Thana (played by Zoe Lund) is a mute living among the tough streets of NYC and is often the victim of sexist men because of her beauty. When Thana is raped TWICE IN ONE DAY, she becomes Ms. 45. All this happens in the first 10 minutes of film. It’s a lot to absorb and definitely not for the squeamish. It is so disturbing during the second rape scene when Thana opens her mouth into a scream and nothing emerges since she is mute. It makes this brutal scene that much more traumatic for the viewers. It is during this scene that she snaps. Revenge is now her middle name… or, Ms. 45, to be exact.
Have I mentioned before that I love revenge films? (See reviews for Bedevilled, American Mary, Ilsa: Shewolf of the SS, Daddy’s Little Girl, Big Bad Wolves, Big Driver, Blue Ruin… ok, I’ll stop there.) Those who like Irreversible (2002) will enjoy this film. Director Abel Ferrara is no rookie in the movie business and has a slew of violent exploitation films under his belt like Driller Killer, King of New York, and Bad Lieutenant. Ferrara does some acting as well and appears as the first rapist in Ms. 45.
Zoe Lund does a more than decent job portraying a mute character. Your first impression is of a picturesque beauty, though timid and fragile in nature, with wide set eyes and pouty lips. Then you throw some red lipstick on this vixen and you have a lean, mean, killing machine. She goes on a mad killing spree for justice against all misogynist men.
In my honest opinion, it drags on a bit too long in multiple scenes, but it’s not for lacking in the violence department in this X-Rated film. There is not much development once the initial plot gets going and it gets a little monotonous with kill after kill with her .45. It may not be the most creative plot but it certainly set the ground work for many modern day revenge thrillers. The Seasoning House (2012) seems heavily influence by this film with the strong correlation with mute main characters in the rape/revenge category. Girls Against Boys (2012) also has a lot of similarities with strong female leads and ending both films with the climax at Halloween parties.
Ms. 45 is a staple of underground revenge cinema that is often forgotten but it still deserves recognition for its provocative and vigilante spirit. As much as some people hate remakes, I think it deserves a revival like The Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. Remakes are obviously never as good as the original, but on the up side it makes these kind of films relevant again.
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