unwatchable, amateurish gore film, Ms. 45 remains an exploitation classic. And it's been made by a director who despite a minimal budget, delivers a film of some vision and atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, this is still sick and rather strong stuff. Ms. 45 gives us a young, sexy woman as it's protagonist (a rarity at the time). She is at first a pitiful victim. She's a 17 - year- old garment-district worker, who's barely surviving on the mean streets of New York. The film quickly establishes how alone she is in the crowded city. She's not just alone, but she's unable to fit in or communicate effectively with anyone (Taxi Driver). She's a mute (most likely a traumatic reaction to a childhood of probable sexual abuse) and she's raped not once, but twice in one day (yes the first alley-way rapist is Abel himself). She fights back, killing her second rapist/robber, and gaining confidence as she cuts up his body in her bathtub. Perhaps an homage or two to Diabolique, Psycho and Repulsion are intended (but don't worry this is exploitation at it's finest--not art). She decides her new mission in life is as an avenger against man's sexual aggressions toward women. No overly agressive man or would-be rapist is going to get away unscathed if caught by MS. 45. But not all the people she kills even in movie realy deserve to be killed. So our beautiful, mute, avenger becomes herself a serial killer. She's no longer a sympathetic victim out for revenge, but a stalker herself. There's a few surprises, some interesting jazz music on the soundtrack and plenty of violence and gore to satisfy the exploitation lover.There's also some fine low budget film-making on display as well. And Zoe Tamerlis' performance is much better than the type of performances one is used to encountering in films of this type. That means the film isn't one to enjoy on a campy level, and it's not one that allows its audience to simply enjoy it's blood lust (as say Death Wish may have). This film has more on its mind, and it's a disturbing, memorable film. The controversy this film still creates is purposefully earned. The film was written by usual Abel collaborator, Nicholas St. John. Chris Jarmick Author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder - A steamy cyber thriller available January 2001. Please order it today. Thank You"