Ms. 45 (1981)

Ms. 45 (1981) movie poster

director Abel Ferrara
viewed: 09/17/2015

Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45 is brilliant new wave sleaze straight out of New York City 1981.  Like Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965) crossed with Death Wish (1974) but filtered through the Manhattan of Bernard Goetz, it’s a psychotronic revenge film freak out par excellence.

Starring the amazingly beautiful Zoë Tamerlis Lund as a mute girl working in the garment district.  The gritty, filth of New York bursts in on this young girl, suffering two brutal rapes in the same day, a flip is switched, throwing her into a spiral of decadent punk violence with the titular .45 pistol.  Hers is a personal reaction, proto-feminist or not, a vengeance upon the masculine.

I always remembered this as also very heavily Catholic-influenced (she does don a nun’s habit for her final spree at a party), but that didn’t come across so much in this viewing.  It’s brutal, pretty radical stuff, reeking of the cultural Id of its time and place.

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