Films that you probably haven’t seen but definitely should #5 – Ms. 45 (1981, dir. Abel Ferrara)

Big thanks to YouTuber Mrgavyadha for uploading the full version of King of New York director Abel Ferrara’s unusual, stylised and disturbing rape-revenge thriller Ms. 45 (1981), in which a mute, reticent seamstress, after having been raped twice in one day, goes on a gun-crazy rampage.

Clearly modelled on the likes of I Spit on Your Grave and Death Wish, Ferrara imbues his rather tawdry source material with a distinctly sleazy New York sensibility (the clothes! the streets! the music in the first scene!) – a vein that he would go on to mine in later films – and an almost incongruously stylish sheen which belies its low budget, and adds to the oppressive mood. The closing party sequence, filmed in slow-motion, is exquisitely unsettling and almost unbearably tense.

Ms. 45 is played by the stunning Zoe Lund, who went on to co-write and star in Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant, before dying of cocaine-assisted heart failure in Paris in 1999.

‘Enjoy’ is perhaps not the right word, but this is absolutely worth a watch.

A full post on Ferrara’s The King of New York is coming soon.

Zoe Lund as the Angel of Vengeance - subtlety not necessarily Ferrara's strong point

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