Ms. 45 (1981)

ABEL FERRARA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1981.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .

Abel Ferrara has never been as exciting since this breakout feature, starring an outstanding (then Tamerlis) as a young mute woman who is sexually assaulted by two men after work on her way home.  Completely undone by the experience, she goes from meek to unapologetic rage with the appearance of a gun in her life, which she packs on her person and uses to unleash a wave of vengeance on 1980s Manhattan that even the least offensive male pays for.  The tone is right on throughout this entire movie, the sense of payback gleeful without ever being self-righteous and the conclusion morally satisfying without being judgmental.  Ferrara moves everything at a perfect pace and includes all the right details (including the sequences involving a marvelously gruesome disposal of a body), and the confidence with which he unfolds the plot fully makes up for a few stilted performances and dated special effects.  The ending at a Halloween party is unforgettable.

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