Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ms. 45 (1981)

Director: Abel Ferrara

Starring: Zoe Lund

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: It will never happen again!

Plot: A shy and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York after dark and randomly kills men with a .45 caliber gun.

My Rating: 6/10

Would I watch it again? Not likely

#1 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Maybe my expectations were high considering the cult status this has and the high praise it's always given. It's good for what it is, albeit flawed, but not great.

It doesn't take but a few minutes before our "hero", Thana, is raped, makes her way into her apartment where an intruder awaits and rapes her. It's just not her day. She manages to kill him and takes his gun, a, SURPRISE, .45 handgun. She drags his body into the bathtub and soon starts cutting it into pieces. There's the first issue. This quiet, demure girl (yeah, I get it that she was brutally raped twice in one day) has suddenly got the calm wherewithall to start cutting up bodies with a hacksaw? I don't think so. Her descent to the dark side happens too much and too soon for me to believe.

On one hand, it's great that this is only 80 minutes so it goes by pretty quickly but then it would have been nice to have really gotten a realistic feeling of her trip to the dark side. Ugh. I'm ready to move on to the next over-hyped movie that let me down (THE MAN FROM HONG KONG (1975).

MS .45 is not without its moments. Oh, before I forget; the actress playing Thana's landlady is pretty bad. Thana takes her landlady's dog for a walk (to kill it because it knows something) and she's out walking it in NYC traffic, pushing it in front of cars. It's a scream. The big Halloween party at the end has a band with drums, keyboard and trumpet, yet the only non-rhythm section instrument we hear is a tenor sax! The trupmet player is going to town, groovin' all over the place while we hear this honkin' sax. WTF?

Despite a very good performance by the lead, Zoe Lund, and that she is smoking hot in a nun's habit, MS .45 just doesn't hold up as a classic. It may be better than a lot of DEATH WISH knockoffs but that's just not enough. Without a more logical progression from pussy cat to rabid tiger I'm just going to have to keep looking for that exploitation flick that's not going to leave me like I didn't get anything more than just a snack. And the version I saw was the uncut print. I'd hate to see the trimmed version. I imagine it'd be just another over-priced box of Girl Scout cookies - good but not enough to justify shelling out the dough.

1 comment:

  1. Ferrara does a lot with very little here. Most of the acting may be a bit campy or wooden, but Zoe Tamerlis is excellent in her mostly wordless role, and the film is fast-paced, eerie and technically very well done. Add a memorable Halloween party shoot-out, and you've got a mini-classic on your hands.