After making a porno (under the pseudonym Jimmy Boy L) and The Driller Killer in the ’70s, Abel Ferrara directed Ms. 45, a 1981 female-revenge shocker, which Drafthouse Films recently reissued on DVD and Blu-ray. The movie is about Thana, a mute garment-district worker (Zoë Lund) who, after being raped twice in a single day, decides to take revenge on the men of Manhattan with a .45-caliber gun. It’s a testament to both Ferrara (who cameos as one of the rapists) and Lund (credited at the time as Zoë Tamerlis) that, as Ms. 45 reaches its Halloween-party climax, it starts to play less like a boilerplate-satisfying tale of vengeance: Lund, who would later co-write and briefly appear in Ferrara’s infamous Bad Lieutenant, makes her Thana not a fully justified punisher but a dangerously ambiguous force of violence.
April 11-12, 11:59 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 9, 2014