The revenge thriller genre is one that has always provocative, controversial and to some unbearable to watch. One of the iconic films in this category is the movie from Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) Ms. 45. This movie has been given a makeover for Drafthouse Films and is releasing uncut for the first time in limited theaters today. After watching this re release one things becomes evident from the start Ms. 45 has never looked better! This movie was originally released in 1981 and stars the now deceased Zoe Lund as Thana a mute seamstress that works in Manhattan’s garment district. During a time where men were very aggressive in the manner of which they spoke to the career women that inhabited these buildings she becomes the angel of vengeance set on destroying them all. I had only seen bits of the original Ms. 45 on VHS so to see this film in this day and age was a real treat.
In Ms. 45 Thana has had the worst day of her life. After leaving work she is assaulted twice which takes her beyond the breaking point. She becomes a one woman army of vengeance against the scum of the streets of New York using her striking looks and a .45 caliber pistol as her main weapons. A movie like Ms. 45 stands the test of time in concept and theory as films are still trying to emulate the grittiness that Ferra brings in this low budget thriller. Being able to see this film digitally remastered and Uncut will allow any movie goer to enjoy Ms. 45 especially if they have seen it in its original quality.
Not only does it look great but the soundtrack of the film is both rewarding and clearer than ever. For most films that aspect would not matter but it sets up nicely for a movie like Ms. 45. Most of the film’s content involve music since the main character of the film is mute. One of the signature sequences in the film are the parts when Thana is about to pull the gun from her purse to inflict her vengeance and the crystal clear clarity of the overlapping music is beyond compare. This movie was filmed in a time where art house films where all the rage but still stands out from so many productions due to passion and intense nature displayed by Ferrara.
Abel did a fantastic job of drawing us into the mean streets of New York City blending great camera angles with beautiful shots of the city in both the day and evening. When Thana is constantly disposing of her first kill we are shown the urban landscape of Manhattan in all it’s glory. The cinematography has always been one of the highlights of this film and now it looks better than ever. If you have never seen Ms. 45 or remember watching it before make sure you check to see if this Angel Of Vengeance is playing in your city or make sure to pick it up when it’s released on demand or DVD/Blu-ray. Until now you could only see the uncut version of this film through a french distributor but this release contains everything left out of the previous releases. Ms. 45 is a staple in the exploitation underground film community and the guys over at Drafthouse Films do a wonderful job of bringing this timeless classic back to life!
Ms. 45 is playing today in limited theaters. There will also be a run of this film in January as well. For a full listing of the theaters participating in the release or to find out how you can see the film visit the official website here: http://drafthousefilms.com/film/ms.-45#watch.. Ms. 45 will get a DVD/Blu-ray and on demand release uncut for the first time in March of 2014.
The film will be showing here in St. Louis at the monthly Late Night Grindhouse at the Hi Pointe theater on January 3rd and 4th, 2014. To rsvp for the showing head over to their official Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/latenitegrindhouse.