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Ms. 45 (1981)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Ms. 45 (1981) Just caught up with Abel Ferrara's classic rape-revenge film, and not sure what took me so long. If you like movies obviously inspired by DEATH WISH, then you'll love this gem! Zoe Tamerlis Lund plays a mute seamstress who works in New York City that is raped TWICE in one day by drooling cesspools of flesh called MEN. There's not much motive given for the rapists' actions other than they're scumbags and they see the opportunity. Even before she gets raped, just walking along the streets on the way home from work, Ferrara shows every man ogling after Zoe and her colleagues, making horribly crude sexual comments about them! It's as if the entire male population of New York has turned into sex-crazed rapists instead of zombies. Ferrara himself plays the second rapist and allegedly a lot of the assault action has been cut in most of the recent DVD releases. No matter, because the meat of the movie is Zoe finding a gun and deciding to take the law into her own hands---dressing up like a hot tart, luring the prey to her like chum to a shark, and blasting them away! Watching her transformation from shattered victim to vigilante aggressor is part of the fun of this movie, and it's great when she hits the 1980's streets of New York, blasting away the bad guys, taking out the crime, mopping up the slime! Though a low budget film, everything is expertly staged in Michael Winner fashion. Ferrara then lets Zoe get a little bit crazed as her hunting of evil men becomes a hobby...then an obsession. She starts to stalk innocent men and even almost gets killed by one guy who commits suicide in front of her in an unexpected sequence of despair and mayhem. By the end of the movie, Zoe's vigilante has gone too far and we're not really rooting for her...the taste of blood has made her a mad dog. But the ending is spectacular as beautiful Zoe heads out to a Halloween party dressed up like a nun (and looking ever so hot in the stockings and garments---I'm sure real nuns never looks as hot as the ones in exploitation movies!) and goes ballistic, trying to kill every male she sees. It's all staged in slow-motion DePalma style, and delivers the goods. Ms. 45 is a powerful film, its only downfall is a subplot involving a nosy landlord and her annoying dog (humor in the vein of Craven's cop sub-plot in LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT), but this is a classic flick that still packs a vigilante wallop all these years later. They sure don't make ‘em like this anymore, so if you haven't seen it, check it out. And if you have, it's one worth seeing again!

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